The Weber Carburettor
by Classic Carbs UK
The Weber carburettor started life in the early twentieth century, in Bologna, Italy, and since then, as time and technologies have moved on, it has undertaken many changes, from humble beginnings to becoming known as the carburettor that wins races.
Although most cars are no longer built with carburettors, using fuel injection instead, they are still a highly sought after piece of mechanical history. The Weber carburettor holds a special place in the hearts of many a motoring enthusiast because they are sporty, sexy and extremely reliable particularly if you are driving long distances or have a flare for motor racing (or just love restoring) with classic cars.
Edoardo Weber, (born 1889, Turin, Italy) studied mechanical engineering at Universita Degli Studi Torino and graduated in 1913. He moved to Bologna to work for the Fiat Group and by 1914 he became a service manager at Fiat. In 1923, he established his own carburettor company called, Fabbrica Italiana Carburatori, before long he was supplying his carburettors to the Fiat group, but Weber had no intentions of stopping there. Weber enjoyed motor racing and in 1920, he came in 3rd place at I Curtuito di Mugello on the 13 June, while driving his Fiat 501. At this time however, racing cars were limited to about 50 mph. He spent much of his time experimenting with mechanics and technology which led to his eventual design and development of features such as the double throat carburettor, the double float chamber carburettor and ultimately a carburettor with its own over-head valve conversion.
These advancements enabled him to reach speeds of up to 90 miles per hour in his Fiat 501. This garnered the attention of car manufacturers such as Maserati, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.
Before long, Maserati and Ferrari were putting Weber carburettors in their race cars too.
Equipped with 6x WEBER 38 DCN Carburettors, this Ferrari 250 GTO went on to sell for £22m. Possibly the highest price a car has ever sold on auction so far.. and perhaps the most beautiful ferrari ever made!
To this day, Webers have won more races than any other carburettor. As a result of Weber’s success with his carburettor, many car manufacturers came to fit the Weber as standard in their production lines. Names such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Triumph, Renault and Volkswagen and many more have taken the Weber Carburettor to new heights making the Weber one of the world’s leading carburettors.
Eduardo Weber was a perfectionist and as such he made sure that all his carburettors were made to be exquisite works of technology. Though the Weber plant in Bologna closed its doors in 1992, it was re-formed in Madrid, Spain, where Weber’s are still highly sought after. Weber set the standard for his carburettors and even now, nearly a century later, not a single part leaves the plant without going through rigorous quality control.
Many a motoring enthusiast will tell you that the design, engineering and technology that has gone into the creation of the Weber is second to none.
Motoring enthusiasts and classic car restorers are not alone in appreciating Weber carburettors, mechanics have a special bond with them too. They understand the craftsmanship and the precision that goes into a Weber. They know that Webers are not designed as a ‘one size fits all’. From Weber’s early days of finding a cheap and efficient way to run trucks after WW1 by using Kerosene rather than the more expensive gasoline, to the ground breaking records of motor-racing,
Weber have revolutionised their technology to tailor their carburettors to the needs of the engine.
Having spoken to a number of mechanics in the classic/sports car industry about Weber carburettors, and having asked them about the idea of buying a new carburettor to replace an existing one, their answers were clear. Upcycle and repair as “you don’t buy a brand new Weber. You repair them.” The parts are easily accessible and when they are properly tuned and installed, they can run for years with minimal maintenance.
One of the mechanics spoken to said, “It’s great when an old car comes in and I get the chance to fix the carburettor, we don’t see them too often now but I feel the satisfaction of fixing some old parts and getting them working again. It is one of the reasons why I got into mechanics in the first place.” And when asked about the performance of a Weber compared to others he has worked with, he said, “others are great, but you can feel the power of a Weber, you can really feel the difference when you mash the throttle.” So yes, purchasing a new carburettor would be easier and less fuss but where’s the fun in that?
Webers are also a common occurrence among classic car enthusiasts. Although there are other carburettors makes available, there is something special about putting a Weber in a classic car, particularly if that car was originally designed for racing. There is magic about the way a Weber functions and the satisfaction of seeing one run after a full restoration is something that only a car lover can fully appreciate. Passions run high for classic and vintage car restorers and amongst them they consider Weber to be the best as they are durable, have improved over time and also have a proven performance track record.
One thing is for sure, people get pretty passionate about the type of carburettor that is in their car. Opinions differ as to which brand is the best but it depends what your objective is, whether it’s performance, authenticity or reliability. Granted, Weber’s are not for everyone, some prefer the minimum of mechanical restoration and maintenance however, for those who know how to use them or are willing to seek advice and want to get the most out of their engine, Weber’s are incomparable. They are designed to respond to your engine’s needs through the depression principle, which gives the Weber carburettors great engine response and as a result great performance. It is this reason why many mechanics, classic car restorers and motor enthusiasts will not use anything but a Weber carburettor in their cars.
This video shows how webers bring like-minded chaps together, often with smiles on their faces 🙂
A rough-and-ready approach to testing what your thinking of buying..
You must agree this little 1600cc Toyota 4AGE motor sounds quite ‘willing’ with a pair of 40 DCOEs helping the engine breathe freely and help it reach it’s full potential.
Webers are Worldwide:
Thanks for reading 🙂
Classic Carbs UK