This is an original Rolls-Royce Meteor V12 engine, the less-famous sibling to the Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 that was originally developed using Merlins from crashed aircraft for use in tanks.
Due to the young and inexperienced nature of many pilots during WW2 it wasn’t all that uncommon for Merlin-powered aircraft like the Hurricane, Spitfire, and Lancaster to suffer accidents on takeoff or landing. When these accidents were relatively minor the engines would be recovered and rebuilt, however it was deemed unsafe to use a rebuilt engine in an aircraft due to safety concerns.
As a result of this these rebuilt engines made their way into British tanks, providing far more power than they’d ever had before and fundamentally changing the future of tank design. In order to use the engine in tanks the direction of rotation needed to be reversed and the supercharger was removed, a slew of minor modifications were made and the resulting engine was capable of 550 to 650+ bhp. This was considerably down on the 1,000 to 2,000+ bhp that a Merlin could achieve, but it was still vastly more than had been available to tank designers previously.
Due the fame of the Merlin engine and their critically important role during WW2 there is now signifiant demand for engines, some of which are kept in running condition for display purposes, others are fitted to warbirds and remain in full airworthy condition.
The Meteor engine you see here has been zero timed by the MOD (the UK Ministry of Defence). Zero timing engines typically involves a full disassembly and a detailed inspection of all parts – any parts that need replacing are replaced and the engine is then reassembled and tested.
This engine remains mounted to its original MOD pallet for shipping, and the seller explains that the trailer it sits in may also be purchased separately for ease of transport. The current asking price is £20,000, which works out to approximately $27,750 USD, if you’d like to read more about it or make an offer you can click here to visit the listing.
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.