Plastic automotive engine
The Plastic automotive engine has its origins in the late 1980s with a company named Polimotor Research Inc. of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, founded by Matty Holtzberg who entered into a joint program to develop the engine with the Ford Motor Company.
One engine, jointly developed as a research project with Ford, was based on Ford's 2.3-liter Pinto engine and weighed 153 lbs (69.4 kg) (vs. 415 lbs (188.2 kg) for its cast iron counterpart). It was composed of metal cylinder sleeves, metal combustion chamber tops, metal piston crowns, bearings, valves and seats, and a stock 2.3L Pinto crankshaft. Nearly everything else in the engine, including the block, rods and piston skirts, were made of Torlon thermoplastic resins manufactured by Amoco Chemicals Co. The engine was never installed in a vehicle.
Another engine, based upon the Cosworth BDA, tipped the scales at 168 lbs, half the weight of its metal counterpart. Plastic parts included the engine block, cam cover, air intake trumpets, intake valve stems, piston skirts and wrist pins, connecting rods, oil scraper piston rings, tappets, valve spring retainers and timing gears.
The plastic Cosworth engine was raced over two seasons. It was raced in a T616 HU04 and competed in the International Motor Sports Association's (IMSA) Camel GT Championship in the Camel Lights (Group C2) category in 1984 and 1985. The car's best finish was a third in class at the 1985 Road America 500.
- Popular Science; September, 1982