Tatra Air Cooled Diesel

#1
My fave engines are always old, tough, stone simple, and air cooled. In the world of full size truck mills this of course can only mean the air cooled diesel units from Tatra, specifically the V12 in the 111 and the subsequent V8 in the 138 and 148. The V12 was engineered to be hand crankable for emergency starts, a feat I'm not sure I quite understand considering a diesel's high comp ratio (super heavy flywheel rotation, perhaps?), but one I lust for nonetheless. I mean, any adventure driver can appreciate the ability to hand crank his engine in an emergency, right?

Anyway, I have a friend who's got access to old Tatra diesels, and he's also into wacky engine swaps, too; ergo, he's considering smashing a Tatra air cooled mill into something like an old Dodge WC Power Wagon. The hand crank feature of the V12 sure is tempting to him, but the much more compact size and lower weight of the V8 are more practical for a WC application. Anyone here know if the V8s were hand crankable like the V12s?
 
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