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MOTOREX Magazine 2019 114 EN

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REPORT DANIEL’S MINIATURE ENGINES: “... THERE’S MUSIC IN THEM !” Daniel Aquilon (76) has been fascinated with engines since childhood. He built his first fully functional engine at age 17 during his apprenticeship as an electromechanical technician. What made it unique: its 1:3 scale. Together with friend Bernard Bussy (74) he has also tried his hand at the Ferrari® 512 TR’s 180° V12 engine. Hailing from the French-speaking region of Switzerland, the ingenious hobbyist has built a total of 25 fully-functioning miniature internal combustion engines. MOTOREX paid the pair a visit. 14

Daniel demonstrates the size difference using an original spark plug. “The spark’s got to take! No problem for the miniaturized, home-made spark plugs.” Daniel Aquilon 1:3 SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL The engine block of the 12-cylinder four-stroke engine French chansons play quietly in the background as Daniel Aquilon works on a miniature in his 14-squaremeter workshop. In the 1950s his father, a mechanic, would tell his son stories about his work, mostly on American engines. This was the age of technical refinements such as hydraulic tappets and automatic transmissions. PUTTING HIMSELF TO THE TEST At age 17, while still in his apprenticeship as an electromechanical technician, Daniel built his first functioning engine, a one-cylinder four-stroke model with 25 cc displacement. He went on to work 25 years for the same company as a plant mechanic. Wherever there were mechanical and electrical challenges to master, he would bring his considerable talent to bear. Again and again he achieved astonishing things, especially for someone boasting neither a degree in engineering nor professional experience as a prototype designer for a major auto manufacturer. The thing that fuels both him and his engines is pure passion. The passion to prove himself, to put himself to the test again and again. Yet in person he is modest and never makes himself or his abilities the center of attention. MOTOREX MAGAZINE 114 I JANUARY 2019 15

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