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Old 09-19-2012, 10:13 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default Pre-War Inhibitions



My favorite period for American innovation in general was the 1930's. Prior to WWII, the brilliant minds of our land weren't as concerned with measurable results as they were with just plain old invention. Guys like Howard Hughes were throwing caut...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.

Last edited by Ryan; 09-19-2012 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:43 AM   #2
Flipper
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

I see that it has the same independent front and rear suspension that the indy cars got. Cool.

I had a chance to look at a 1935-ish Miller indy car. I was very impressed. It was elegantly simple in way the suspension subframes bolted to the main frame rails.











Sometimes I think I was born 50 years too late, but other times I'm glad I'm in this time period. Today the average guy has better access to cool tools...and air conditioning.
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Last edited by Flipper; 09-19-2012 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:23 AM   #3
Mac the Yankee
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

...so they were uninihibited, then ? (sorry, it's the teacher in me)
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

The specs on those sketches are something. Does get you thinking about it. Someone should build one!
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

I would be happy just to find a belly tanker!
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

From 110 hp... to 160hp... on paper!!! That's awesome!!
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

So which HAMBer is going to build it?
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:25 PM   #8
Rusty O'Toole
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Harry Miller, the greatest automotive genius America ever produced. Originated the Miller racing cars (176 MPH from 91 cu in, DOHC straight eight, supercharged, in 1925) which gave birth to the Offenhouser and Meyer Drake engines that were still winning at Indianapolis 40 years later. Built one of the first motorcycles in the US. Invented the outboard motor which he gave to his neighbor Ole Evinrude.

Even he didn't know where all his ideas came from. He believed they were put into his brain by some outside force, but he didn't know how or why.

Last race car he built was a similar looking rear engine Indianapolis racer in the forties. Twenty years before the rear engine cars came to dominate there.

Friend of Preston Tucker and gave Tucker the idea for his rear engine car.

He did all right until the Year of the Locust (1929). After that it seemed like America no longer needed someone capable of building such brilliantly conceived but expensive machines.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

Nice 'conversation starter' there Ryan.
Harry Miller was definitely an 'outside the box thinker'.
Thanks.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

Man it a bummer they never got a prototype together.. If it had made it into today it would really be something to see... I have deep respect for the people of that era, designing and building things, in a lot of cases just to see if they could actually do it..
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:19 PM   #11
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

I'm wondering to what extent, if any, Miller may have been influenced by the mid-engined Auto Union racers designed by Dr. Porsche in the mid thirties?
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatnikPirate View Post
I'm wondering to what extent, if any, Miller may have been influenced by the mid-engined Auto Union racers designed by Dr. Porsche in the mid thirties?
(Later. Further research reveals I was wrong. The Miller-Hibbard sports car was designed AFTER the Ford race car meaning after 1935. So they may have known about the Auto Union race car)


Doubt there is any connection. From the drawings it appears the car was designed about 1931 or 32. Miller was working on the 1935 Indianapolis Ford (seen above) starting in 1933 or 34. The first Auto Union rear engine race car was built in 1933.

Miller may have seen a grainy newspaper photo of the Auto Union after a race but that is about it. Even that would have been after he did the drawings in the Jalopy Journal article.

The idea of a rear engine car was very much in the air at that time. John Tjaarda designed a series of rear engine "Sterkenburg" cars for the Briggs body company in the twenties which culminated in a streamlined rear engine sedan shown at the Century of Progress Exhibition in Chicago in 1933. This car was redesigned into the Lincoln Zephyr.

Many forward thinking designers were experimenting with front wheel drive and rear engine ideas. Miller had been building front drive race cars since the early twenties. I guess he felt it was time to try a rear engine car.

Last edited by Rusty O'Toole; 09-19-2012 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

Great story Boss. Wow, Auto Union pic above sure looks like it, wonder which came first. Either way, elegant little car, sort of a track-nosed, boat-tailed, 2-seater belly tank!
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:23 PM   #14
Rusty O'Toole
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The Miller car does bear a remarkable resemblance to a Mercedes rear engine sports car from the thirties.

http://www.roadandtrack.com/special-...-in-california

As this car debuted in March 1934, long after the Miller drawings were made, this is no more than a remarkable coincidence or great engineers drawing similar conclusions from the same data.

http://www.emercedesbenz.com/autos/m...benz-vehicles/

Unless you believe in thought transference or telepathy. Miller himself said he didn't know where is ideas came from.......

...............................................Lat er..............................................

I was wrong. A little research revealed the Miller-Hibbard car came AFTER the Ford race car. So they very well may have heard of the Auto Union and Mercedes cars.

Last edited by Rusty O'Toole; 09-19-2012 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

Some years apart, but I wonder if this may have influenced the 1948 Norman Timbs / Emil Diedt Roadster? Seems a bit like a streamlined update of the Miller idea....
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:05 AM   #16
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

[QUOTE=Rusty O'Toole

The idea of a rear engine car was very much in the air at that time....

Many forward thinking designers were experimenting with front wheel drive and rear engine ideas. Miller had been building front drive race cars since the early twenties. I guess he felt it was time to try a rear engine car.[/QUOTE]

You're right. I love looking at the drawings of automotive dreamers like H. Miller and in poking around I came across some interesting stuff from the same general period, such as the futuristic designs of Josef Ganz from the 1920s and early 1930s and the amazing Alfa Romeo Aerospider from 1935!
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:32 AM   #17
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

Ryan, I couldn't agree more. Your words are perfect, and so true! Miller, ahh... the man!
I often think about his genius ideas and his troubles with money and investors, what a wild time it must have been.

I have a parts pile for a special speedster I will get at someday. Anyone with an old time contraption, is more then welcome to race on the beaches of NJ this October the 20th if you dare! It was days like those I wish I could reach out and grab!



Great Thread!!!
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:55 AM   #18
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

"You're right. I love looking at the drawings of automotive dreamers like H. Miller and in poking around I came across some interesting stuff from the same general period, such as the futuristic designs of Josef Ganz from the 1920s and early 1930s and the amazing Alfa Romeo Aerospider from 1935!"

Get a load of the Burney Streamline, a rear engine car by zeppelin designer Sir Dennistoun Burney

http://www.carstyling.ru/ru/entry/Bu...reamline_1930/
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:17 AM   #19
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Default Re: Pre-War Inhibitions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty O'Toole View Post
"You're right. I love looking at the drawings of automotive dreamers like H. Miller and in poking around I came across some interesting stuff from the same general period, such as the futuristic designs of Josef Ganz from the 1920s and early 1930s and the amazing Alfa Romeo Aerospider from 1935!"

Get a load of the Burney Streamline, a rear engine car by zeppelin designer Sir Dennistoun Burney

http://www.carstyling.ru/ru/entry/Bu...reamline_1930/
With a big motor hanging out the back, it looks like it would be a wheelie poppin' mofo!



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Old 09-20-2012, 07:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtyest Devil View Post
Ryan, I couldn't agree more. Your words are perfect, and so true! Miller, ahh... the man!
I often think about his genius ideas and his troubles with money and investors, what a wild time it must have been.

I have a parts pile for a special speedster I will get at someday. Anyone with an old time contraption, is more then welcome to race on the beaches of NJ this October the 20th if you dare! It was days like those I wish I could reach out and grab!



Great Thread!!!

Real cool flyer! Is it BYOB or is the Fire Dept. bringing the beer?
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