Hillclimb Engine Technology

Speed Hillclimbing in the UK has always been at the fore-front of technical innovation, as anyone who has visited an event paddock will testify. There are always novel little tweaks appearing as competitors try to gain every advantage they possibly can.

One of the most interesting developments seen during the 1990s was the Polimotor composite engine. The Polimotor was based on a 16v Ford Pinto except for the composite block & cylinder head and was run on the hills initially by Deryk Young in Vision & Pilbeam chassis and then by John Chalmers (son in law of the late, great Roy Lane) who bought the Pilbeam from Deryk.

This months Race Engine Technology magazine features an in-depth article about this impressive, ambitious, though ultimately unsuccessful cul-de sac in race engine development. There is one minor error in the article though… The writer claims that the engine won the 1994 Hillclimb Leaders Championship, but I don’t recall Roger Moran having one of these engines in his MP62?

Incidentally, when we spoke to John Chalmers about this engine at Shelsley earlier in the year, he confirmed that he still owns it, although it is unlikely to be seen at a hillclimb in it’s current condition!


  1. Matti Holtzberg says:

    I just ran acros this and would like to let you know that so many people have asked me to do another Polimotor so I am casting a carbon fiber dry sump and front cover to go with the CF 2.0 Duratec block I have already done. The Duratec based Polimotor 2 is 30 kilos lighter than an alloy Duratec. I also split the block at the crank c/l so it sits 25MM lower as well.

    If anyone would like to know more, please email me at matti@compositecastings.com.. A very prominent tuner will be assembling the P2 for me with delivery now in late Feb/early March.



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