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Miss America VIII

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Offset
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 1,708

    Offset
    Member
    from Canada

    JD thanks for the information and the pictures. There is a picture in the Miller Dynasty of V111 being lowered into the Harlem river and it does have the Millers in the boat in that picture. Perhaps then that was only time they ran in that particular boat?

    No matter what the story the boat and information surrounding its history is really interesting.
     
  2. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,738

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    There is another possibillity.

    It could be that the disposable carbs are only used to break in the engines before the blowers go back on.

    But if thats the case, why werent they shown...
     
  3. jimdillon... Thank you for those pictures and the history. This has been fascinating and educational for me and I hope everyone else that has viewed this thread..I love the HAMB.
     
  4. big creep
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,945

    big creep
    Member

    thanks for posting this, this is great!
     
  5. They jump right out and scream "I don't belong here!"
     
  6. Kettleman
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 149

    Kettleman
    Member

    Thanks for sharing. they sounded good in the video
     
  7. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,894

    jimdillon
    Member

    Chaz and Offset, it is true that Gar did run the Millers on the Harlem river in October of 1931 and he thought they may be the fastest yet. There is a nice picture of Miss America IX and VIII side by side being taken out on the Harlem river by tug and you can see the Packards in IX and the Millers in VIII but that was the one and only time Gar ran them that I have read.

    Miss England II had turned some pretty strong times in foreign venues and Gar was finding he may have to try some faster setup to keep up. He tried the Millers in VIII and then tried some roots type superchargers in IX. I believe in the Harlem runs he found the Packards to be faster than the Millers and I believe the Millers were removed from VIII for good.

    I am a huge fan of all things Miller but maybe just a tad more biased towards the Packards (right or wrong). Back in the eighties I stopped in Lake Tahoe and heard a thunderous noise on the lake. I found out they were running old Packard liberties in boats and to this day I am not sure if I have ever heard a sweeter melody. Man they are loud but in a good way.

    Those old boats were real hotrods no matter what ever one thinks-Jim
     
  8. Slick Willy
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 3,010

    Slick Willy
    Member

    The experts stated that there were roots blowers on VIII on the millers.
     
  9. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,894

    jimdillon
    Member

    The Millers were supercharged in VIII but I as I understand Gar was originally against supercharging as he thought it would be the weak link and would be his downfall in the races. The thing that allegedly forced his hand to accept superchargers were that speeds were continuing to rise, including Miss England II. He then tried the superchargers on the Packards in IX to raise the top speed and I believe the first time he tested them was on the Harlem river (not 100% on the first time). In any event I have read the Packards supercharged in IX were faster than the Millers supercharged in VIII. Packards had buttered his bread for years. Once he found they would run strong he stuck with the Packards. Not too stupid as he won in 32 and 33 with the Packards and set speed records with them. Somewhere I have a file with the records he set with the supercharged Packards in Miss America X.

    Gar kept those Millers for years I understand. He knew they were good engines. A winner though looks for ways to continue winning and he knew and trusted the Packards. Not a real tough choice in my opinion. That being said I wouldn't mind the Millers. They are without a doubt automotive jewelry that have set the standard for American OHC engines for years-Jim
     
  10. Slick Willy
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 3,010

    Slick Willy
    Member

    "Wouldnt mind the millers"...I like that;):D
     
  11. Very well said very well indeed
     
  12. iceokie
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 74

    iceokie
    Member

    So what kind of speed did the boat develop?
     
  13. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 18,475

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Oh, bull crap!... I'd mount a Holley on a "hover-round" wheel chair if it would work... ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  14. Man that start up send shivers down my spine, what would you give to be there in person, not only on start up but as it went past at full throttle!!

    You know speaking of water speed records, when are you guys coming over to try and get it back? Ken Warby (My best mates uncle) is getting bored of owning it Since 1978)..........................:D;)
     
  15. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,015

    Torchie
    Member

    Great thread. Grew up in the Detroit area and used to cut school to go to the time trials for the Gold Cup.
    Gar Wood made his fortune building dump boxes.My sister used to live in the area of his old estate. Torn down now and developed.
    My favorite driver was always Bill Muncey. Interesting post about the Mistele Families ownership of the old boats. Back in the 70's during the Gold cup races the Mistele family would put one of the old boats in the water and cruise thru the docks at the DYC with band leader Guy Lombardo in the mechanics seat. Guy was a great hydroplane driver himself.
     
