Talk:Coventry Climax

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H. Pelham Lee or H. Pulham Lee?[edit]

There seems to be some confusion as to the name of the founder. Google has hits with either spelling. The book Legendary Car Engines: Inner Secrets of the World's 20 Best by John Simister gives it as "Henry Pelham Lee". Does anyone know for sure? -De Facto 12:33, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

FWM Name[edit]

In adding the information on FWM engine naming, I am aware that the part borders on being an original research as defined by Wiki, and that Wikipedia's No Original Research policy exists. However, with the smaller font format chosen for the section, I consider the part to be more informative and beneficial for the readers who are interested in Coventry Climax, than being misleading, offensive or otherwise detrimental in receiving it from Wikipedia as an encyclopedic source.

I also believe a strict and simple enforcement of the policy has the potential to significantly lower the quality level of higher quality articles written by those editors who try hard in studying and analysing the subjects, so I would appreciate, in the case you have some objections, your stating your opinion (and reasons) on this issue here kindly giving me a fair chance for a discussion. Thanks. Yiba (talk) 10:59, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

The additional information in the smaller type is fine. The reasoning is probably accurate as at the time the MoD was facing the prospect of possible widespread nuclear devastation of Britain and so medical centres and hospitals would have been without power should a nuclear attack on Britain take place. That, BTW, was the one of the reasons for the Green Goddess's as they would also have been needed for pumping drinking water and other water supplies, as opposed to just being used as fire pumps. Thanks for adding the information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:44, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the edit and the kind comment. The prospect of nuclear devastation is something I failed to recognize, so thanks again for that educational info. Yiba (talk) 08:22, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
You're welcome. The smallish fire pumps such as the Godiva were another civil defence measure, as during The Blitz it was found that large-scale fires occurred, in one case - possibly the London Docklands - one that required 300 pumps, an unheard of amount for any normal fire, so large in fact that IIRC fire tenders had to be brought in from surrounding areas such as Kent and Essex, so the fire pumps were intended to greatly increase fire-fighting capacity for cities and towns over and above that supplied by the normal fire brigades, and to be operated by the Auxiliary Fire Service. The name 'Godiva' BTW is a reference to Lady Godiva - she was from Coventry and was 'lightweight'. BTW, Coventry itself was heavily bombed - Coventry Blitz - so that may have influenced the company. The engines needed to be lightweight as the smaller pumps might be needed to be manhandled over streets strewn with rubble impassable by a normal fire engine. The low weight of the engines of course later made them ideal for motor racing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:28, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation of the 'Godiva' name - I always suspected it was a reference to Lady Godiva, but I never knew the reason. DH85868993 (talk) 02:11, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
What's the timescale of the introduction of the trailer pumps, and their numbers, relative to the Blitz (and slightly later, Coventry)? My impression (mostly from Civil Defence literature) had always been that the pumps pre-dated the actual need for them and were part of the Phony War period. Obviously they would still be being built during the Blitz period itself.
A further point, again from the CD literature, is that these trailer pumps were trailer-mounted so that they could be pulled by commandeered or volunteer cars, rather than heavy lorries or fire engines. It was presumably quicker to build many pumps and use existing cars than it was to divert lorry production during wartime. Andy Dingley (talk) 19:15, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Lady Godiva was 'lightweight' because she wore no clothes! - and she was from Coventry.
I don't know when the fire pumps were actually introduced but you may be correct in the fire pumps pre-dating the Blitz, pre-war the government had some pretty apocalyptic predictions of the likely scale of damage and civilian casualties should large scale bombing of cities occur in any coming war. You are also probably right on the use of trailer-mounted pumps, as yes, civilian cars could have been commandeered in emergency, however petrol rationing would have left many without fuel, and many car owners put their cars up on blocks for the duration because of this, so these vehicles may have needed work in advance of any fire use, they almost certainly wouldn't have been able to just commandeer them off the street, as most private cars would have been in garages or sheds 'laid up'.
I suspect that apart from the cost, it was simply a matter of time, you could probably produce four or five trailer pumps for the time, material, and cost of building one proper fire engine, and for the sort of fires anticipated, it was pumps that were needed. Areas such as London and Liverpool docks (likely targets for bombing) had small or no resident populations at night - assuming the bombs actually fell on the docks rather than the residential areas nearby - so Escapes, ladders, etc. were not really needed as they would be in a residential area. IIARC, there were areas of the various cities and towns which it was decided should be left to burn if absolutely necessary rather than attempting to put any fires out. These were mainly areas of offices and small workshops that were vacated at night, so there was no risk to life.
Of course, the above is also why the Green Goddesses didn't have ladders or Escapes. They were just pumps for putting out fires and for distributing water in the event of a lack of mains water due to bomb damage. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:08, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
At about the same time in Japan, I understand the petrol rationing was so severe that buses and trucks were converted to wood gas powered, with large boiler-like carbon-monoxide generating tank installed. The forefather of CNG conversion. Yiba (talk) 01:49, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
There were a few conversion to cars so that they could use alternative fuels - coal gas? - but I don't think they were very numerous. IIRC, Britain never did become that short of petrol, but most of it was needed by the RAF and the Army, all oil having to come in to the country by sea in tankers that were vulnerable to U-boats. An Avro Lancaster took 2,154 Imperial gallons of petrol to fill its tanks. For a 600-aircraft raid that's a total of 1,292,400 gallons. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:16, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Cooper Ring[edit]

Regarding the initial block-to-head sealing problem FWMV Mk.I experienced, I used the description "Cooper Ring" straight from my source (Whitelock book in the ref list, I think. It was a while ago). Its function is clearly the same as what we normally know as Wills Ring, and I thought Cooper Ring was another name for it. edited the part to "copper ring gasket" and it was reverted to Cooper Ring, and this made me realize that "cooper ring" on the source book could have been a typo for "copper ring". If someone ( ?) has knowledge on this, please help by sharing it here. Yiba (talk) 01:43, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm just writing Wills Ring to address this. I've never heard of them under that name - to me they've always been Cooper Rings. Don't know if this was the same Cooper as the racing team, but I'd always assumed so - rather like Vandervell bearings. Andy Dingley (talk) 02:44, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Fantastic! Thank you very much. I've always known the thing as "Wills Ring", and your article educated me a lot. Your ability to come up with such an article with fair amount of refs in such a short period is very impressive. Thanks! Yiba (talk) 11:49, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. At least they haven't blocked me for it yet. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:27, 7 November 2013 (UTC)


I've rated this as C-class; once the referencing is covered, it should be good to go to B-class. Good supporting materials are provided and good coverage is present.