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1950s 'EAW Special' home-made racing car

The 'EAW Special' is a one-off, hand-built, single-seat racing car with a 649 cc rear mounted Triumph motorcycle engine. The car is made from adapted components sourced from an assortment of vehicles. The chassis is made of 2 inch (5 cm) tubular steel and the side members of the frame are fabricated from 1 inch (2.5 cm) tubes. The engine and gearbox are rubber-mounted in the sub frame just forward of the rear axle, and there are fuel tanks front and rear. Both primary and final drive is by chain. The cockpit features a tachometer, hand throttle, oil sight gauge, ignition switch, toggle to carburettors, a fuel pump switch and oil tap for the return line. The hand brake is on the outer left and of the cockpit and the gear selector is on the outer right. The car is also fitted with a self-levelling suspension system, roll bar and twin exhausts. The rear vision mirrors are converted from chrome bicycle lamps, and the front nose is from a discarded aircraft belly tank. A chrome air intake just below the nose, helped to cool the oil tank immediately behind it. Wilbur's 'EAW' crest is on the steering wheel and nose of the car. The car is finished in pale blue aluminium body panels with red vinyl upholstery, and the racing number 29.

The car is not as it was when Wilbur Watson was racing it in the 1960s, but the Museum does have the car's original parts together with its hand-built trailer.


Engine: Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle
Engine manufacturer: Triumph Engineering Co. Ltd, Meriden Works, Allesley, Coventry, England
Type: OHV twin cylinder
Capacity: 649 cc
Engine No: 6T/62905 R
Bore/stroke: 71 mm x 82 mm
Drive: chain
Ignition: coil
Carburettor: single 1 inch (25.4 mm) SU
Gearbox: Triumph 59356
Handbrake: fly off type with mechanical link to back wheels
Clutch: Dry plate type, Bowden cable operated
Suspension: single transverse leaf spring on rear.
Weight: approx. 4.5 cwt (228.6 kg)
Compression ratio: 9.5:1 on pump fuel
Power: 32 bhp on pump fuel
Compression ratio: 14:1 on racing fuel
Power: 52 bhp at 6,000 rpm on racing fuel
Top speed: approx. 100 mph (160.9 kph)

Automobile and parts, racing, EAW Special, metal/rubber/paper, E A Watson, Australia, 1950-1958

-1 Car
-2 Trailer
-3 Documents (8)
-X cover
-Y Miscellaneous parts
View object record