  16. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,894

    jimdillon
    Member

    I looked up the speed record he set with Miss America X and it was 124+mph. The thing about Miss America X is that some of the history written of his decisions to go with 4 big Packard 12s was the talk of a madman, especially when he wanted the engines coupled together. The earlier boats had been 2 big 12s. Gar was looked at as a hero for his exploits with these boats. History has somewhat forgotten the man, sadly. This is maybe where the HAMB helps save a bit of this good stuff.

    In looking through my notes I see that the owner of Miss America X is Henry Mistele and not Howard as I stated earlier, just for the record.

    Also Gar's old estate on Grayhaven was torn down and now houses apartments (called condos I guess). That house even has great history. Some of the Fisher brothers lived in the Grayhaven community I believe and the residents had some pretty deep pockets.I have mentioned that before on the HAMB I believe and there is a pretty good story of how Gar's house was rented to the Outlaw Motorcycle Club. I think they had impromtu rock concerts there as well. Would have to check some old notes though to be sure.-Jim
     
  17. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,865

    Truckedup
    Member

    Very interesting.....So those are reworked WW1 Liberty engines? The Liberty was a 45 degree V12 ,1650 cubic inches,about 425 HP at 1600 rpm.Someones talking less cubic inches,6000 rpm and 2.5 times as much HP? That's quite a rework!!! The Liberty designers primarily were Vincent from Packard and Hall from Hall Scott.
    The 2500 inch Packard was later used in the PT boats....It became a a good nautical engine but was originally a not so good aircraft engine.
     
  18. Ramblur
    Joined: Jun 15, 2005
    Posts: 2,101

    Ramblur
    Member

  19. khead47
    Joined: Mar 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,639

    khead47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have a nephew who lived at the mansion with a few dozen hippies back in the day! Good times (I think).
     
  20. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,894

    jimdillon
    Member

    Maybe I was a bit misleading in talking about the Liberty engine. Gar used them in his early boats in the 1650 configuration originally and then I believed he played with various cubic inch variations (such as in 1926). What I referred to was that Miller in 1929 used some re-worked Liberty engines (making them a 24 cylinder monster).

    The IM2500s Packards were special engines different from the Liberty built in 1927 for air service I believe and then some were modified in the Packard experimental department for Gar Wood. Remember Jesse Vincent and Gar Wood were as close as two gear heads could be. Vincent himself drove Packard powered boats in the Gold Cup. These 2500s engines were placed in Miss America VI for the 1928 Harmsworth races. Gar Wood went for a test drive just a few weeks prior to the Harmsworth and the boat nosed down and sunk. It was destroyed. Gar and his co-pilot were pretty seriously injured but Gar ordered a new boat be built immediately and so Miss America VII came into existence. Problem was the only two such modified for water engines in existence now sat at the bottom of the St Clair river. Gar had divers find the engines and they were brought back up and refurbished. I have read that Gar never even had a test drive in the boats and had them towed to the line for the Harmsworth. He ended up winning with world record of 92+ mph average. From that time forward he used the 2500s exclusively, I am quite sure.

    I guess the reason is I am somewhat of a nut on these Packard engines is that the car in my avator carried the #1 prototype for the Liberty aero motors and I own that particular motor. It is 299 cubic inches so that it could meet the AAA cubic inch requirements and be able to race at Indy and all of the other big races from 1916-1919.-Jim
     
  21. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,894

    jimdillon
    Member

    Torchie you mention the Mistele family taking the boats out with Guy Lombardo, that was probably Harold. He was a great guy. We had a few discussions regarding his boats which he was passionate about. The first time I met him was at the Detroti Yacht Club. They were having a formal party on this super large yacht parked at the end of the dock, since it was too large to fit in a slip. I was just a kid and I went with my grandfather and grandmother. Harold had one of the crew take me on a tour of the ship. The thing that I remember most though was that it had its own ballroom.-Jim
     
  22. Ramblur
    Joined: Jun 15, 2005
    Posts: 2,101

    Ramblur
    Member

    Jim, I don't see the Liberty as misleading,I'm just trying to wrap my head around the lineage. Years ago in Winter haven,Fl we happened to be out on the lakes when a beautiful speedboat named Juneau(sp?) was being launched. Powered by a inline 6 Packard that as I recall was told was a purpose built crankcase and the rest was 1/2 the V-12. They were trying
    out some different props and we chased. First run to maybe 55 mph and all
    we could do. Then after a swap to as I recall a 2-bladed prop they pulled away from us and I think got up to 70 but had vibration or some other problem and loaded back up.It was great to see what looked to be a museum piece on the water and searching for speed. Little cloudy on the rest of the story but something like one of the first boats with sponsons and had been recovered from the bottom of a river up near DC.
     
