Lear Deltic Engine
from the Vapordyne Car - Richard Moser


The operative information is that this engine used piston rings from an Austin Healy Sprite race car.  This is what is left of the famous engine that was supposed to make 500 hp with two banks six cylinders each running three crankshafts and with a rotary valve in the center of everything.    Lear Deltic, Vaporddyne Car- Richard Moser
Richard Moser is shown with the parts that he has in Southern California.  The original engine was purportedly given to the Reno High Schools for their shop classes and no one has tried to locate it since.  Here is the story as I remember it.  First of all there was a British guy named Ken Wallis who was not the real Ken Wallis but liked to
Lear Deltic, Vaporddyne Car- Richard Moser   give that impression who was a gas turbine fellow.  After working with the STP Indy turbine car he met up with Bill Lear and told him that a steam car was the best and easiest way to win at Indianapolis.  The reason is because a steam engine has double the MEP of a gasoline engine and thus one has opportunities to cheat on the displacement and power produced. 
When Richard Moser retired from this steam business he went in with Harvey Crane and designed the very famous dual overhead cam Chevy small block, but that is another story.  When Moser was hired by Lear and Wallis he went up to Reno and saw Lear and Wallis on their knees on the floor sketching the delta engine full size on paper.  We can only assume that Wallis was copying the famous Napier diesel delta engine.  Wallis forgot to tell Moser that the Napier engine had two crankshafts running one way and the third one the other way.  It was difficult to get the pistons to come together in the middle every now and again without this knowledge. 
Lear Deltic, Vaporddyne Car- Richard Moser   Lear Deltic, Vaporddyne Car- Richard Moser
Lear Deltic, Vaporddyne Car- Richard Moser   Lear Deltic, Vaporddyne Car- Richard Moser
The story is that there was not enough room in the middle of the deltic engine to make the rotary valve large enough in diameter to get the engine to breathe properly.  There is a third element in the rotary valve that was lost along the way, so it needs something more than is shown here that can be rotated to change the cutoff and maybe reverse the engine.  Because it was for Indy we do not know if it was reversible.
Lear Deltic, Vaporddyne Car- Richard Moser    
Knife and Fork Connecting Rods