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Hot Rods Miller Race Car

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Grumpys Hot Rods, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. My friend Denny Jamison at Autohammerart.com has finished his latest project a 1920 miller 8 Indy 500 race car. He built the body for the car. They are loading up for the miller meet in Milwaukee, Wisconsin miller meet. The owner /builder of the car is Mr. Bill Castle. He is a remarkable craftsman. At 88 years young he seems to out work all of us. Here are a few pictures of this car.

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  2. LowFat48
    Joined: Aug 28, 2005
    Posts: 912

    LowFat48
    Member

    Wow , that is beautiful....
     
  3. looks like the William Durant sponsored 183. How complete was it? any engine pictures? I really like the tail section.
     
  4. How cow...that is great...Keep this post current...on the progress..
     
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  5. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    Very nice! My trip for the Miller Meet fell through at that last minuite. Too bad.

    JD
     
  6. Ebert
    Joined: Feb 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,915

    Ebert
    Member

  7. hammerart
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 2

    hammerart
    Member
    from indpls

    yes it is the cliff Durant car aka the baby chevrolet . We do have pics of the engine

    will post soon
     
  8. The Dodge Guy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 121

    The Dodge Guy
    Member

    Cool car with a lot of hard work done to it!
     
  9. Chebby belair
    Joined: Apr 17, 2006
    Posts: 786

    Chebby belair
    Member
    from Australia

    Cool, thanks for sharing!
     
  10. jack hergenroether
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 2

    jack hergenroether
    Member

    good thing some young guy showed you how to post pics on here!
     
  11. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,641

    jimdillon
    Member

    This post just made my night. Bill Castle is a great guy and an unbelievable craftsman. Everything he fabricated for this car is just like Harry Miller did originally- automotive jewelry. I have followed his build and he is amazing no matter what his age. This is the Durant sponsored Baby Chev and as far as true Miller racing cars this engine is the oldest surviving true Miller that turned a lap in anger ( I believe). Buck Boudeman's Sub is a great piece but not sure that his engine saw any real action like this great piece of history did. Here is a picture I took of Bill standing next to his engine and the engine in the car last summer. The bodywork looks great, can't wait to see it. -Jim
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  12. ZZ-IRON
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,964

    ZZ-IRON
    Member
    from Minnesota

    EXCELLENT! what more can you said, a piece of rolling Art
     
  13. publicenemy1925
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,188

    publicenemy1925
    Member
    from OKC, OK

  14. Super88
    Joined: Nov 21, 2001
    Posts: 381

    Super88
    Member

    I believe this is the engine. I posted other photos from the event at the "Millers at Milwaukee" thread.
    Super 88
     

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  15. hemifarris
    Joined: Sep 30, 2005
    Posts: 2,322

    hemifarris
    Member

    Great workmanship and great car!
     
  16. Nitrofan
    Joined: Dec 26, 2006
    Posts: 57

    Nitrofan
    Member
    from Kentucky

    Great looking car, top of the line craftsmanship!
     
  17. Thanks for sharing the pics- Millers have always been THE quintessential race car for me and an incredible balance/combination of form am function.

    In crude terms, Miller was the "Bugatti of the US" (or, considering how Bugatti took ideas from the Packard Cable FWD Millers, Bugatti was the Miller of...:D)
     
  18. 29 sedanman
    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 2,282

    29 sedanman
    Member
    from Indy

    I got to see this car last Wed night before they left with it. As already stated it is automotive jewelry. It is a car that you could study for hours just for the small details.

    Together, Denny and Bill have created a beautiful car and should be damn proud of their accomplishments.
     
  19. I talk to Denny to day and he said the miller extrabaganza was the best show he has every been to.
     
  20. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 24,917

    The37Kid
    Member

    NICE! Thanks for posting the photos & story! Always nice to know there is another MILLER restoration underway.
     
  21. GOONZ
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 153

    GOONZ
    Member

    Thanks again for posting the pics, those cars are amazing pieces of work that a lot of people take for granted
     
  22. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,279

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Oh man! That is really cool!!