  23. memaerobilia
    Joined: Mar 24, 2004
    Posts: 191

    memaerobilia
    Member

    Here is a photo of the Miller version of the 24 cyl. Liberty. This is from an album of Miller engines and internal parts and old Miller cars. Alec Ulmann made copy photos from the album and gave me 100 plus negatives many years ago. The large negs are around here somewhere, but I have only been able to find these prints fom them, so far. I have four folders with lots of original tech charts, blueprints and large Original factory photos of the various Packard 1500 and 2500 engines in different configs. The Miss America II had four 12 cyl. Liberty engines, and won the 1921 Harmsorth and set thw World's record.
    I may still have some Gar Wood manuals/catalogues in the files, will look after the weekend. We "had" 175 pre-WWII aero engines-48 WWI & earlier. One of the best was a Curtiss D-12 that was in a Hackercraft from NJ. Had been after one for years, but someone immediately made me an offer I could not refuse, (and financed an even more significant acquisition). I was horrified to later find out the D-12 I had, had the serial number from one of the Schneider Cup racers..Had a fair number of Marine Liberty engines over the years. Was told by a fairly reliable source that a whole bunch of (obsolete!)Vimalert Liberty marine engines had been pushed off the end of a dock in New Jersey, to clear warehouse space.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,865

    Truckedup
    Member

    After WW1 there was about 20,000 Liberty V-12's as surplus.They were good for the day but a huge problem was the short rod bearing life,like 50 hours.It was Allison Engineering who came up with a new bearing increasing engine overhaul to nearly 300 hours in aircraft use.Allison went on to build the 1710 V12 and that bearing design is what we still see today,more or less.
    The mentioned Curtiss liquid cooled V-12's were far better for aircraft so many Liberty engines were sold off.
    In aircraft ,engines are more limited in power with concerns for reliability,like a thrown rod in a plane has to be worse than a boat :D So tuning the Liberty for other uses could mean higher RPMs and more power.
    I have a library of aircraft engine books and that's were my info is coming from.As always ,past technical history can be distorted by subjective opinions...
     
  25. Reprodused vs. restored,carbed vs. supercharged,? personally I dont care! IT'S 2 V16 MILLER'S FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD! AND THEY ARE RUNNING!!! Why ya gotta be so picky for?:D
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  26. memaerobilia
    Joined: Mar 24, 2004
    Posts: 191

    memaerobilia
    Member

    Simmons had a non-supercharged 16 cyl. Miller listed, in his 1940 Gold Cup boat. To compete against other Millers, & 24 cyl Duesenberg etc. Every competitor in the race used different engines. It also competed in the 1939 Detroit Gold Cup, with new record.
     
  27. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,015

    Torchie
    Member

    Yes I believe that it was Harold. I used to watch the races from the city side of the the river then in High School I moved up a notch or two and dated a girl who's parents were DYC members. We watched the races from the end of the DYC main dock.
    Last time I drove around Belle Isle(15 years ago at least) I thought i saw one of the old unlimiteds on dispaly in what appeared to be the closed Dawson's Great lakes museum. Any idea which one it was?
    Karl.
     
  28. Thanks Ryan for this post, ........... amazing
     
  29. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,094

    autobilly
    Member

    Fantastic! Thanks to everyone who posted video or info about this magnificent machine.
     
  30. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,894

    jimdillon
    Member

    Truckedup, there were a whole bunch of Liberty engines that is for sure at the end of WWI. I am sure a fair amount were destroyed. At least some guys had fun with them in boats (and a few guys still do-I sold one in the early 90s that was going in a boat allegedly.)

    Karl no idea what unlimited it was at the Dawson. I worked a bit to get some old paintings from some of the old Great Lakes boats to exhibit in the Dawson, but that went nowhere with all of the red tape. I have a few good memories of the DYC. Time marches on I guess and things are a bit different on Belle Isle today.-Jim
     

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