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Bonneville Indy Roadster


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#1 mac miller

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 23:08

Some of you may be interested in the Watson Indy Roadster that I designed and built this year,
specially for the Bonneville Salt Flats. It is built to run for the XXO/VOT(vintage oval track) record.
The car features inboard steering and suspension, many aero tweeks and a 270 OFFY thumper.
Note the aero wheel disc with Halibrand wheel graphics.

A.J. Watson was in my shop many times during the the build and liked the car a lot.
Interestingly A.J. said that even as a young racer in SoCal, He had never been involved
running a car at Bonneville.

The Johnston-Carbone-Wendt team out of Miami Fla. had a purty good first year "on the salt"
with a top speed of 181 MPH on their final run.

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Edited by mac miller, 11 November 2012 - 23:15.


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#2 D-Type

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 23:19

Very nice, but if you built it why do you say it's a Watson?

Is it Offenhauser-powered?



Edit: Clearly I can't read :blush:

Edited by D-Type, 12 November 2012 - 01:04.


#3 Tony Matthews

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 23:44

...and a 270 OFFY thumper.



#4 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:06

Very nice, but if you built it why do you say it's a Watson?

Is it Offenhauser-powered?


He did say Watson "liked the car a lot", which should put a damper on the "replica" complaints . . .

#5 D-Type

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:12

Well, if Watson liked it, it means it's a good replica. But it is still a replica!

#6 arttidesco

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:36

Looks like an interesting project with an evocative paint job :up:

There is a small possibility I might find myself in CA next year around the time of the Bonneville speedweek, can anybody just show up to see the action ?

#7 GBarclay

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 18:16

Looks like an interesting project with an evocative paint job :up:

There is a small possibility I might find myself in CA next year around the time of the Bonneville speedweek, can anybody just show up to see the action ?


You can, but please understand that it is a very long way from CA to the Salt Flats. Bonneville is on the Utah/ Nevada border at the town of Wendover, quite a drive from California. You are certainly not the first to under-estimate the distance, in 07 or 08 I met a couple of tourists from New Zealand who had seen The World's Fastest Indian, looked at the map and decided it was not too far to drive up (from LA where they were on vacation) to look at the racing. The wife was a little peeved that the drive took almost two full days.

If this is your first time on the salt, remember to bring sunscreen, and I would advise bringing a rental car. I try to keep my own vehicles off the salt, they are never the same again.

#8 arttidesco

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 18:34

You can, but please understand that it is a very long way from CA to the Salt Flats. Bonneville is on the Utah/ Nevada border at the town of Wendover, quite a drive from California. You are certainly not the first to under-estimate the distance, in 07 or 08 I met a couple of tourists from New Zealand who had seen The World's Fastest Indian, looked at the map and decided it was not too far to drive up (from LA where they were on vacation) to look at the racing. The wife was a little peeved that the drive took almost two full days.

If this is your first time on the salt, remember to bring sunscreen, and I would advise bringing a rental car. I try to keep my own vehicles off the salt, they are never the same again.


Thanks for the tip about the distances, I'll certainly be in a hire car or camper :up:

#9 Dave Williamson

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:40

Looks like an interesting project with an evocative paint job :up:

There is a small possibility I might find myself in CA next year around the time of the Bonneville speedweek, can anybody just show up to see the action ?



I went there 18 months ago. It is open to anyone and most all the people there were just so happy to see....and hear....people from NZ (as I am)

"Say, did'ja know Bert Munro? was a commonly heard question.... and no I didn't !

Bring a seat, hat, sunscreen and water, as previously advised. It's not only the sun coming down, but the reflected sun bouncing up off the salt!

There is/are more than one record breaking meeting each year. Look up SCTA (Southern Californian Timing Assoc.) and they will have a timetable for next year (if not now...soon.)

Wendover is only 5 mins from the salt where they locate the "pit" area. There are a few motels there.
It's a one horse (power) town. Easy to find and to get to and from the "track".


#10 E1pix

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:46

Mac, I commend you on building one fine car! :up:

I'll bet AJ was thrilled to see it. He's a great guy I knew a little when doing PR for Buddy Lazier in the late '80s and 90s.

It's only 600 miles from here to Bonneville. We happened by in 2007, totally by accident, arriving 10 minutes after the last car ran ( :cry: ). Gotta get back...

Thanks for letting us see your work! Stunning effort!

#11 ZOOOM

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 13:44

Mac,
Where did you get a REAL offy?
What is the serial number of the engine?

ZOOOM

#12 mac miller

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 18:18

Mac, Where did you get a REAL offy?
What is the serial number of the engine?
ZOOOM



Well. A lot of REAL OFFY parts were gathered together from various places & sources
and a REAL OFFY engine was assembled. It does not have a serial number but new brass
OFFY serial plates are easy to get...... but, it does not need a serial number since it was
not built to fool anyone. It was built to run at top speed.
On second thought, I may get a new serial plate and stamp "270 BONNEVILLE SPL" on it.

Back in 1981, I worked on a car with the very last fully assembled Turbo OFFY engine to
leave the Drake shop. It did not have a serial number. On the serial plate it was stamped
"LAST OFFY".

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#13 Bloggsworth

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 13:37

Well, if Watson liked it, it means it's a good replica. But it is still a replica!



Did anyone say, or even imply, that it was anything other than? Or are you just carping because it is in your nature?

#14 D-Type

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 14:03

Did anyone say, or even imply, that it was anything other than? Or are you just carping because it is in your nature?

I think " just carping because it is in your nature" is putting it a bit strongly.

The first line of the opening post reads

Some of you may be interested in the Watson Indy Roadster that I designed and built this year, ~

without the word "replica" appearing anywhere in the post.

Some people are quite relaxed about the question of replicas while some are not, so I asked the question.

My apologies if you thought I was questioning anyone's personal integrity. I was not for a moment suggesting that @mac miller has any intent to deceive - his last posting confirms he has not.

Edited by D-Type, 14 November 2012 - 14:09.


#15 carl s

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 14:59

The internet medium often fails to pick up the common face to face non verbal nuances that promote accurate interactions and provide immediate opportunities for self corrections and avoidance of misunderstandings. In the pits we have great understanding and plenty of tire irons.

#16 davegess

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 22:10

Excellant, three of may favoite topics rolled into one, Bonneville, Watson and Leader Cards Racing (although you really can hardly seperate the two; there history is so intertwined). That is a neat looking car good luck at Bonneville.

I would say that any motorhead who is in the US and has any chance at all to go to a met at the flats need to do it. Drive hours. Well worth it. Leave the wife home unless she like casinos, and not the glamourous Las Vegas ones but hard core gambling joints.

The athomsphere is unlike any other racing event I have ever been to. Closest would be the TT races of 20 years ago. Lots of access to the cars and drivers, no real pit area that is roped off, just endless neat cars.

Some of you might be interested in the fact taht Leader Card Racing is still going strong. They are a force in USAC midget racing. I think it is the grand kids and great grandkids of Bob Wilke that still run it and Watson still built cars for them up intil a few years ago, heck he may still be at. They won more races than any other car owners in USAC history.