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 Posted: May 27, 2021 03:59AM
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Very interesting find. Hope the engine and body reunite.

 Posted: May 25, 2021 07:09AM
 Edited:  May 25, 2021 07:13AM
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Neil - The most recent reference to the Wee Wee Eel that I found was in an online blog by 'Crosleykook' about a 2013 trip to Bonneville.  They included this picture of the car on display in the Wendover Nugget Hotel and Casino.  Their description of the car was "forlorn" but it doesn't look too bad for a car that wasn't used for 49 years.  A search via the hotel name reveals no mention of cars being currently displayed at the Nugget but they do sponsor hot rod and Bonneville oriented car shows in their parking lot.  'Bangshift' covers those shows regularly online.  The Nugget is a big facility (I've stayed there.) and I would guess that they have staff that organize events and promotions.  You might try contacting them to see if they know the whereabouts of the car.

Wendover straddles the Nevada-Utah border and all of the gambling is on the Nevada side.  There used to be a Bonneville racing museum on the Utah side of Wendover that had cars on display.  It was kind of a low rent affair and was never open when we were there (1997 through 2005).  There was also an effort by the city of Wendover, Utah to open a Bonneville Racing Museum but I can find no record of either museum currently existing.  I mention those facilities because they would be a logical local place for the Nugget to get rid of the Eel.  The city might be a good contact as well as organizations like Landracing.com and BNI-SCTA (the organizers of the Bonneville and dry lakes races.

Randy McConnell
S&M Minis
Lakewood Colorado



 Posted: May 24, 2021 09:09PM
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great pictures Randy, now the question is, where is the car today??

 Posted: May 24, 2021 08:52PM
 Edited:  May 24, 2021 08:55PM
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One more time.  Had an improvement to my thinking while taking a shower.
 
Going back to my earlier comment, imagine ho difficult it would be to see the Wee Wee Eel from the driver's seat if the push car was the Chevy in the background.



 Posted: May 24, 2021 06:57PM
 Edited:  May 24, 2021 06:59PM
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Okay, still no luck with the pictures.  I used the img - /img syntax listed on the reply page and my URLs (from my Pinterest page) are the same format as the pictures posted by NeilG.  I've used that syntax successfully on many other sites.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

Randy McConnell
S&M Minis
Lakewood Colorado

 Posted: May 24, 2021 06:50PM
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Another attempt at posting pictures!

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/01/10/b4/0110b4d1f53d9965ec54a93b3f0a81e5.jpg>

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/2c/1b/e8/2c1be86081b5e2d493d7d197279bbda4.jpg>

The starting technique in the picture posted by NeilG is total nutso!  Inhaling an unhealthy dose of two stroke exhaust is the least of the risks here.  Look at how close the one guy's hand is to the motorcycle wheel..

The rear track on the Eel is 14 inches with the rear wheels virtually touching.  The tire of the motorcycle is positioned between the two rear tires.  The Eel was direct drive: no transmission and no clutch.  There was also no starter. To run the engine the drive wheels had to be turning.  For test running this would typically be done on a set of rollers, which they obviously didn't have.  The wheels of the Eel would sit in the rollers, as would the wheel of a motorcycle used to spin the rollers.  The motorcycle would then move off the rollers when the engine started.  For competition the Eel was push started by a road vehicle.  Typical starting procedure for this type of car was to push it till there was fuel pressure and oil pressure and then turn on the magneto.  Magnetos are grounded through a switch to shut them off, so turning "on" was actually deactivating the ground.  The push vehicle would likely continue to push to a relatively high speed due to there being no transmission and a very high final drive ratio (low numerical ratio).  I'm guessing at least 50 mph before the push vehicle drops off.  During my time on the start line at Bonneville waiting to run I've seen some really impressive performances by push vehicles.  There must be some bizarre record for fastest push vehicle-racecar combo.  I've often wondered about very small vehicles like the Eel that may not be visible to the driver pushing it, depending on what the push vehicle is. 

If the pictures work, I'll get more up tomorrow.

Randy McConnell
S&M Minis
Lakewood Colorado

 Posted: May 24, 2021 02:10PM
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sure enough, there's the motor!

 Posted: May 24, 2021 12:35PM
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That's great information Randy, thank you! My mistake on the speedwell reference. The note in the file I got with the engine reads as follows " 1959 750c Morris Minor-Harmon collins cam- Jahns cast aluminum pistons with Grant rings-English barwell aluminum head-stock size engine-Built in 1964 for a Bonneville car. it ran 130mph as originally built, It never returned" the note is hand written by I assume Jack Choate who owned it but I have no way of knowing for sure.

