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Tom McGriff Resume

Posted by mac miller on January 27, 2010 at 10:24 PM Comments comments (0)

Tom McGriff

P.O.Box 22444

Indianapolis, IN

46222


Career profile for Tom McGriff

45+ years experience at top level of professional racing including:

*USAC Sprint cars and Championship cars

*USAC, CART & IRL INDY cars

*FIA, SCCA & IMSA GT, GTP & WSC cars

*SCCA & CASC Formula Atlantic cars

*vintage CAN-AM, F1,INDY, LE mans prototypes


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Technical experience includes:

*design, construction and development of sports racing, formula, Indy and sprint cars including chassis, suspension, components, systems and bodywork.

*assembly and modification of racing transmissions and transaxles.

*design and technical services of racing tires.

*design and manufacture of racing wheels.

*design and construction of patterns, molds and tooling for composite bodywork.

*design and fabrication of fiberglass and carbon fiber components and bodywork.

*design and construction of human powered vehicles.

*CAD designing of racing chassis, suspension and bodywork.

*aerodynamics and mechanical vehicle dynamics.

*metal machining and fabricating.

*materials application including steel, titanium, aluminum, magnesium, fiberglass and carbon fiber. *application of proprietary components and systems such as brakes ,steering, driveline, etc.


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Current owner: Tom McGriff Design

*consultant, designer and constructor of specialized vehicles, chassis, suspension, bodywork, components & systems.

*designs include sprint cars, formula cars and sports cars.

*deign and manufacturing of components and bodywork for the restoration of vintage formula, sports, sprint and INDY cars including F1, CAN-AM, LeMans prototypes.


Current owner: Mac Miller’s Garage

*consultant, designer and constructor of vintage style American racing cars including:

20s &30s style speedway cars,

50s & 60s style sprint cars

50s &60s style Indy roadsters.


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career chronology:

1963 through 1968- mechanic- USAC sprint car series

1970- metal fabricator- Vanguard Race Cars

1971- mechanic- BFGoodrich Firebird, SCCA TransAm series       

1972- tire technician- BFGoodrich Corvette, FIA GT series

1972 through 1976- owner- M&J Race Tires, contracted to Goodyear Racing Div.

1974 through 2010- owner- MotoPro Wheels, designer and builder of alum, modular racing wheels

1975- mechanic- Chip Mead Racing, CASC Formula Atlantic series

1976 through 1977- team manager- Bernstein Racing, SCCA Formula Atlantic series

1978 through 1980- mechanic- Armstrong Mould Racing:

           USAC Indycar series - gearbox technician & chief mechanic

           USAC sprint car series - race tire technician

1981- mechanic- Tim Richmond Racing - USAC & CART Indycar series

1982- general manager- M&J Race Tires, contracted to GoodyearRacing Div.

1983- transport manager- Wysard Racing, CART Indycar Series

1984 through 2010- owner HuDyn Vehicles- design and construction of human powered vehicles

1984- partner- Autosport Eng- constuctors of fiberglass, kevlar and carbon fiber/honeycomb racecar bodywork. 1985- author & publisher- HuDyn Vehicles, design and construction of human powered vehicles

1986 through 1987- mechanic- Hotchkis Racing- IMSA GTP series - mechanic, tire technician & fiberglass fabrication.

1988- fabricator- EG Composites- fiberglass, carbon fiberconstructors

1989- composite shop mgr- Peerless Racing, IMSA GTP series

1990 through 2010- owner- Tom McGriff Design- consultant, designer & constructor: fiberglass & carbon bodywork - specialized vehicles - vehicle components & systems - vintage & classic vehicle restoration & reproduction.

1990 through 2010- owner- Mac Miller’s Garage- consultant, designer and constructor of vintage style American racing cars including:

20s &30s style speedway cars

50s & 60s style sprint cars

50s &60s style Indy roadsters.


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notable technical achievements

1974 design and construction of innovative two piece, modular racing wheels.

1978 design and development of the first tire pressure control valves to be used in racing.

1984 design, construction and development of innovative human powered vehicles for competition and handicap use.

1985 design of specialized human powered vehicle tires.

1985 author and publisher of a series of books concerning the design and construction of human powered vehicles.


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Current contact information for Tom McGriff


Tom McGriff

P.O.Box 22444

Indianapolis IN

46222


tel: 317-738-6405


e-mail:  TMD46222@yahoo.com








Fantasy Features! Would you pay to see this???

Posted by mac miller on December 24, 2009 at 11:02 AM Comments comments (0)

This is a blog about a day dream…

I grew up in USAC sprints in the 60s. The more the years pass, the more I realize that this was the greatest era of sprint car racing… the greatest tracks, the greatest cars, the greatest drivers, most of whom raced at INDY, and it was DANGEROUS.

