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Inspiration: a Naked Miller

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mike Zenor, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Super88
    Joined: Nov 21, 2001
    Posts: 387


    I haven't downloaded my photos yet, but if someone else doesn't beat me to it first, there was a half scale replica of a Miller on display Friday that was also a work of art.
  2. marioD
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 231


    He was more than that! Good enough for Bugatti to copy Millers supercharged engine and call it a Bugatti.....

  3. 327-365hp
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 5,423

    from Mass

    Awesome pics Mike!
  4. mctb
    Joined: Apr 25, 2013
    Posts: 7

    from Virginia

    Holy crap. This thing is gorgeous. Didnt even know something like this existed. Will have to sit down and do some reading. Any idea why he went front drive?
  5. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,537


    Thanks Mike! Do you have any other shots of The Gilmore #33? Bob [​IMG]
  6. Cshabang
    Joined: Mar 30, 2004
    Posts: 2,458


    and thats why I lust over Millers haha
  7. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,612

    from SUGAR CITY

    It's amazing....period.
  8. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,351

    Dan Timberlake

    Item 7 here -

    I've heard the lower CG story before.

    The "pulling the car thru the corners" was repeated from time to time and even appered in early SAAB literature, but that is only slightly true when the front wheels are steered significantly.

    These guys clain FWD cars set a fast lap time every now and then, but Mickey Thompson could not qualify his FWD car in 1965.!)-front-wheel-drive-car
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,187


    Thanks for sharing those Photos Mike, one can never get too much Miller porn.
  10. thanks for the pics guys.
  11. Miller built, at least, one other V-16 car for William A. R. Burden in 1932. It was a street driven, four wheel drive, blown, 303 ci V-16. It turned out to be a lousy car with multiple problems. The car is long gone, but the engine is still around.
  12. CBCollier
    Joined: Jul 18, 2013
    Posts: 3


    Hey Guys, I'm new to the forum, but I heard there were pictures out here of the Miller that I have been working on. I work for Ted Davis and the Front Wheel Drive V16 Miller is his. Just to give you a little background as we know it right now:

    The engine came out of the Cunningham Museum in California many years ago. It ended up passing through some miller guys hands and ended up with Ted. The engine is original and not a boat engine. It is 183 Cubic Inch, with a roots type supercharger. Unlike the earlier engines that used a centrifugal supercharger. The story as we know it is that it was built sometime around 1933 or later to be used in a race car for Indy that never got finished.

    The car right now is in the "naked" configuration because it is rare that anyone gets to see the truly artistic part of these cars. The frame, grill shell, and all of the other parts besides the engine where built from the original prints from scratch. The engine is the only original part. The frame is actually just polished steel with a high grade wax on it. We are trying to decide if we want to chrome or paint the frame (yes, some of the original cars had chrome frames).

    It has been a great project to work on, one of my favorites in the shop.
  13. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,693


    Not only that but it also had a fully functional scale replica Miller engine and runs. It now has a new owner and we spoke at length with Bob - the guy that built - no, built is too pedestrian a word - handcrafted that astounding piece....
  14. SimonSez
    Joined: Jul 1, 2001
    Posts: 1,632


    I was lucky enough to buy a Harry A. Miller Inc. brochure dating from 1929 recently and it has the following in the description of the 91 cu. in. Front drive Racing Car ...

    "The Miller Front Drive System has been designed with a view of building better automobiles, that are safer to drive on road and track.

    The entire mechanism including engine, change speed transmission and drive being located at the front where the driving power is applied.

    This system of power application forces the front wheels to travel positively in the direction steered and to draw the car".

    I am sure the CG and other reasons listed in the link below are all correct as well but they didn't get a mention at the time.

  15. John Webster
    Joined: Aug 29, 2010
    Posts: 8

    John Webster

  16. Asphalt Demon
    Joined: Jan 19, 2014
    Posts: 312

    Asphalt Demon
    from Australia

    Absolutely stunning! Is this car being over restored or is it a clone?? I know Miller was known for detail but wow!
  17. Relic Stew
    Joined: Apr 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,152

    Relic Stew
    from Wisconsin

    When you see them side by side, you can see how much lower the cockpit is when the driver isn't perched above the driveshaft. The whole car is slung down between the axles, rather than sitting on top. Aerodynamics should be better.



    The 1930 Sampson Special is a U-16. Two eights side by side.

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  18. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 11,044

    from Tampa, FL

    I think I've hit on an idea to name my next car's faux sponsor - "The Imperfect Circle Special" - which will include a big drip hanging off the bottom of the outline ring around the meatball / number. How could you ever get as wonderful as these cars? Gary
  19. BillWallace
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 132


    The primary reason to go to the effort making front wheel drive is the same today as it was in the 1920s. To put as much weight on the driving wheels as possible. Miller at the end of his career built rear wheel drive cars with the engine mounted behind the driver in what now is regular practice in racing cars for the same reason, putting the most weight where the driving wheels are. There is so much more about Harry Miller & his cars & the people that brought his ideas into the metal masterpieces we see today.
  20. PackardV8
    Joined: Jun 7, 2007
    Posts: 893


    Look at the driver in the photo above. Now imagine running 150 MPH side-by-side on a rough board track, all the upper body exposed and only wearing a leather helmet, no roll bar, no seat belt and mechanical brakes.

    jack vines
  21. MrMike
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 138


    WOW, those cars are as close to a work of art as anyone could imagine, Miller was an impressive man.

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