IEP – engine packaging hits the limit?

■ Generator unit trouble on‘80x’units

■ Little change in new train reliability monitor

It must have been the winter of 1971 that I first laid sight on an MTU diesel engine. Flu had wiped out the sales team at Fairey Marine, leaving only the Managing Director to man our stand at the Genoa boat show. So, as Group Publicity Manager, I was seconded to fill the gap.

At quiet times, I would tour the exhibition to observe the competition. That year’s trend was to paint your luxury offshore cruiser battleship grey.

It was on one of these forays I came across the engine manufacturers’hall. First to catch my eye was an Isotta-Fraschini – unmistakeably Italian, with lots of pipework and other excrescences and exposed working bits.

But, moving on, what a contrast when I came to the MTU stand. A jewel of an engine which looked as if it had been machined out of a single metal billet. If the Isotta was art nouveau, the MTU was art deco. A totally different functional aesthetic: it was love at first sight.


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