Filed under: History
I was on my way home from the H.A.M.B. Drags and somewhere around Edmond, Oklahoma when my cell phone rang. I glanced at my iPhone to see the name “Mark Moriarity” flash across the screen. I answered and Mark got right to the point. “Hey man, what do you know about front-drive Miller/Fords and backwards intakes?”
Then, he laughed…
If you know Mark, you know he is into some pretty heavy stuff. If he asks you a question while giggling? Well, you know something is most certainly up.
“I’ll send you a link,” he said. “I think you’ll dig this.”
I got the link this morning and was surprised to see that it was actually pointing to a thread on the H.A.M.B. posted by one of Mark’s good pals – Guffey. It seems as though Guffey was farting around at a swap meet and found an interesting looking intake for a flathead Ford. It was a rough casting, featured no identifying marks, and the damn thing appeared to be casted “backwards.”
The odd little intake was cheap, so Guffey bought it and promptly posted it on the H.A.M.B. hoping someone could identify it. Of course Bruce Lancaster, the all knowing flathead genius, knew exactly where that intake came from. When Harry Miller was building the Miller/Ford Indy cars in 1934, he had decided to run his own carbs on top of the flatheads. As the Miller/Ford team prepared for the 1935 Indianapolis 500, it was becoming apparent that the little Miller carbs just weren’t performing adequately. In a frantic rush, 10 or so intakes were ordered from Hexagon that would fit the backwards mounted (remember, these are front-drive cars) flatheads and mount three-bolt carbs.
And here is where the story gets weird. See, Guffey actually has one of the incredibly rare front-drive Miller/Ford Indy cars!
And so there ya have it… A guy stumbles upon a weird intake at a swap meet and buys it on a whim. As it turns out, the intake is one of ten or so ever made and just happens to have been casted specifically for a car that he owns… which, of course, only ten were made.
It’s a miracle.