OldRacingCars.com

Miller ’122’ (1923)

by Michael Ferner

 

*** IMPORTANT NOTE ***

This page details the intermediate results of a research project in progress! If you have questions, corrections or additional information, please contact the author at fines@gmx.de. The main thrust of the research comes from detailed study of period photographs, newspaper or magazine articles, combined with an in-depth data base of contemporary race results. Full documentation for the various claims is always possible, at request, but not necessarily for free – research such as this costs money and, above all, time and effort which is not freely available beyond reasonable bounds! In many cases, original information is contradictory, and only photographic evidence as complete as possible can provide the answers to some of the relevant questions. Therefore, any and all help in completing the photographic record for these cars is always welcomed, and any donation will be treated strictly confidential, unless full authorisation by the rights holder is provided.

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General specifications:

DOHC 8-cylinder in-line engine of 59.5 mm (2’ 11/32) bore and 88.9 mm (3’ 1/2) stroke, totalling 1980 cc (120.8 ci) capacity, two valves per cylinder at 100° included angle, compression ratio upwards of 7 to 1, five main bearings (four plain babbit, ball-type at rear), circa 120 bhp at 5000 rpm. Three-speed transmission in unit with engine, torque tube, bevel gears on semi-floating rear axle, Rudge-Whitworth wire wheels with detachable covers, conventional drum brakes on each front wheel, and a contracting brake on the prop-shaft. Wheelbase 254 cm (100’), tread 132 cm (52’) with the body offset 2 cm to the left, height at top of radiator 91 cm (36’), total dry weight circa 613 kg (1350 lbs).

First batch of six cars built to the same specification, and completed in the spring of 1923, followed by a seventh car built from spare parts in late April to satisfy demand. Three more engines built after Indianapolis for Grand Prix cars (using chassis of the Durant/Miller ‘S8’ type), then three complete cars built in late 1923/early 1924 with drum brakes on rear wheels in place of transmission brake, modified bodywork and radiator shell (“V-type” instead of “wire mesh”), and some of the older cars getting updated over time (see individual histories for details). One special “oversize” car (’2308-Z’) built with numerous modifications, including a widened frame which would become a standard feature on subsequent cars. Engines modified to five plain main bearings at around the same time, superchargers were added to existing cars starting in late 1924, also becoming standard on new cars.

For the new 1.5-litre formula in 1926, many cars were modified with new crankshafts and pistons to make for a stroke of 66.7 mm (2’ 5/8) and a capacity of 1485 cc (90.6 ci), though few ran anywhere else than at Indy in that form. By contrast, the free formula of the many dirt track events encouraged ’122’ owners to experiment with new blocks, giving a bore of 66.7 mm (2’ 5/8) together with a capacity of 2483 cc (151.5 ci), and those conversions remained extremely popular during the early thirties, when a few chassis were modified for the construction of two-man Indy Cars. Drawings (dated April 1929) even exist of a 1.7-litre version of the engine, with a 76.2 mm (3’) crankshaft (similar to the one of the ’91’ type) giving 1697 cc (103.5 ci) on the original block, but it is unclear whether any were actually ever produced, or where and when they would have been used. In fact, those engines could be changed back and forth with every rebuild, so that it’s nigh impossible to say which car ran with which capacity on any given occasion! Some cars were fitted with engines of the ‘S8’ or ’91’ type, and some with 4-cylinder dirt track engines, as detailed in the following histories:

Identification number, year, original owner/driver, colour and number (notes)

’2311-X/2301’

the 1923 Milton/Milton green (& red?) #1 car (1923 Indy winner)

