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F1 engine at the railway station?

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NeilsYard
Coventry
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1 of 13  Sat 9th Oct 2010 5:18am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1815

All. Am I right in recalling there used to be a Climax F1 engine displayed in a glass case at Coventry Station? I know the Climax factory was not a million miles away in Mile Lane. Anyone know what happened to it?
F1 engine at the railway station?
dutchman
Spon End
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2 of 13  Sat 9th Oct 2010 2:03pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3000

I remember it as being in the City Arcade outside the pub of the same name. Could be imagining it though?
F1 engine at the railway station?
riskymoggie
coventry
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3 of 13  Wed 3rd Nov 2010 10:56am  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:1

The engine was indeed in a case (perspex or glass?) in the foyer of the original Climax pub. I also recall a bird aviary being outside.
F1 engine at the railway station?
rojwhittle
derbyshire
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4 of 13  Wed 7th Sep 2011 9:52pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:57

Hi Neilsyard. Climax finally went into receivership in the mid-eighties, I think, following a takeover by BL, sometime in the 70s, and absorption into Jaguar Special Products division. This was one of the worst of British leyland's acts of industrial vandalism. the engine that was in the glass case was, if I remember rightly, a 60s FH series unit, which would have been 1.5 litres and similar to that used in the 60s Lotus, Cooper, Ferguson P99 and several other cars. The engines were superb, simple, robust and of very elegant design. They were probably the most outstanding product ever to come out of Coventry - and there were many good ones.
F1 engine at the railway station?
InnisRoad
Hessle
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5 of 13  Thu 8th Sep 2011 8:34am  
Member: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:126

Yes, there was definitely a Climax engine at the Climax pub, but I think there was also one, possibly only briefly, at the new station shortly after it opened in about 1966. Whether it was the same engine that was moved, or whether there were two, I do not know. It's interesting that Donald Stokes saw himself as the white knight in shining armour saving the british car industry. What his takeovers and rationalisation actually achieved was its destruction. Two examples: Before the takeover, Alvis had an in-house designer who, when an issue arose during assembly, would take a few notes and come up with a solution the same day. After the takeover, a report had to be sent in triplicate to Peterborough and a solution might emerge in three months time! A friend of mine worked as an internal auditor for Standard Triumph. Under the Leyland regime, he had to make regular vists to Gaydon, where they stored cars, to locate up to a thousand cars at a time that had been "lost" by the accounting system! That's progress! Wink
Regards Innis Road

F1 engine at the railway station?
rojwhittle
derbyshire
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6 of 13  Thu 8th Sep 2011 5:10pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:57

Under the Fraud Stokes regime, Jaguar and other firms became a joke. I worked at Jaguar in body design, and was given the job of liaising with production engineers to survey and solve the number of redundant holes in XJ6 bodies, which had been designed in for components which had later been removed. I found 119 redundant holes, which were being plugged with £19 worth of rubber and plastic. I worked for about 3 months on it and did drawings of the locations of them to send to Pressed Steel at West Bromwich, who made the bodies. Not one alteration was ever made to the tooling and the car carried on in production unchanged for another 6 years, I think. This was only one of the laughable carryings on there, which was a shame, because they had a very talented design group, who were completely disillusioned and under used. I hope it's better now!
F1 engine at the railway station?
jvb
Kenilworth
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7 of 13  Sat 19th Nov 2011 12:39pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:34

There was definitely a Climax engine at the station - I remember it clearly. It was in a glass case on the first landing of the stairs up to the bridge over the platforms. It was there for quite a few years during the 1970's and I guess was removed during the 1980's.
F1 engine at the railway station?
NeilsYard
Coventry
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Thread starter
8 of 13  Tue 22nd Nov 2011 3:01am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1815

Glad I wasn't dreaming jvb. I have a photo of Jim Clark and Colin Chapman at the Climax factory in Mile Lane somewhere with Jim driving a forklift!
F1 engine at the railway station?
K
Somewhere
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9 of 13  Tue 22nd Nov 2011 10:47am  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:566

I worked for both Coventry Climax (1973-4) and Jaguar at Browns Lane (1975-84). I think Climax was taken over at the beginning of the 70s. I can confirm the chaos. One classic was that they knew that roughly 10% of counterweight castings for the forklifts would be faulty, yet relentlessly ordered the precise number to match the quantity of trucks ordered. Result? Furious customers, waiting for their orders to be completed, while extra counterwieghts were ordered - and no doubt, at an inflated price. When I started at Jaguar, in Instrumentation, I was gobsmacked to get my first task - making a pre- or early pot-war instrument to work again. We could have every instrument we wanted - provided we could make it ourselves! I thought it criminal the way that Geoffrey Robinson was treated. Whatever his faults, his commitment to Jaguar was unequivocal; if he'd succeeded in unhooking Jaguar from BL and making it near-autonomous, it wouldn't have suffered from all the BL woes and politics the way it did - a dreadful state of affairs, with appalling lack of direction until John Egan appeared on the scene. Roj - I take it you worked for Cyril Crouch, then?
F1 engine at the railway station?
rojwhittle
derbyshire
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10 of 13  Sat 10th Dec 2011 9:33pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:57

Roj - I take it you worked for Cyril Crouch, then? Correct Keith, I did work for Cyril. I am sorry I have had a spell in hospital, and therefore did not pick up your question until now.
F1 engine at the railway station?
K
Somewhere
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11 of 13  Sun 11th Dec 2011 12:32pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:566

I worked for Roger Leng until later years, when I took over from him as head of Instrumentation. We all came under Rex Marvin (known as "the Jolly Green Giant") about 1979 or 80. Roger had been in charge of Instrumentation, Rig Test, Body Chassis Electrical and the Electrical Design Section when I arrived in '75, but Electrical was taken away from him, and given to Peter Scholes. I have to say that Roger was one of, if not the best, engineers I have ever known, and a great boss. It's about 20 years now since he passed away. I well remember Cyril going off on holiday and coming back to find another name on his office door and the lock changed. And, incidentally, I also remember Stan Suckling at Climax, almost the last person left of the old racing engine department.
F1 engine at the railway station?
rojwhittle
derbyshire
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12 of 13  Sun 11th Dec 2011 8:16pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:57

I remember Rex. It looks like we were contemporaries as I started at jaguar in July 1974. Stan Suckling I came across when I was working at Harry Ferguson Research in the 60s. We had the P99 engine out of the car and on test bed. I was an Apprentice and working in the test house, it was probably about 1964/5. Stan was a magician, and I remember him having a great sense of humour. Harry Mundy must have been at Jaguar when you were there too, I guess.
F1 engine at the railway station?
K
Somewhere
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13 of 13  Sun 11th Dec 2011 9:54pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:566

Hi yet again, roj!! (We'll have to stop meeting like this, as the actress said to the bishop!!!!) Lol Lol I was at Jag Jan 75-Jun 84. I did know Harry M. Also Dennis Stephenson. I knew so many people there, but I've forgotten a lot of names. Remember Tom Jones having an argument with a lamp standard in his XJ12C?? Best to discuss it all off line methinks. Incidentally, my cousin was there too, but he is at Toyota Racing in California now.
F1 engine at the railway station?

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