The Harley-Davidson Panhead engine is something of a legend in Harley circles. The engine was made from 1948 to 1965, and was present in some of the most iconic bikes the firm has produced. The first unit engine was the driving force behind the first sportsters, the original Electra Glide, and was even the engine that stared the chopper craze, being used in Peter Fonda's infamous Captain America in the 1969 film Easy Rider.
We recently found this old video of a meticulously crafted replica of the famous engine, scaled down to 2/5ths, or 40% of the size of the original motor. Started with an electric drill (as opposed to a standard starter motor), the engine idle's, rev's, and even backfires in an authentic manner, and the straight pipes on the model really make it sound authentically like its larger cousin. The craftsmanship and work that went into building this model is seriously impressive, and it's not the only engine the builder has reproduced.
The YouTuber, Ron Colonna, who runs the channel Ronsmodelengines, has created a number of other insanely detailed replica's of famous engines, from a 1/8th version of the First World War British Bentley Fighter Rotary engine, to a quarter scale model of the post war Indianapolis 500 winning Novi V8.
If you're curious about the process that went into building this little model, or want to build your own, Ron stated that "The bottom end was taken from a drawing of a Knucklehead engine that I purchased on eBay.
The top end was patterned after photos taken from eBay of Harley parts for sale. I also bought a Harley repair manual that helped with the oil system.The crankcase was split into three sections instead of the usual two for ease of machining. The ignition is solid state, and I use a GM coil which fires the two plugs simultaneously.
Timing is advanced and retarded with the timer body. Two rotating magnets fire a Hall effect device at the proper times as per full sized points. The engine is large enough to produce that lovely V-twin sound."
Pretty impressive stuff! Now we just need to find a 2/5ths scale 50's Sportster to slot the engine into...