Press presentation at Los Angeles Speedway in Beverly Hills on March 6; new for Tommy Milton at Fresno Raisin Day event (Apr 26) as a temporary #11 but engine wrecked in time trial two days before the race, qualified the next day too slow to make the field, did not start; fitted with truss rods left and right under the frame rails, and repainted white at Indianapolis Memorial Day due to sponsorship by HCS car company, qualified fastest four days before the race with a new track record, led most of the race with the help of relief driver Howdy Wilcox to win handsomely from three other ’122’s; fitted with custom-made radiator shell (HCS style) and driven by Milton in six other events till the end of the year, retiring every time except for an 8th place finish at Altoona Labor Day and a win in the non-championship dirt track race in record time at the New York State Fair (Sep 15); engine pulled and used for car ’2433-X/2405’, chassis slightly damaged in last race of 1923 season and frame (without truss rods) possibly used to build Sig Haugdahl’s “bobtail” car: drum brakes moved front to rear, special body without rear section, but with modified engine cover and steering slot, wire mesh radiator and ‘S8’ type engine (apparently from the 1922 “Durant Special” ’2207-Z’); new for Sig Haugdahl at an alleged price of $12,500 for testing at Ascot Speedway on Apr 1, raced there a few times and then shipped East on Apr 30; raced as an Alex Sloan team car by Haugdahl in IMCA events, then mostly by Fred Horey from late 1924 on (white #40) until 1928; apparently fitted with DOHC Duesenberg engine (from Ralph de Palma’s 1922 Duesey ’183’?), new radiator, tail section and modified rear suspension for 1929 and again raced by Haugdahl; possibly to Oscar “Swede” Anderson from Michigan late 1929; subsequent history unclear.

’2305’

the 1923 Durant/Murphy yellow & red #5 car

Testing in April at Los Angeles Speedway; new for Jimmy Murphy at Indianapolis (May 30), second fastest in time trials and finishing third; retired at Kansas City Independence Day; for Fred Comer (#15) Altoona Labor Day and Fresno Fair (4th in both), and presumably for Ira Vail at New York State Fair (3rd); Murphy (#9) again at KCMO Columbus Day and Los Angeles Thanksgiving Day (3rd in both); chassis was found to have an inherent fault in the rear suspension department, but engine (and possibly frame, too) reused for otherwise completely new car on 1924 lines (bodywork, V-type radiator and rear wheel brakes) for Jimmy Murphy (gold & blue #2), very successful until fatal accident of owner/driver at New York State Fair (Sep 15); bought by the Doyle brothers of California and rebuilt with supercharger for Frank Lockhart in 1925 (white #27), who had a minor accident while driving it for the first time (Feb 19), replaced for LA Washington’s Birthday by Frank Elliott who subsequently bought it (green & yellow #27, then #6 in 1926 & rebuilt to 1.5 litres) and had fine success with it; also driven by Leon Duray in relief, and on a couple of occasions by Louie Meyer, who hoped to drive it in the upcoming 1927 Indy 500 when Elliott found a buyer in Skinny Clemons, who renamed the car “Jynx Special” for Wilbur Shaw (gold #29, 4th at Indy with relief by Meyer), then used the car in dirt track racing (possibly with a DO Fronty engine) with Frank Sweigert and Joe Huff driving; apparently sold to Ralph Malamud of New York in 1928 and used with little success in dirt track racing for himself, then for Sam Greco at Indy in 1929 (black #45); apparently sold to Floyd A. Smith and driven by Wilbur Shaw during the rest of the year with rather more success; possibly fitted with 4-cylinder engine for more dirt track racing with Shaw, Bill Cummings and/or Paul Bost; reputedly acquired by Horace Shaw from New York in 1932 and perhaps driven by Malcolm Fox (yellow? #34) and/or Johnny Moretti; sold to John Voss of New York in 1933 for Otto Burdick (white #58); subsequent history unclear.

’2306’

the 1923 Durant/Hearne yellow & red #6 car

New for Eddie Hearne at Indianapolis (May 30), finished 4th driven by Earl Cooper; with Hearne 1st at KCMO Independence Day and Altoona Labor Day, 5th at New York State Fair and 2nd at Fresno Fair, KCMO Columbus Day and LA Thanksgiving; sold to Harry Hartz for Fred Comer to drive in 1924 (grey & blue #14, 7th at Indy, 2nd Altoona Flag Day & Labor Day events etc.); fitted with supercharger and ”V-type” radiator shell for 1925 and driven by Leon Duray (maroon & gold #28, 3rd Fresno Raisin Day, pole position & track record at Indianapolis Memorial Day, 2nd Salem Independence Day & Denver dirt tracks etc.) and Red Shafer (6th Baltimore-Washington etc.); likely to George G. Abell who fitted a ’91’ engine for Dave Evans, Thane Houser and Ben Jones in 1926 (maroon & gold #33); to O. B. Dolfinger for George O. Abell and Fred Frame in early 1927 (blue #31); to Louis Schneider later that year and in 1928 (red & silver #24); probably retained with updated bodywork and rear wheel brakes for 1929 (red & white #31, but possibly ’2325’!), and also driven by Herman Schurch, Jack Buxton and Bert Karnatz; possibly broken up and frame widened to be used in the building of 1930 two-man Indy Car “Bowes Seal Fast Special” #23 for Schneider.

