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The 10 Craziest Engines you can't buy today

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Let’s face it, the Merlin is one of the greatest engines of the 20th Century, and anyone who says differently is clearly a terrorist and hates freedom and love and puppy dogs and all that is awesome. It’s been used for absolutely everything; marine, aircraft, tank, commercial truck and hot-rod applications. Didn’t know that? Sure. The Merlin engine was actually only the original, supercharged V12 engine, but it was used in many different forms under many different names. Simply removing the superchargers, or changing the crank, or swapping out the heads, or using different pistons, each resulted in a different name designation, but for all intents and purposes, it was still the original Merlin engine. Merlin was intended to be one in a rather large series of engines from Rolls-Royce, ranging in displacements from about 10L all the way up to almost 50L. As it turned out, the Merlin hit that sweet-spot between all of them, with the small footprint they needed for the smaller engines and the high horsepower they needed from the larger engines. It is versatile, powerful, and (for an aircraft engine) relatively lightweight. It’s little wonder that for over 60 years, when thinking of an over-the-top engine for an automotive project, the Merlin is one of the first ideas that comes to mind. Got a favorite Merlin-powered hot-rod? Post it in the comments, let us all drool about it. Let’s face it, if it weren’t for the engine that trumps it, this would rightfully be the number one engine. At 27L displacement and anywhere from 1300 to 3000 horsepower, it’s a hard engine to beat.


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Just WOW!

50L !!!



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This was the engine that replaced the Allison V-12 in the P-51, the only decent airplane that the USA had at the beginning of WW II, and make it competitive for the duration of the war. The Wikipedia article has a list of aircraft that it was used in, but that list includes only British aircraft.

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