The following are the lineups for two 50 lap USAC “fantasy features” that I would pay to see….. First on dirt, at the best dirt track of the 60s, and then on to the most fearsome high bank, pavement track ever !

I threw in a few surprises and even a few newer drivers who may have been good enough to drive in the 60s. 

   Unfortunately, real sprint car racing was over by 1970 when all sprint cars were required to be converted to supermodifieds by adding roll cages.


Here are the guys I want see in the 50 lap Eldora fantasy feature:


#1 Tommy Hinnershitz-Pfrommer Offenhauser #4

#2 Johnny Thomson-Sam Traylor Offenhauser #3

#3 Don Branson- Wynn’s Friction Proofing Spl- Offenhauser #3

#4 Jud Larson- AJ Watson Offenhauser #4

#5 Roger McCluskey- Konstant Hot Spl- Chevy #3

#6 Parnelli Jones- Fike Plumbing Spl- Chevy #51

#7 JimHurtubise- Sterling Plumbing Spl- Chevy#56

#8 AJ Foyt- Traco Spl- Chevy#2

#9 Bobby Unser- KEY Chevy#6

#10 Mario Andretti- Gapco Spl- Chevy #83

#11 Johnny Rutherford- Meskowski Competiton Eng. Spl. Chevy #15

#12 Greg Weld- #92 Dunseth-Chevy #92

#13 Gary Bettenhausen- Willie Davis- Chevy #24

#14 Larry Dickson- Smith Speed Shop Spl- Chevy #

#15 “Pancho” Carter- Stapp Chevy #11

#16 Tom Bigelow- Knepper -Elder Cadillac- Chevy #55

#17 Rollie Beale- Rodeo Bar #3

#18 Sam Sessions-Amerling Chevy #4

#19 Johnny White- Weinberger Homes #9

#20 Bubby Jones- Cheesman Offenhauser #25

#21Jan Opperman- HOW Offenhauser #21

#22 Jack Hewitt- Dunseth Chevy #16

#23 Dave Darland-Fortney Chevy #54

#24 Steve Kinser- McNamara- Offenhauser #73

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Some of the other DNQ cars and drivers at the track:


Allen Crowe- Iddings Auto Glass Spl- Chevy#93

Lee Kunzman-Clamato

Doc Dawson-DePalma- Radio Hospital-Chevy #98

Bud Tinglestad

Jerry Poland

Dale Van Johnson

Walt Flynn’s Enterprise Machine Spl

Eddie Sachs

Duke Cook

Elmer George

McDermott “Woodie Spl” #5

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A few additional comments:

* There were a lot of cars and drivers that showed up for this race. Typical Eldora USAC event except that this one is for all of the top USAC drivers from all years. A lot of good guys are on the sidelines.

* The greatness of the 60s cars and stars is, certainly, demonstrated by the fact that starting positions #3 through #16 are cars and drivers who also made the fantasy feature at Dayton………. using the same car for both dirt and pavement!!!

* A couple of interesting names on the DNQ list are Jerry Poland and Doc Dawson. Unlike Dayton, Eldora had a weekly sprint car show, in which these two guys competed regularly. While these two were regular USAC competitors, their best showings were at Eldora where they had a lot of laps. At a normal USAC race they could be counted on for a good finish but at this particular “all time, all star” race they were a little short

* The final five starters are guys who, probably, deserve a shot in this race but the cars they normally drive do not deserve a place on the same track with the truely great,historically significant machines, that I want to see in this race, so I am giving these guys a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to drive some of the really great cars that preceeded them.

  Norman ”Bubby” Jones was thrilled to learn that he will be replacing Eddie Sachs, for today’s race, in the Cheesman Offy.


  Jan Opperman will be strapping into the HOW Offy normally driven by Elmer George.


  Jack Hewitt, so he could get the full effect of driving one of these cars, came up with an “open face” Bell helmet and red bandana when he found out that he would be drivng the Paul Leffler #16 Dunseth team car to Greg Weld.


  Dave Darland was concerned to see that his Fortney Chevy was not equipped with a roll cage.


  The greatest “dirt track supermodified” driver of all time, Steve Kinser, making one of his very rare USAC starts looked very apprehensive as he looked over his assigned ride............... The wingless, cageless, 8 inch RR tire equipped Mc Namara Offy!!!!


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Here is my Fantasy feature lineup for Dayton Speedway, 50 lap feature............These are the guys, I want to see!!!!