    Any more of the inside area?? Foot and hand controls, etc?
     
  23. I talked to the owner a few weeks ago (while the body was in the beginning stages) and he told me that the engine has to be one of the first two Miller 183 straight eights because it has removable heads-only the first two were built that way.





     
  24. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,641

    jimdillon
    Member

    Dale You are correct (actually Bill Castle is correct) the first two had detachable heads. The thing that Bill pointed out to me that I never put a great deal of thought into was that without Cliff Durant's somewhat endless satchels of money Miller racecars might have gone the way of the buggy whip. Bill pointed out Durant's infusion of money was evident in the 1919 Indy and continued throughout the twenties. Although Miller sold racecars, whenever he needed money (which was often) Durant was right there to buy or sponsor another project. I guess we always think of the quartet of Miller, Goosen, Offenhauser, and Stevens as the magicians that made the marque, which is true. Now though I look at Cliff and Miller in a different light.-Jim
     
  25. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 24,917

    The37Kid
    Member

    Jim, I'm not home and can't check my Dee's Miller book, is this the car Ira Vail originally owned?
     
  26. Very astute observation and articulate comments. I've a couple bio's on Willie Durant, the source of Cliff's money, and they pay little or no attention to this amazing set of circumstances.



     
  27. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,641

    jimdillon
    Member

    37, I have often said I will try and write something regarding the early Millers (the 289 cars for the 300ci era, 1915-1919) just to set the record straight but my research is not quite complete. My knowledge of the post war (WWI) Millers is not as solid shall we say, but I will work on it.

    I just spoke to Bill in regards to this and will try to clarify the history of this car. Cliff Durant spent a princely sum ($17,000) in 1919 for a new Miller (and maybe several if things had worked out) and it was finished in early 1920, named the Baby Chevrolet. This was to distinguish it from his 1919 Indy racer, renamed "Chevrolet" (in fact a Stutz). The Baby Chev originally had a T4 engine and not the engine that Dees published on p.57 of his book (the story of that engine is a whole other story). At the new board track inaugural race at Beverly hills in 1920 the car was not quite ready and future work on the T4 engine proved fruitless. Durant gave the car to Milton who put a Duesenberg engine in it for the balance of 1920 and 1921 where it had a measure of success, scoring some impressive finishes. For the 1922 season one of the early 183s was put in the car. There were 2 early 183s (3 liter so in the 181 to 183 ci range) with detachable cylinder heads, this particular engine and Vails car. Note in Dees book the difference in Vails exhaust manifold and the manifold on this car (which is the original). This car has the standard style 8 into one pipe whereas Vails car had a dual exhaust pipe running the full length. With this Miller 3 liter 8 cylinder engine the car was turned back over to Durant and also ran very well and was very competitive in 1922 (including a 12th place at Indy in 1922). In September 1922 Roscoe Sarles lost his life in this car at the board track at Kansas City after tangling with DePaolo. Fatefully the car went thru the guardrail and plunged 50' over the edge. The car burned up although only the back half actually burned and thankfully (if there can be a silver lining) the engine was saved. According to Bill he does not believe the Vail car every survived. As I stated earlier I believe this to be the earliest actual Miller racing engine in existence (that actually raced). There are a number of early racing engines out there that need patrons like Bill Castle to bring them back to life. Thankfully this engine ended up with Bill Castle who put a lot of effort and money so that we can all appreciate what the early racecars and Millers were all about. Great effort on a great piece.-Jim
     
  28. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 24,917

    The37Kid
    Member

    Thank you for the history on the car Jim. Please thank Bill for taking all the time to bring it back to life.
     
  29. ynottayblock
    Joined: Dec 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,954

    ynottayblock
    Member

  30. Eagletucky
    Joined: Feb 21, 2005
    Posts: 719

    Eagletucky
    Member

    I didnt get to see the car last week @ Autohammerart, but I have seen it from afar. This guy only lives like 2 streets away from me.

    Really cool car.
     

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