…Reviewed by Kieron Fennelly.
Title: Classic Engines, Modern Fuel – The Problems, the Solutions
Author: Paul Ireland
Published by: Veloce Publishing www.veloce.co.uk
152 pages; softback
The author investigates a subject which vexes many classic car owners, namely the hot-start problem. The boiling point of modern petrol is considerably reduced by the addition of ethanol and classic carburettors often cannot supply fuel fast enough to overcome evaporation for a hot engine to fire. There is it seems no definitive solution to the hot-start problem though the author offers several suggestions from using higher octane fuels to adapting engine compartment cooling. None of this is theoretical, the author, a physicist and MG enthusiast, has run a TD since the 1970s. When first unleaded, then later ethanol-blended fuels caused the MG to run badly, he became interested in the wider question of fuelling and combustion. With help from Manchester University he was able to conduct a series of experiments and this book is the compilation of a series of articles on the results of his investigations.
Besides extensive research into the behaviour of a variety of petrol blends, there are also chapters on the workings of carburettors, especially SU carburettors which your reviewer knew, but had forgotten, stands for ‘Skinner’s Union’.
A fascinating and eminently readable reference book, and a model of clarity well supported by illustrations and diagrams. Such a practical work will inevitably be much thumbed in the garage and it really should have a proper hard-cover rather than a paperback format.