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More than Adequate: Marina Rolls Royce Special V8 Volume

Submitted by on August 26, 2014

Marina Rolls Royce Special

In mankind’s timeless quest to cram the most power into the lightest frame, Alan Mann found a way to squeeze a 6.25-litre V8 Rolls-Royce engine into this one-off Marina Rolls Royce Special, and we’re glad he did.

The Marina’s multi-tubular spaceframe chassis was designed and built by Malcolm King and is a well-balanced little number. It employed some advanced ideas for the time, with straight tube runs in the chassis between junctions, and its longeron tubes carrying coolant to and from the big Rolls-Royce motor.

Suspension matched contemporary Formula 1 Cooper designs, and Girling disks are responsible for scrubbing off the Rolls’ hard work.

The motor itself is a 6.25-litre Rolls-Royce V8 converted to dry-sump lubrication, allowing it to be mounted much lower in the chassis. The two standard 1.75-inch SU carburettors were replaced with four big Weber twin-choke sidedraught carburetors which, combined with a Ford V8 distributor, allows a low rear deck line above the engine.

Cylinder heads were machined to push compression up, but pistons, con-rods and cranks were left standard.

Somewhere in the region of 360 to 380 horsepower makes its way to the rear wheels via a five-speed Colotti Type 32 transaxle, and all this weighs in at about 1500 pounds.

The car made its debut at the Easter Monday Goodwood meeting in 1963 with unpainted aluminium bodywork and raced again at the Aintree 200 Formula 1 meeting.

And then it stopped racing. It’s believed that Rolls-Royce were unhappy with their engines being used for racing at that level and that an agreement was reached which saw the car head to a garage and stay there.

The car returned for the 2004 Goodwood Festival of Speed and has been thrilling historic racing fans since.

Sit back, and spend a minute enjoying its subtle curves and the bark of that magnificent Rolls in this video from the Goodwood Members’ Meeting.

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