What's The Oddest Car Engine?

Illustration for article titled Whats The Oddest Car Engine?

Engines range from one-to-many-more cylinders and come in a variety of configurations. There's all sorts of opportunities for oddities. But it's the prospect of those exceptions tickling our fancy this morning. What's the oddest car engine?

A rear-mounted flat-six engine is strange, though not unheard of. They're quite popular in helicopters and Porsches. In fact, the Franklin O-335 engine found in certain Sikorsky helicopters caught the eye of Preston Tucker and he decided to drop a water-cooled version of the military-use engine into the back of his Tucker 48 sedan. With a displacement of 5.45 liters and power to the tune of 166 HP and 372 lb-ft of torque it wasn't underpowered, either, though it was a radical departure at the time. Sadly, the helicopter-powered car was never to catch on.

(QOTD is your chance to answer the day's most pressing automotive questions and experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good "Question Of The Day" send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)

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The Cryseler Patriot, The flywheel system weighed 1147 pounds, and was vacuum housed; it could spin up to 58,000 rpm on its gimbaled mounting. The motor had three-phase permanent neodymium iron boron magnets in a Halbach array. The rim and housing were made of carbon fiber; the bearings were mechanical.