’2307’

the 1923 Durant/Hartz yellow & red #7 car

New for Harry Hartz at Indianapolis (May 30), qualified 3rd fastest & finished 2nd; mixed season with Hartz driving throughout (2nd NY State Fair, winner Fresno Fair as #3, fire damage & accidents including at LA Thanksgiving, resulting in death of rival car owner George Wade and photographer Russell Hughes); updated with 1924 bodywork and rear wheel brakes, but retaining “mesh” radiator shell, sold to Hartz for himself (grey & blue #4, 3rd LA Washington’s Birthday, 4th Indy etc.), fitted with supercharger & “V-type” radiator late 1924 (2nd LA Thanksgiving); still with Hartz at the wheel in 1925 (grey #6, 3rd LA Washington’s Birthday, 1st LA Easter, 2nd Charlotte Memorial Day, 4th Indy, 3rd Baltimore-Washington, 2nd Altoona Labor Day, Charlotte Armistice Day and LA Thanksgiving), possibly for Fred Comer at Fresno Fair (1st); for Hartz in 1926 (grey #3, 2nd Miami-Fulford, 3rd LA Spring, 1st Atlantic City Opening, 2nd Charlotte Memorial Day), rebuilt to 1.5-litre formula and driven by Tony Gulotta at Indy (grey #31, 11th) and Wade Morton at Salem Independence Day (7th), sold to Ernest Eldridge for himself at Atlantic City Summer (retired), then shipped to Europe and used for record attempts in 1.5- and 2-litre form, mainly at Montlhéry (France), until 1928 when the car was rebodied and run as the “Lea Francis-Miller”; engine reputedly discovered in England by Griff Borgeson, returned to the USofA by Mark Dees and sold to the IMS museum, rest of the car presumably scrapped.

’2308’

the 1923 Durant/Durant yellow & red #8 car (was originally #4)

New for Cliff Durant at Indianapolis (May 30), qualified 4th fastest & finished 7th with help by Eddie Heane; sold to Jerry Wonderlich for himself rest of the year (2nd Altoona Labor Day, 3rd Fresno Fair etc., also #18); updated with 1924 bodywork and “V-type” radiator (tan & red #7, 2nd LA Washington’s Birthday, 12th Indy), crashed heavily at Altoona Flag Day injuring car & driver, rebuilt with custom radiator shell, engine presumably exchanged with ’2329’ and still campaigned by Wonderlich, with supercharger but little success until 1926 (at Indy in 1925 by Jules Ellingboe, brown #10), then Fred Comer (#14); rebuilt to 1.5 litres and sold to Ronald “Bon” McDougall (brown #34), also driven by Dan O’Brian and Fred Lecklider; bought by the latter for himself and Louis Schneider (Indy 1927, tan #43); apparently sold to Floyd Smith of New York (?) who dropped a Frontenac Model T conversion in it for dirt track racing with Wilbur Shaw (“Boyer-Kenyon Special” #3, also Shorty Cantlon and Bruce Miller); renamed “Whippet Special” #1 for 1928 and used in LSR attempts February, fitted with marine-type Miller ‘M151’ engine with a supercharger for more record attempts in April and subsequent dirt track racing, still with Shaw; presumably sold to William Yahr of Michigan in 1929 for Paul Bost (#54) and possibly others; subsequent history unclear but possibly broken up and frame widened to be used in the building of 1931 two-man Indy Car “Yahr Miller” #59 for Sam Ross.

