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Technical 1935 Miller/Ford Indy Cars

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Ryan, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. Ryan
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    Ryan
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  2. SUHRsc
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    SUHRsc
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    I've always loved these cars. Almost anything Harry Miller did for that matter, but these '35 cars really do it for me.
    I often wondered what it would be like to build something like this for the street......hmmmmm
  3. nexxussian
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    nexxussian
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    Wow, typical though with something that advanced, wasn't it a $.63 axle seal that cost the turbine car the race?
  4. Searcher
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    Searcher Member

    Great looking race car.

    They even put a scaled down version of a 35 Ford grill on the car, complete with a V8 emblem from the day. A nice touch indeed.
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  5. Mr48chev
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    Mr48chev
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    That one has been a favorite of mine for many years.
    A good site to see the work of Miller and Offenhauser on is www.milleroffy.com
    There are some great sounds there too.
  6. bill wallace
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    bill wallace Member

    There are several very good books that cronical the history of Miller & of course the late Mark Dees book " The Milller Dynasty" whitch covers all of the work in racing of Harry Milller & his associates. The Miller story is a rags to rches to rags again story of a dreamer that gave not only auto-racing but the whole world of automobile design his footprint & legacy even today. The "Inianapolis Speedway Mueseum " has many of Miller's cars including the Ford cars of 1935 & even if you are not a fan of the speedway if you can stop in Indianapolis & tour this great collection of racing & automotive history its a must do for any one interested in automobiles & esspecially tradition. By the way the speedway meuseum has a huge collection of photography that is available to purchase copie by the public.
  7. Dynoroom
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    Dynoroom Member

    Here is a Miller engine you don't see to often. But without Goosen his dreams my never have been realized.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  8. 1950ChevySuburban
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    1950ChevySuburban Member Emeritus

    I had to go back to this blog a few times to make sure I read your editor's note correctly. Congratulations to you and Marcie, Ryan! WOW!
    Miller Cochran.......... got a powerful sound to the name!
  9. 1950ChevySuburban
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    1950ChevySuburban Member Emeritus

    Ya know, as far as engines go, I've always been a big fan of Offys. The performance, the appearance, and the way other engines get compared to them if they even look similar.
  10. Cris
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    Cris Member

    Good luck and congratulations, Ryan.

    Cris
  11. Beach Bum
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    Beach Bum Member

    The Ford V8 Miller was built and run under what many refer to as the "junk formula". In 1929 Eddie Rickenbacker, head of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the AAA Contest Board (kind of like Tony George now), proposed a new set of rules for cars that competed on the National Championship Trail, that required the cars to be based more on production cars. The rules mandated the cars be two-seaters and use engines based on production engines. The idea being to get the engineers at the auto companies involved in developing racing cars and using the lessons learned on their production cars. Nice idea, but it coincided with the depression and pretty quick, most auto companies were struggling just to survive. This rule change really hammered Harry Miller in that all of his highly developed single seat race cars had no where to race.

    One of Harry Miller's shop buildings still stands here in LA. I've seen photos of it on the net somewhere. I'll have to dig them up or maybe just go see if it's still there.

    Many years ago I knew virtually nothing about Miller or early Indy car racing. I was fascinated with Grand Prix racing at the time. I used to hang out a lot at Autobooks in Burbank. The owner used to let me sell some of my photos there. One day I went in and there was a guy named Mark Dees giving a talk about a book he had just written about Harry Miller. Talk about having your eyes opened! I've been fascinated with Miller ever since.

    Kurt O.
  12. fur biscuit
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    fur biscuit Member

    great article, but a few technical notes:

    The Peugot was a '14. WW1 was in full swing by '15 and cars were from the last GP before the war. The car was owned by Bob Burman, who was killed at Corona in '16, before the engine was completed.

    The Engine lineage is correct, but the chassis part is a little off, the last Miller chassised car (I think) will be the Gulf rear engined cars in '37. As a note, if you can get a chance, Miller chassis were not stampings, they were hand worked rails. True artwork. And of course they were indepently sprung chassis, this was was not the first time at Indy, that honor goes to the Chevrolet Brothers and the Cornelian in '14.

    Streamlining was already common by '35, but had not been taken to quite the level of artistry at Indy that Miller did in '35. Miller left Indy after the "banning" of the 91's and the creation of the "Junk Formula".

    Frank Lockharts Stutz Blackhawk LSR car would be a great example of this level of streamling in '28.

    Thanks for the great article, and congrats.
  13. Ryan
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    Wow. This is going to be a good one.

