The life of a powertrain genius

This is a hugely valuable work of biography and technological history, and it’s being produced in very limited numbers to assist cancer research. The instructions for obtaining a copy of Pure Henry are more complicated than normal, so pay attention, because we assure you that you’ll want to own it if you’re in any way interested in motorsport history. It’s the life story of Ernest Henry, the Paris-born engineer who did his most significant work in the early 20th century, and who is widely regarded as the first such person to combine multiple overhead camshafts with combustion chambers incorporating four valves per cylinder. It’s impossible today to overstate just how crucial an advance Henry’s discovery constituted, but suffice to say that both Harry Armenius Miller and Ettore Bugatti were clearly, and admittedly, inspired by his work.

Henry, who died in 1950, did his most significant early design work for Peugeot – winning the 1913 Indianapolis 500 for Peugeot with Jules Goux driving – but also enjoyed productive tenures at both Ballot and Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq. We learned of this beautifully produced and researched book on Henry’s life and work via a Facebook group on automotive history. Pure Henry is the work of racing historian, doctoral-level anthropologist and former Oregon lawmaker George F. Wingard, a noted researcher on the technical history of very early racing. This large-format, 100-page hardcover is the first authoritative English-language biography of Henry that we know of, composed of highly informed text, photos and engineering drawings. Appendices include one on Henry’s innovative configuration for connecting rods with high-pressure oiling. This book is excellent. You should buy one of its limited numbered editions. Here’s how: Write a check for $60.00 to Prostate Cancer Research at Knight Center Institute, P.O. Box 29017, Portland OR 97296. Then send a photocopy of the check, or a receipt from the Knight Center Institute, to the author at 2323 Fairmount Boulevard, Eugene OR 97403. Our copy took less than a week to arrive. We assure you, this book will not disappoint in any way.

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