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Old 19-09-17, 09:50 PM
Geoff Kingston Geoff Kingston is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Wales.
Posts: 414
Default Buick Rover and BMW V8

At the recent BOC concours a fellow Bristol owner and I were admiring the Rover V8 installation in Christopher Balfour's 406, I mentioned that I remembered seeing a magazine article or a book on BMW that suggested that they had sold the rights to their engine to Buick, his recollection from a discussion he had had with one of the former owners of TT Workshops is that Buick had gone to BMW for assistance in the design of their all alloy V8.
Everyone probably knows the history of the Buick Rover deal but the link with BMW does throw up some interesting questions and possibilities, The Automobile magazine asked about this in a feature they did on a BMW 503.
The 502's had both 6 cylinder and V8 engines fitted and I assume, but may be wrong, that no major chassis mods were made and the later engine was designed to fit the space occupied by the earlier engine.
For a while I harboured serious thoughts about buying an old BMW 502 V8 to put the engine into a 401 to make it the sort of car Frazer Nash really wanted, I was too slow off the mark and even 502 V8 wrecks for restoration are now too expensive now to make the project viable.
The Rover V8 however is a very different proposition and I remember at least one 401 or 403 so equipped being actively and successfully sprinted by a BOC member in the mid to late 70's.
The engine we were looking at sat very well in the 406, mated to an automatic gearbox and I think if I remember correctly Christopher said a 407 diff, he told us it was a very good conversion that retained the driving characteristics of the car but obviously with more power.
If this BMW Buick Rover connection is correct it is a fascinating link and raises a lot of what if questions, also it is another option for consideration for returning cars robbed of their original engines to the road.
Hoping someone may know more about the link or can confirm what I have learnt so far.
Geoff.
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