’2325’

the 1923 Cooper/Wilcox white & red #25 car

Actually the seventh car built, originally a Miller works entry but sold to HCS car company for Earl Cooper a fortnight before Indianapolis race; fitted with truss rods left and right; new for Howdy Wilcox at Indy (May 30), then Cooper for rest of season (#2 with HCS-style radiator, 2nd KCMO Independence Day); for Cooper in 1924 (white & blue #2, then pale green following Studebaker sponsorship deal, but retaining radiator shell of rival car company!, 2nd Indianapolis, 1st Fresno Fair, 2nd Charlotte Columbus Day); renamed “Weaver Special” (new owner? sponsor?) during winter of 1924/5 (green & jade #2), 1924 bodywork, rear wheel brakes, V-type radiator and supercharger added for Ralph Hepburn (#17) rest of the year (3rd NY State Fair, 2nd Salem) and early 1926 (#9); sold to Cliff Woodbury/Mike Boyle (orange #9), rebuilt to 1.5 litres (red & silver #36, 3rd Indianapolis, 2nd Detroit June); for Hepburn (white & blue #19) and Jack Petticord (#22) in 1927, presumably retained by Woodbury/Boyle and campaigned on dirt tracks in 2-litre form (2nd Detroit June, 1st Detroit July, 1st Detroit October); subsequent history unclear, but possibly to Louis Schneider for 1929 (see ’2306’!).

’2329’

the 1923 Durant/Cooper yellow & red #29 car

Originally a Miller works entry, sold in April to Cliff Durant and tested by Jimmy Murphy; new for Earl Cooper at Indianapolis (May 30), but wrecked by Tom Alley driving relief; sold to George Wade of Kansas City and rebuilt with custom-made radiator shell in time for Ralph de Palma at KCMO Independence Day (cream & green #12), then Harlan Fengler for rest of season (1st KCMO Columbus Day), but owner killed in LA Thanksgiving Day accident (Nov 29); sold to Fengler for himself in 1924 (cream & green #6, 1st LA Washington’s Birthday), but wrecked May 15 at Indianapolis in practice; reportedly scrapped but rebuilt and engine presumably exchanged with ’2308’ for Wade Morton late 1924 (#18, but possible confusion with car ’2418’!); sold to Fred Lecklider of Toledo (OH), who raced the car in California during the winter of 1924/5 without success; apparently sold to Harry “Slim” Heinle of Chicago and loaned to Herbert Jones of Indianapolis for himself at Indy 1925 (white #29), but wrecked by Alfred Moss driving relief; used by Al Cotey and/or possibly others in IMCA dirt track racing later that year and in 1926 (“Elcar Special” #100?); engine rebuilt to 1.5 litres and supercharger added for Cotey at Indy in 1927 (blue? #35); reputedly stored away for a couple of years until bought by Carl Marchese of Milwaukee, for himself at Indy in 1929 (white #43, finishing fourth in the oldest car present), also used in various “outlaw” dirt track events until wrecked in August; subsequent history unclear, but possibly rebuilt for further dirt track use and driven by Johnny Sawyer, Gus Schrader, Tony Willman, Myron Fohr and presumably many others (see ’2421-Z/2508’!).

’2307-Z’

the 1923 de Palma/de Palma white (?) #7 car

Originally built for HCS/Earl Cooper, but team folded before car was completed; new for Ralph de Palma at LA Thanksgiving (Nov 29) with 1924 body, rear wheel brakes and V-type radiator; raced extensively in IMCA events at Ascot Speedway during first half of 1924 (#1); rebuilt with extra short tail section for AAA dirt track racing from August 1924 onwards (cream #2), tested by Ralph Mulford in practice for LA Thanksgiving, but not raced; supercharger added for more dirt track racing and one board track appearance at Baltimore-Washington Summer by de Palma in 1925 (white #8); possibly entered at Indy in 1926 but did not appear; apparently used by de Palma in dirt track racing until 1933, mostly as a white or cream #1, and with many changes over the years (including a chassis replacement and new bodywork with an ordinary tail section); subsequent history unclear, but possibly broken up and used to build Louis Kimmel two-man car in 1936.

