The Hornet 60 was perhaps the most infuential racing engine of its day. It first appeared in 1939, just as the development of large racing engines was getting underway in America. It was designed by Ray Snow, who drew heavily upon the design of the 1938 A.C Special. Production was suspended during America's involvement with WW2, but resumed immediately following the termination of hostilities.
During its production life of over ten years, the Hornet underwent a number of design changes, including a "bulge bypass" variant which was developed to meet the challenge posed by the Dooling 61. One of these units was the first model engine to break the 150 MPH barrier. However, despite these efforts the Hornet was unable to keep pace with either the Dooling 61 or the McCoy 60 Series 20. Production ended in 1950.
Along the way, the Hornet influenced most of the model racing engine designers of its day. Among its more notable spin-off designs were the McCoy 60 and the Rowell 60, but most of the other contemporary large racing engines displayed some degree of Hornet influence.
The full story of the Hornet marque may be found in an article on the late Ron Chernich's "Model Engine News" (MEN) web-site. This includes some discussion of the smaller Hornet 19 model which was manufactured in relatively small quantities during the early post-war years.