ENGINES: BUTTERWORTH

Name: Butterworth

British dominance in Grand Prix racing was built on a foundation of club racers who began building their own racing machines, using whatever they had available to them. One of the first of these "amateur" Formula 1 efforts was the Aston-Butterworth NB-41 which first appeared in 1952, to meet the Formula 2 regulations which had been adopted for the World Championship.

Archie Butterworth raced his own Steyr-engined AJB chassis in 1950 and for 1952 built the two-liter flat-4 engine using parts from the Steyr unit. The intention was to produce a much lower engine than Bristol units which were being used at the time. This was mated to a modified MG gearbox and put into a chassis built by Bill Aston. The low engine meant that the car had a very low frontal area. The engine made its first appearance in the Lavant Cup at Goodwood in April 1952 and finished eighth. A second car was built and sold to Robert Montgomerie-Charrington, and both cars appeared at the International Trophy in May. The pair raced at Chimay in June where Montgomerie-Charrington finished third and a week later the cars were at Monza for the GP dell'Autodromo in which Montgomerie-Charrington finished 12th. One car was raced at Spa in the Belgium GP and it appeared again a few days later at Reims in the Grand Prix de la Marne.

Aston was back at Monza in September but failed to qualify for the Italian GP.

There was never the money necessary to develop the engine and although Aston continued to appear in races throughout the 1953 season, the program gradually faded away.

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