’2308-Z/2416’

the 1923 Durant/Comer silver & blue #8 “oversize” car (“Durant Special” Miller ‘D122’)

Many special features such as 4-speed transmission, longer wheelbase, wider frame and spring base, truss rods, rear wheel brakes, V-type radiator, modified body with head rest and roomy cockpit with “jet fighter”-style steering wheel; new for Cliff Durant at Los Angeles Thanksgiving (Nov 29), but driven by Fred Comer with relief by Durant; head rest removed in 1924 for Durant (silver #16), but used only twice (LA Washington’s Birthday and Indy); sold to Earl Devore in 1925 and fitted with supercharger (silver #24) for Dave Lewis, Devore himself, Glenn Shultz and Lora Corum; to Frank Cramer of Altoona (PA) in September of 1925 and completely nickel-plated for 1926 (silver #17), still driven by Devore (1st Charlotte Memorial Day) and also by Fred Lecklider in 1.5-litre form; retained for 1927 (#42) and driven by Jim Hill, Don Ostrander, Zeke Meyer, Lecklider again and possibly Joe Huff; sold to Rick Decker of New York in 1928 for himself in dirt track events and at Indy in 1929 (cream #29, with relief by Jimmy Rossi); likely retained for 1930 (purple #9) and 1931 (#31, also #11?), also driven by Bill Denver and possibly others; subsequent history unclear, but possibly fitted with Frontenac engine and retained for dirt track racing (Doc MacKenzie).

’2310-Z/2403’

the 1923 Miller/Hill red & buff #10 car

New works entry with 1924 body, V-type radiator and rear wheel brakes, originally intended for Martin de Alzaga who ran short of funds, no driver nominated for Los Angeles Thanksgiving (Nov 29), practiced by Ernie Ansterberg, Fred Comer and Earl Devore, but driven in a last-minute arrangement by Bennie Hill, who won the race and subsequently purchased the car; for Hill with great success in 1924 (red #3, 1st LA Thanksgiving again with supercharger added) and early 1925 (red & silver #3), for Red Cariens at Indy but driven by Hill (with relief by Jules Ellingboe, Cariens and Jerry Wonderlich), for Hill rest of year (black & white) and early 1926 (maroon & cream #16, 5th Miami with relief by Ralph Hepburn, 1st LA Washington’s Birthday); rebuilt to 1.5 litres for Ellingboe at Indy and Frank Lockhart at Abilene (#7); fitted with ’91’ engine and sold to Frank Cramer in 1927 for Earl Devore (red & white #10, 2nd at Indy); completely rebuilt with streamlined and chrome-plated bodywork around a number of ’91’ components (e.g. front axle and steering gear), including many engineering gadgets, and dubbed the “Chromilite Special” for 1928 (#6), still for Devore (with relief by Cy Marshall) and with standard bodywork for Speed Gardner in 1929 (black #48, with relief by Chet Gardner), and probably for Johnny Krieger in 1930 (#80); subsequent history unclear.

’2401’

the 1924 Durant/Hearne silver & blue #1 car

New for Eddie Hearne at LA Washington’s Birthday (Feb 24) with wide frame and truss rods, 1924 bodywork, rear wheel brakes but wire mesh radiator; loaned to Harlan Fengler (with relief by Bennie Hill) and Stuart Wilkinson (LA Thanksgiving) rest of season (#6), for Wilkinson again LA Washington’s Birthday in 1925 (blue #17) and wrecked; subsequent history unclear, but possibly scrapped.

’2405-X/2419’