    Great info guys. Ya'll rule.
  14. farm boy
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    farm boy Member

    First off, Congrats to your family. Will that be your second child?
    I just can't get enought of these old racers, and these engines, wow. Miller, Goosen, Offenhauser, Drake, talk about dominating a sport. Hope we get more pics.
    God bless your growing family, OLY

    The cancer car lives
    Give to cancer research

















    offenhouser
  15. 64 DODGE 440
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    64 DODGE 440
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    Great bit of history.

    Congratulations to you and Marcie, you have started a marvelous journey. Kids will drive ya nuts, but they are a great blessing too.
  16. Bruce Lancaster
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    One of the books...I think the one by Grif Borgeson...calls out the Miller cars that went to Europe as the evolutionary nudge moving Bugatti from single to dual cam, I think...
    A great circle of evolution, if I'm getting it right...Peugot pent-roof DOHC design to USA, about WWI, setting off a long period of copies and evolutions, then back to France as a highly evolved descendant, influencing Bugatti evolution. Is that connection accurate/reasonable?? Borgeson brought one of those Millers home to restoration and legal controversy.
  17. SteveLines
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    SteveLines Member

    Wow, is that a scratch build?!
  18. paperdog
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    WAY TO GO DAD..

    my family name is close to the "miller"your using.... ours is spelled differently but sometime pronounced "miller"
    when we were younger .. long time ago ..........my 5 brothers and I were called "Lil'Mills" or "Da Mill Monsters"

    good luck

    start a pedal car design yet ?
  19. Dynoroom
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    Dynoroom Member

    Nope, a restoration of the early 30's Sampson Special. Engine is 2 Miller 91's side by side geared to a common drive line.
  20. atch
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    atch Member

    Speedway Motors in Lincoln, Nebraska, used to have one of the '35 Ford Indy cars in its display. Last time I saw it was when they were out on the southwest end of Lincoln. I bet it's still there in the "new" location.
  21. McKee
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    McKee Member

    Here ya go Ryan,...Miller fonts.

    Attached Files:

  22. McKee
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    McKee Member

    ...and the early one from the Golden Submarine...

    Attached Files:

  23. 8769
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    8769 Member

  24. McKee
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    McKee Member

    Loren Richards makes them.

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  25. JeffreyJames
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    JeffreyJames Member

    Congrats, to both of you Ryan. That's a very cool and strong name. I am sure he'll carry the same passion for this as you do. As for those cars. That's the reason that I'm on this site. I have little knowledge in this area so every chance I can get to learn more is great.
  26. Weasel
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    Weasel Member

    There were two FWD Millers sent to Monza in September 1929 by Leon Duray - the so called 'Packard Cable Specials' and Jean Bugatti (Ettore's son) traded both of them for three Bugatti Type 43 chassis. Jean Bugatti shipped them to his father's factory in Molsheim for "analysis" - see signature below for an explanation of "analysis". One of them was subsequently brought back to the U.S by Griff Borgeson and now resides in the Smithsonian.
  27. Beach Bum
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    Beach Bum Member

    Absolutely correct! Leon duray took two Miller front drives to Europe to race. Ettore Bugatti was so impressed by the design that he traded Duray three Bugattis for the two Millers. The subsequent Bugatti DOHC designs such as te Type 57 borrowed heavily from the Miller design. Grif Borgeson found both of the Millers under tarps in the nearly abandoned Bugatti factory in the '50s and was able to acquire them and bring at least one back to the US. One of the cars went to the Smithsonian.

    Kurt O.
  28. Mike Zenor
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    Mike Zenor Member

    Hots dayum, I dig them Junk Formula Fords. The ultimate hot rods.

    One of my favorite Miller-related Indy cars were the 2 run by J.C. Agajanian back in the mid 50's. The bottom end of the engine was the new Studebaker V8 block, and Leo Goosen designed the overhead cam heads and intakes. They rev'd up to 7500. As best as I can determine only a half dozen sets of the Studebaker OHC head were ever made; Gale Banks scored a pair in high school and put them into a hot rod. As far as I know the only ones to survive are displayed at Speedway Motors in Lincoln.

    BTW - Congrats Marcy and Ryan on the coming new heir!
  29. Mac the Yankee
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    Mac the Yankee Member

    One of the Packard Cable FWD cars went to the Smithsonian, the other wound up in the Harrah collection for a while- I got a chance to see it up close at the Atlantic City casino some years back.
  30. 1950ChevySuburban
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    1950ChevySuburban Member Emeritus

    Just found this one, Miller Offenhauser logo

    Attached Files:

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