 Posted: May 24, 2021 11:39AM
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US
The cylinder head was manufactured by Barwell. It's an aluminum head and was generally well thought of, or so I hear. This head appears to be a small bore head althouigh there was a later big bore type possibly made in conjunction with Derrington.

Kelley

"If you can afford the car, you can afford the manual..."

 Posted: May 24, 2021 10:29AM
 Edited:  May 24, 2021 10:33AM
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It's been years since I posted here and I couldn't get my old account to work.  But this topic was important enough (i.e., old school trivia) that I set up a new account.  I recognized that engine as soon as I saw the intake manifold.  It's that way for a reason!  It's from the Eelco Wee Wee Eel that, as far as I can determine, only did shakedown runs at Bonneville in 1964.  There are a few pictures of it online from 1964, but no online pictures of the engine that I can find and no further mention of it after 1964.  There was a series of Eels preceding this one and more after it, so. it's not like Eelco quit racing.  As of 2013 the car still existed.  I can't imagine Eelco having built more than one engine given the car's short history, and that would mean that the Wee Wee Eel is currently minus an engine.  There are also some very unique aspects of the engine visible in the pictures that NeilG posted that would make me hesitant to try running the engine in anger.  More on that later.

Hopefully this picture link works properly.  I have more information on the Eels plus several 1960s magazine articles that will help answer many questions about it.  Once I figure out how to post images here from my own collection (i.e., not available online) I will provide additional information. If anyone that is familiar with the picture posting process would like to give me some guidance, I can be contacted at prjm3atmandotcom .  Us old guys may not be the most adept at the online stuff, but we did save the magazines from the 60s!  Just ask my wife.

Oh yeah, this engine had absolutely nothing to do with Speedwell to the extent that it uses parts from one of their main competitors.  Suggest deleting that item from the files, Neil. 

Randy McConnell
S&M Minis 
Lakewood, Colorado



Edit: The picture link did not work.  Back to the instruction manual.

 Posted: May 23, 2021 04:16AM
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CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilG
thank you! It is interesting, that's why I bought it, going to try and search Bonneville records next. The carbs btw are dellorto
I completely understand the temptation to buy it.

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: May 22, 2021 05:58PM
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That engine looks like it was in a Austin Healey Sprite, or an MG midget. It's definatly a rear wheel drive engine. Speedwell was an aftermarket company that made parts for the Sprite, and Midget. Not sure if they ever made a complete body, but they did make bonnets and other parts for the Sprites and midgets. Very cool engine. https://www.speedwellengineering.com/

 Posted: May 22, 2021 04:09PM
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thank you! It is interesting, that's why I bought it, going to try and search Bonneville records next. The carbs btw are dellorto

 Posted: May 22, 2021 03:14PM
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CA
Welcome!

About the only parts that resemble a Mini engine are the block, head and rocker cover. But it IS interesting!

It appears to have an oil pan where the transmission should be.
The plates on the front and back of the engine appear to be supports to hold the engine in a tubular chassis.
The front of the engine does not appear to have a water pump, but hose connections instead.
The timing cover seems deeper than a mini type - possibly a wide timing chain or belt?
There is what appears to be a drive coupling coming off the end of where the camshaft gear should be.
On the back of he engine, I can see what appears to be the oil pump and an output shaft coupling where the flywheel should be.

The carbs, intake and exhaust manifolds are just weird. I can't imagine having to remove the carbs and intake just to remove the rocker cover and adjust the valves.

What a mystery machine! Now I want to know what it is (and why)!
Good luck on your quest for information.

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: May 22, 2021 02:42PM
 Edited:  May 24, 2021 04:31PM
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Image Gallery
New to the forum, owned a Morris or 2 back in the day but have mostly American stuff these days. I bought a car from an estate a couple weeks ago, the gentleman was a racer, drag and sprint car. the shop was filled with  engines and I spotted a supercharged Crosley back in the corner, next to it was a mini engine so I made a deal on both. I got a pile of paperwork with the mini and there was a note that said it was run at Bonneville in 64 and hit 130mph, Jahns pistons, Harmon Collins cam, Barwell head etc. Not sure what the intake is but hoping to get some help from the experts on here, thanks in advance.