the 1924 Milton/Milton red & blue #5 car

New for Tommy Milton at LA Washington’s Birthday (Feb 24) with narrow frame, 1924 bodywork, and V-type radiator; engine exchanged with ’2433-X/2405’,truss rods and rear wheel brakes added for Bob McDonogh at Indy (#19) and subsequent board track events; again for McDonogh (#14) in 1925, also driven by Bennie Hill, Norm Batten and Ray Cariens (who crashed fatally with it); for Pete Kreis (#15) in early 1926, taken to Indianapolis that year but not entered; sold to Henry Kohlert of Illinois instead who ran it on dirt tracks for himself (#4), Cliff Woodbury, Shorty Cantlon and/or others; for Kohlert (black & white #23) in 1927 at Indy, but driven by Fred Lecklider, and heavily crashed by Kohlert driving relief; rebuilt and again on dirt tracks for Cantlon, Bruce Miller and/or others; for Kohlert (red & white #29) in 1928 at Indy, crashed by Kelly Petillo in practice but rebuilt and driven by Kohlert, Cantlon and Doc Shattuc; more dirt track racing with Kohlert, George Young, Ira Hall and Ernie Triplett; sold to Pittsburgh business men Roy Painter and Fred Hufnagel in 1929 as “the car that broke Tommy Milton’s heart” (!), for Bill Lindau (orange #46), then Cantlon, Jimmy Gleason and Dave Evans; likely retained in 1930 but possibly broken up to build Reed & Mulligan two-man car.

’2431-X/2406’

the 1924 Vail/Vail ivory #31 car

New for Ira Vail at LA Washington’s Birthday (Feb 24), with wide frame, 1924 bodywork, rear wheel brakes but wire mesh radiator, also driven by Wade Morton in relief; for Vail (#6) at Indy and Altoona, also driven by Cornelius van Ranst and Lou Wilson, then as #16 for Vail, Wilson and Red Cariens; sold before end of season to H. D. Carpenter of Philadelphia, for Reg Johnson (blue #19), Vail and Jim Hill in 1925; sold to Ed Yagle of Philadelphia for board (#19, #41) and dirt track racing in 1926 (#7), and driven by Zeke Meyer, Ray Keech and possibly others; for Keech again and Frank Farmer (#17), possibly Bob Robertson in 1927; again for Farmer (#7), Robertson, perhaps Freddie Winnai and others in 1928; the same in 1929, plus Herman Schurch (?) and Larry Beals; sold to Beals of Massachusetts in 1930 and fitted with a Model A Duesenberg engine, driven by Beals, Mademoiselle Hellé-Nice, Malcolm Fox and possibly others until summer of 1931; sold to Louis Katz of New York for Jimmy Patterson (#32), Billy Winn, Doc MacKenzie, Ken Fowler and possibly others until end of 1933; sold to George Wingerter of New York; subsequent history unclear.

’2432’

the 1924 Mourre/Mourre blue & red #32 car

New for Antoine Mourre at LA Washington’s Birthday (Feb 24) with wide frame, 1924 bodywork, rear wheel brakes and custom-made radiator; for Mourre throughout 1924; sold to Harry Hartz in 1925 and fitted with V-type radiator, originally intended for Hartz himself but driven by Fred Comer (lilac #5) instead, also Ira Vail, Leon Duray and Hartz in relief; for Comer early 1926 (#8) and then sold to Norm Batten (cream #14); sold to Cliff Bergere (#21, later #25) in 1927, also driven by Earl Devore, Wes Crawford and Buddie Marr; sold to/sponsored by William Horn in 1928 for Marr (#35) but wrecked by Chet Miller at Indy; rebuilt and sold to Herbert “Zeke” Meyer of Philadelphia who ran it as #16 until the end of 1929 for himself and others like Jimmy Gleason or Dave Evans; front end used to build Meyer two-man car in 1930, rest presumably scrapped; Meyer two-man car (#21) run until an accident at Langhorne in early 1931, possibly scrapped thereafter.

’2433-X/2405’

the 1924 Milton/Hepburn red & blue #33 car

New for Ralph Hepburn at LA Washington’s Birthday (Feb 24) with wide frame and truss rods, 1924 bodywork, rear wheel brakes but wire mesh radiator and special front axle, engine originally from car ’2301’ but exchanged with engine of ’2405-X/2419’ after one single race; used by Milton for Class E record attempts at Muroc Dry Lake (from late March to Apr 4 – 25.4’/141 mph for the flying mile); for Milton (#5) at Indy and rest of season; for Milton (#4) in 1925, also driven by Bob McDonogh and Norm Batten; for McDonogh (#4) in early 1926, rebuilt to 1.5 litres for Hepburn (brown #19) at Indy and subsequently driven by McDonogh and Hepburn as #4 and/or #9 during rest of year, and early 1927 (#19); subsequent history unclear.

