This is my Gordini T58C prototype engine. It is a 1470 ccm twin cam racing engine with dry sump lubrication. The engine weighs about 85 kg and has about 150 DIN-hp at 8500 RPM.
T58C 1470 ccm DOHC prototype engine at it's arrival in my workshop
These engines were built by Gordini for the Alpine prototype and formula cars in the late 60's. Purpose was to have a powerful engine that could withstand endurance races without breakdown. These engine were able to run with full throttle at maximum power over a long period of time without any problem. They were ideal for races as the 24h of Le Mans, 1000 km Nürburgring etc.
The T58 engine was available in 4 displacements:
- 1296 ccm (type T58A)
- 997 ccm and 1005 ccm (type T58B)
- 1470 ccm (type T58C).
contemporary photograph of a T58
the wizard in his workshop, in the background a T58, old design without reinforced case
one of the first T58 ever built, a 1296 ccm version, combined with a Porsche gearbox (upside-down)
With these engines Alpine participated in different categories of long distance racing in the late 60's and was quite succesful. The engines were mainly used in the factory Alpine A210 prototype cars and some of them also in formula racing cars. It is interesting to know that Gordini designed and produced the engines, Alpine used them in racing and Renault paid the engines.
Due to changes of the FIA-regulations these engines retired in the early 70's. Today only very few of the approx. 40 engines ever built are known. One of them belongs to Jukka, a friendly Gordini amateur in Finland, he put a 1296 ccm T58 in his Renault 8 Gordini.
With the help of some French Alpine-enthousiasts (thank you, Roland!) and especially Monsieur Gilbert Harivel, the former chief mechanic of the Alpine racing department, the history of my particular engine T58 02C was found to be as follows:
"Moteur T58C 02C
livré par Gordini à Alpine le 31.03.1967
monté sur l'Alpine A210 châssis 1726 essais
retourné chez Gordini le 12.04.1967
retour chez Alpine le 06.05.1967
monté sur le châssis 1720 essais
retour définitif chez Gordini le 29.05.1967
plus jamais revenu chez Alpine"
"T58 C N°02C était bien monté dans le proto A210 N°1726 à l'occasion des essais du Mans
les 8-9 Avril 1967 et a franchi le mur des 4 minutes ( 3'58"6 ) avec Mauro Bianchi au volant."
So with engine N° 02C on board, the Alpine A210 with chassis N° 1726 was the first Alpine (and the first French car ever) to run under 4 minutes per lap at Le Mans, the great Mauro Bianchi being the pilot of this car N° 30.
Alpine A210 N° 30 during the preliminary tests for "les 24 heures du Mans"
on the 8th or 9th of april 1967, pilot: Mauro Bianchi; engine: T58 N° 02C
During the 24 h of Le Mans race that year the same car (now N° 45) participated with Bianchi/Vinatier being the drivers, on board was engine N° 05C.
While engine 02C equiped chassis N° 1720, this car was on the Michelin test track in may 1967. Again Mauro Bianchi drove the car, it was the first time ever Michelin tested slick tires on a race track.
Some more pics:
wonderful DOHC cylinder head!
engine N° 02C
damaged water pump: heavily corroded bearings, shaft seal completely destroyed
waterpump repair kit of early Renault 4 contains the required seal and shaft (which had to be shortened)
overhauled water pump, ready to be fitted to T58 02C
original spare parts from the late sixities, the "golden age"
modification of the liners is almost finished...
everything moves smoothly!
On we go with the cylinder head:
re-assembly of the cylinder head with new custom made valve springs
reassembly of the camshaft drive
assembly of the cylinder head
assembled cylinder head
preparation of the ignition leads
the engine is coming closer and closer to it's final look
test assembly of T58 in A110 motor compartment
to be continued...