Jump to content


Photo

F.W.D. Miller


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 m.tanney

m.tanney
  • Member

  • 341 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 17 March 2005 - 18:58

  Does anyone have a copy of Griff Borgeson's book, The Last Great Miller on hand? One of the F.W.D. Miller's last racing appearences was when Bill Milliken brought it to Canada to run on the road course at Edenvale, Ontario. I know that it was sometime in the early 1950s. I'm trying to find out the date, or at least the year, of that event. I assume that there would be some mention of it in the Borgeson book.

Mike

Advertisement

#2 dbw

dbw
  • Member

  • 993 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 17 March 2005 - 23:05

it's best to be specific for those that may not have memorized dees' book..front drives ..91's,122's and variants [include the miller-fords] and four wheel drives v-16 ,v8 [and we should include the gulf millers]. in today's lexicon FWD can mean a front drive [honda civic] or four wheel drive[basic jeep or gmc truck] i think a lot of four wheel drive cars and trucks are now called AWD or all-wheel drive [audi quattro]..then we get into FFD,FRD,RRD,MRD and so on.....

i suspect you're referring to the V8 powered four wheel drive..however,didn't it have a 4 cyl offy by then? i know that one of the two 4-cam V8 engines was installed in bunny phillips gp bugatti [where it remains today]..the other car went to buck boudiman but i don't know where it is now..somebody should.

#3 m.tanney

m.tanney
  • Member

  • 341 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 18 March 2005 - 00:59

DBW,

  Yes, I was referring to the 308ci V-8 engined four wheel drive machine. That car is the subject of Griff Borgeson's last book The Last Great Miller, mentioned above. The particular car that I am interested in is known as the FWD Miller after the Four Wheel Drive Co., a truck manufacturer that financed its construction and sponsored it at the Indy 500. The FWD Co. owned the car until 1984 when it sold it to Buck Boudeman. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, FWD loaned the car to Bill Milliken who used it for road racing and hillclimbs.
  I now know that the date of the Miller's appearance at Edenvale was May 25, 1952. Milliken used it to win the 5 lap novice race (I assume that was novices to Edenvale or Canadian racing as Milliken was an experienced driver) and finished second to an Allard in the 15 lap Grand Prix.

#4 TooTall

TooTall
  • Member

  • 336 posts
  • Joined: February 05

Posted 18 March 2005 - 01:03

According to Borgeson in The Last Great Miller: The Four Wheel Drive Indy Car Milliken competed at the Edenvale Airport, Ontario, Canada on May 21, 1952. It also notes he placed "First in first event, second in second, fastest lap." After Edenvale he ran the car four more times, the last being the Niagara Falls Speed Trials on Sept. 20, 1953. And yes, it did have a 255 c.i Offy by that time. Buck Boudiman sold it to Bob Rubin in 1989. Again, all according to Boregson.

Cheers,

Kurt Oblinger

#5 Cynic

Cynic
  • Member

  • 158 posts
  • Joined: August 04

Posted 18 March 2005 - 01:04

Mike,

According to "The Last Great Miller: The Four Wheel Drive Indy Car", page 282, Milliken drove the car at Edenvale Airpoprt, Ontario, Canada, on May 25, 1952. He was first in the first event, second in the second, and took fastest lap.

The engine is not identified, but the book includes (page 286) a copy of letter dated July 9, 1949, in which it is stated that the car "...was originally powered by a V-8, but this was subsequently replaced by the present four cylinder 255-cubic inch engine." This would certainly have to be an Offy.

David Seibert

Edit: Kurt, we were posting answers at the same time. The correct date is May 25; I think you picked up the date of the Mt. Equinox Hill Climb.

#6 TooTall

TooTall
  • Member

  • 336 posts
  • Joined: February 05

Posted 18 March 2005 - 02:20

David,

You're right! May 25 is the correct date. Thats what I get for holding a book in one hand and typing with the other.

Cheers,

Kurt

#7 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 26 August 2008 - 08:19

Originally posted by TooTall
And yes, it did have a 255 c.i Offy by that time.

Originally posted by Cynic
The engine is not identified, but the book includes (page 286) a copy of letter dated July 9, 1949, in which it is stated that the car "...was originally powered by a V-8, but this was subsequently replaced by the present four cylinder 255-cubic inch engine." This would certainly have to be an Offy.

Found this by chance (doing some research on Miller 255 engines ;)), but the engine in the FWD Miller was not an Offy; it was actually built (in early 1934) when Offenhauser was not yet in the business of manufacturing engines. Since it was also after the time of the Miller bankruptcy (July of 1933), it is one of possibly no more than two "grey" Miller 255 engines. It was built by Frank Brisko, using castings made by Dick Loynes (who owned the original Miller patterns) and moving parts manufactured by Offenhauser, much like Louie Meyer built the other "grey" one. Both engines are generally (and properly) refered to as Miller engines, as are a few 220 engines produced during the same time through similar circumstances.

Offenhauser engine production began in the fall of that year with the Midget engines, and continued with Big Car engines of the Miller type (220 & 255, respectively) in 1935.