Following some discussion a few years ago we agreed to assist Southdown Omnibus Trust with the refurbishment of a 1920’s Leyland Bus Engine as it has close links to our founder, Sir Harry Ricardo. The cylinder head arrangement is a Ricardo patented design – The Ricardo Turbulent Head.
The Ricardo Turbulent Head design revolutionised the side valve engine, dramatically improving the power output and economy. The patent was highly lucrative for Ricardo between 1919 – 1932 and earned the company net royalties equivalent to nearly £2M in today’s money.
We went over to Amberley Museum on the 11th June 2012 to collect the Leyland engine and bring it back to Shoreham Technical Centre to start the refurbishment. What we found when we got to the museum was what looked like a pile of scrap…! The collection of parts had been inherited from a museum in Northern England, and it was clear to see that a lot of the bits were in a bad way.
We managed to get all the parts back to STC, and had to gather ourselves ready for the next task – to try and work out which parts we could save, and whether we had enough surviving bits to warrant trying to save the engine.
Barrels – with lots of cracks & corrosion
Crankcase – lots of corrosion & heavy pitting
Fixings – these were the best of the lot!