1926 Miller 91 Indy Car
“The Holy Grail of American racing machinery”
The years between 1919 and 1929 are often called the golden age of the thoroughbred American racing car. During that time automotive genius Harry Miller and the cars bearing his name dominated the sport. In the years 1922-1929, Millers won five Indianapolis 500s, and typically placed at least six cars in the top ten.
Of the total of eleven, possibly twelve, front-drives 91s built by Miller, this car is one of only two that survive in their strictly original form. It was sixth car built by Miller and delivered to the famous driver Leon Duray in the summer of 1926.
Duray would go to compete successfully with the car through the 1929 seasons. In 1929 he received sponsorship from the Packard Electric company, purchased the only 1929 front-drive Miller along with a rear drive car, and the Packard Cable Specials were born. The three cars would eventually go to Europe to show the off the speed of the American racers, and to also promote the front wheel drive Cord road car. Driving this car Duray would set a lap record at the Monza Grand Prix.
Ettore Bugatti witnessed the speed of the ferocious Miller 91, and purchased both front-drive cars on the spot. Bugatti would reverse engineer the Miller engine, and it would eventually be reborn as the Bugatti Type 50 and 51 engines.
Automotive journalist and historian, Griffith Borgeson, successfully negotiated the purchase of the two front-drive Millers from Bugatti in 1959, and they were returned to US. The restoration of this car was done by the Indianapolis Speedway Museum.