’2418’

the 1924 Miller/Ellingboe unpainted #18 car

New works entry at Indy in 1924 intended for sale, all-new spec but presumably with engine of one of the returned GP Millers; raced three times in the East but then shipped back to L. A. as market had apparently dried up; likely the white car for Eddie Hearne during the winter season of 1924 (#1) and ’25 (#8); possibly cannibalized for parts subsequently, and remains sold off cheaply, perhaps to Al Sievers (see “Mystery Cars”).

’2421’

the 1924 Miller/Elliott unpainted #21 car

New works entry at Indy in 1924 intended for sale, all-new spec but presumably with engine of one of the returned GP Millers; raced three times in the East but then shipped back to L. A. as market had apparently dried up; sold to William “Doc” Shattuc of Kentucky in December (#31); for Shattuc (red #15) in 1925, also test-driven by Ralph de Palma; for Shattuc (#22) in 1926 and rebuilt to 1.5 litres; for Shattuc (#17) in 1927 until summer; sold to Arthur “Deacon” Litz of Pennsylvania and used primarily in dirt track racing; for Litz (cream & black #23) in 1928, also driven by Wes Crawford; sold to Frank Brisko and Eddie Burbach of Wisconsin in 1929 for Brisko (white #28); for Brisko in 1930 (#9, later #16); for Brisko in 1931 (#16), also driven by Fred Frame, Tony Willman (?) and Billy Winn; subsequent history unclear.

’2421-Z/2508’

the 1924 de Palma/de Palma #21 car

New for Ralph de Palma at LA Thanksgiving in 1924 (white #21); for de Palma early 1925 (#11) and at Indy (#8); returned to factory/sold to Leon Duray in summer for Duray (#11) rest of year and early 1926 (#12); sold to Roy Morgan and Paul Rochford of the Elcar Sales Co. in Indiana, reduced to 1.5 litres for Herb Jones and relief driver John Duff (#18), but Jones crashed fatally and Duff was seriously injured in seperate accidents; sold to Andy Burt of Illinois in 1927 for Leslie Allen (#36), Jack Personnet, Dutch Baumann (relief) and Billy Arnold; sold to Carl Marchese of Wisconsin in 1928 and used in dirt track racing (#5) until 1933 (but possible confusion with ’2329’!); subsequent history unclear.

’2502’

the 1925 Durant/Cooper green #2 car

New for Earl Cooper at Indy in 1925; generally 1924 spec but with numerous detail “refinements”; driven by Cooper throughout 1925 and early 1926 (white #5), then Ralph Hepburn who was injured during practice in Charlotte when hit by a sparrow (!); car did not appear in 1.5-litre form until 1929 when Bill Albertson of New York entered it for Frank Farmer at Indy (red & silver #36), but it was possibly used by Albertson, Paul Gimarino, Ted Kessler and/or Horace Shaw in dirt track racing; Albertson drove it again until crashing fatally with it in 1930; subsequent history unclear.

 

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Mystery Cars

’2657’

the 1926 Sievers/Pickard #57 car

Wide-frame ’122’ with custom radiator and “homemade” Sievers engine built by Al Sievers in California, and entered by driver Tom Pickard; appeared early for 1926 Indy practice but failed to get up to speed; entered several times during 1926 (also as #37) but never made field; presumably for Fred Frame in early 1927 with Miller engine, again DNS; late 1927 for Lou Schneider and early 1928 for Chet Gardner in dirt track racing with fair success; probably later in 1928 more dirt track success (including two wins in 100-milers) for Gardner; subsequent history unclear.

’2722-P/2837’

the 1928 Sievers/Schurch #37 car

Wide-frame ’122’ with Sievers engine and some odd features, perhaps built up from discarded parts; used in dirt track racing on the Pacific Coast from late 1927 by Lou Schneider, Jack Petticord, Mel Kenealy and perhaps others; for Herman Schurch at Indy in 1928 (DNQ); subsequent history unclear.

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Last updated by Michael Ferner on 7 Jul 2013.

All text is copyright Michael Ferner 2013 - 2019.