Blue Bird K3 Henley on Thames

User avatar
Posts: 623
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:32 pm
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: Blue Bird K3 Henley on Thames

Post by mtskull » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:10 pm

Richie wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:15 am
Meteor engines “YUMMY” as used in the Cromwell and Comet / Centaur tanks.

Pretty much a none supercharged merlin !

Lovely sound the V12 !
I think you will find that a Centaur with a Meteor engine is a Cromwell; Centaurs used a Liberty V12.
Still yummy though... 👍
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.

Posts: 744
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:01 pm
Location: Belves France and Brighton UK

Re: Blue Bird K3 Henley on Thames

Post by f1steveuk » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:50 pm

Yes, I still lurk, mainly in the Cobb?Crusader/Railton thread!!!

The book on this is done, but there's some flack from the Railton bio' I contributed to, so the November publishing date may slip by.

Anyway, K3, the engine is basically a Meteor, but an oddball, because I built it out of five different piles of spares and one decent engine. This was done to get rid of the tank ancillaries, which meant brackets cast as part of rocker covers etc. The decent engine was early Centurion, other parts were Cromwell, we had manuals for both, though there's no way I can remember the differences now as I have slept!

The basic blocks/heads are Merlin, as is I believe the crankcase, there being an adaptor so the starter could bolt where the supercharger once lived. Mike Evans, who was the chairman of the RR Heritage Trust was quite clear though, very little was interchangeable between Merlin and Meteor, which is why always said it was a Meteor, and Paul would always say it's a Merlin, because that sounded better!! It isn't, and never will be an R Type.

The hull frames, sides, bottom, tail and fittings are original. We found some repairs to the frames in the deck area, and the deck covering was replaced in 1969 (it was written on the bottom of it when I crawled around inside) for the Castrol exhibition. I made the dashboard, and on there, about one third of the instruments are original, including the rev counter. I would say that it's about 75-80% original. The engine is fitted to a wooden sub-frame, made to fit in the original place but accept the smaller Meteor, by Ken Pope. When first installed, I was the only one who started and ran it, because the emergency stop system was very dodgy! So I was standing in the hull, operating the throttle by hand. But yes, it sounded bloody great! No flywheel, so it does rev well, though the mags cut power to the 24 plugs (like rally traction control) if the revs climb to high, which means unburnt fuel in the exhausts, so good to watch too!!
Steve Holter, UK and France, and sometimes reality....................

Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:36 am

Re: Blue Bird K3 Henley on Thames

Post by DisneyDumbo » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:54 pm

Although I washed K3 down a few times, the only notable work I did on her was to jigsaw the hoop behind the cockpit seat. Paul had casually asked if I had a jigsaw with me, when I got back with it, well, get on with it then; he said! When I asked about what? He said cutting out the hoop for the new Saddle Fuel Tank. I managed it but only after breaking about four blades. There just wasn’t really enough room between the frame and where Paul wanted the cut to be.
During my time working at Filching, as well as washing several very rare cars, I also washed both of Gina’s boats, I took on the alteration and rebuilding of the original ‘Across the Lake’ Buck, from which they made the actual one used in the film.
In 2005 (I think) we had a week’s holiday in Whitby, and during this, I spent a couple of days working in Bill’s workshop. He had saved me a rather special little job; this was to replace the damaged sections to Donald’s seat uprights, where the seatbelts had been pulled through. The damaged parts themselves will be preserved and kept with other salvaged items in the museum.
Thanks for that Bill, it made the trip really worthwhile.
This means that the only Bluebird boat I haven’t worked on was K4, quite a record that!

Posts: 744
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:01 pm
Location: Belves France and Brighton UK

Re: Blue Bird K3 Henley on Thames

Post by f1steveuk » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:52 pm

Yes, Paul was like that, and you'd do the work while he lent on something!

I can go one better, I did a lot of work on K4, but it was the Goodwood replica, with Jerry Judha and Hothouse, and they are a very clever bunch of blokes!!
Steve Holter, UK and France, and sometimes reality....................

Post Reply