This is an engine dynamometer that was used by the Ferrari factory in Maranello during the early years of the company, right as they were developing some of their first models.
It was bought directly from the factory in 1953 by Belgian dealer Jacques Swaters’s Garage Francorchamps, and it was used by them for 30 years, likely to dial in customer engines. It was later bought by noted collectors Paul and Chris Andrews of Texas who placed it on display in their collection.
As you can see from the images, the dyno is currently fitted with a Ferrari Colombo V12, specifically it’s a 4.0 liter unit that originally left the factory in a Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. This engine comes with the dyno, and the whole rig is 100% functional – allowing the engine to be start and run, and for completely analogue power output testing to be completed.
Exactly who manufactured this dyno isn’t listed, it’s largely made from box-section tubular steel with tubular steel adjustable engine mounts, a mount for the radiator, and a separate section behind the engine that is used to take power readings.
There is a display “dashboard” that carries many of the same Veglia gauges as the Ferraris of the era, including a large Ferrari-branded tachometer. These engine dynamometers are ideal for use getting an engine tuned and synchronizing its carburetors before it goes into a car, they’re also used for test running an engine that’s been rebuilt.
The engine fitted to this dyno can be started with the twist of the ignition key and the press of a button, the engine it’s currently fitted with is capable of 300 bhp at 6,600 rpm, and it’s topped with three Weber 40 DCZ/6 carburetors.
The original radiator has been replaced with a more modern alloy unit with twin electrical fans, and the battery has also been replaced with a more modern unit – as you might expect.
Of course, modern dynamometers are all digital and typically hooked up to computers to they can produce detailed information about an engine’s performance. This vintage dyno does things a little differently, but it makes for a fascinating look back at how things used to be done.
It’s now coming up for sale with RM Sotheby’s as past of their Miami Auction which will be held in early March. The price guide is $125,000 – $175,000 USD and it’s being offered without reserve. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images: ©2024 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.