#1 Pat O’Conner-Bob Estes Spl- Offenhauser #9

#2 Bob Swiekert- D-A Lubricants Spl- Offenhauser #1

#3 Eddie Sachs-Cheesman-Offenhauser #25

#4 Elmer George-HOW Spl. Offenhauser #21

#5 Roger McCluskey- Konstant Hot Spl- Chevy #3

#6 Parnelli Jones- Fike Plumbing Spl- Chevy #51

#7 JimHurtubise- Sterling Plumbing Spl- Chevy #56

#8 AJ Foyt- Traco Spl- Chevy #2

#9 Jud Larson- AJ Watson Offenhauser #4

#10 Bobby Unser- KEY Chevy #6

#11 Don Branson- Wynn’s Friction Proofing Spl- Offenhauser #3

#12 Mario Andretti- Gapco Spl- Chevy #83

#13 Johnny Rutherford- Meskowski Competiton Eng. Spl. Chevy #9

#14 Greg Weld- STP “Mechanical Rabbit” Roadster Chevy #92

#15 Sonny Ates- Iddings Auto Glass Spl- Chevy #93

#16 Gary Bettenhausen- Willie Davis- DOHC Ford #24

#17 Larry Dickson- Smith Speed Shop Spl- Chevy #51

#18 “Pancho” Carter- Stapp Chevy #11

#19 Charlie Masters- Ezra Brooks Chevy #21

#20 Tom Bigelow- Gelhausen Midwest Mfg Chevy #84

#21  Al Smith-Broadway Radiator Spl- Chevy #91

#22 Rich Vogler-Knepper- Elder Cadillac- Chevy #55

#23 Tony Stewart-Bowes Seal Fast- Offenhauser #1

#24 David Steele- Dunseth Chevy #92


    _____________________________________________________________


Also at the track but failed to make the feature:


Sam Sessions-Amerling Chevy

Ed Elisian- McNamara Offenhauser

Tracy Hines-Hoffman Chevy

Gordon Johncock-Weinberger Homes Spl- Chevy

Tom Sneva- Gelhausen RE Chevy


*Hines and Elisian tangled in their heat race and were unable to continue.

*Smith, Sessions and Johncock were out because of mechanical problems.

*Sneva and Gelhausen withdrew when the other owners threatened to boycott the race if USAC let the RE car run.


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Additonal comments:

  * I wanted to get that 4 cam Ford in the race so that’s what Gary is driving. We may not have done him any favors because that engine was great when starting in front but not so great when running in the middle of the pack because of lack of low end torque.


* I wanted to get "Pappy" Carter in the race, as well as Ruttman in the Agajanian 98jr. but then I realized that I had specified a USAC race which, unfortunately, eliminated the AAA drivers who were no longer running sprint cars when USAC took over........ trapped by my own rule.


* While most of the drivers are in their usual cars, the big surprise of the afternoon happened when Paul Leffler grabbed David Steele, who was at the track "spectating", and stuck him in the unassigned, beautiful two tone blue #92 Dunseth Chevy and David "put 'er in the show".



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 Who won?????? I don’t know! These are just the feature starting lineups…… so, ......."DROP THE FLAG"............. and enjoy the race.......... if only it could really happen


mac miller in INDY 

wire wheel tech

Posted by macmillersgarage on April 6, 2009 at 1:19 PM Comments comments (3)

The following is a short piece I wrote for a tech forum.  It is about wire wheels used on dirt track and Indy cars into the 50s, but, maybe, it will be of interest to some of the "technoids" here ........

 

 

  WIRE WHEEL TECH

 

 The next time you encounter a vintage racing car with wire wheels,

 look at them with a little bit of respect.

 Wire wheels are very interesting and there is a lot more to the way they work than most people think.

 

 There were three brands of wheels that were common in US oval racing in the 20s, 30s, 40s and, even, into the 50s.  The low buck option was the stock Ford, welded spoke wheels made by Kelsey-Hayes. These were a bolt on wheel..........Another brand that I have run across is the Buffalo wire wheel. They were used on 30s and 40s "big cars" They used real threaded spokes and appeared to be a quality wheel.........  The "top of the  line" wire wheels were the Dayton Wire Wheels made in Dayton, Ohio. This company is still in business. They were used on the Indy Cars in the 30s, 40s and into the 50s.

 

  Most of the good wire wheels were built on the, Euro origin, Rudge-Whitworth metric splined hub. Why? I'm not sure, unless it was from the influence of the pre WW1 euro participation at Indy.  It was always a mystery to me how the most basic part of the most American type of racing used a euro metric standard component....???  Even into the 50s, some of the first magnesium wheels were built to fit on the Rudge metric splined hubs. 

Many of the Rudge hubs were made in the U.S. by American manufacturers under license from Rudge-Whitworth.


 

  There was a lot of more dynamics in a wire wheel than most people realize.

 

 Wire wheels have a radial, lateral and vertical spring rate and can, totally, change the handing and feel of the car depending on spoke count, length and tension.

 

 Ted Horn used his wire wheels for suspension tuning by having wheels with different spoke tensions and/or lace patterns for different race tracks and track conditions.

 

 With today's totally rigid wheels the lateral spring rate is done with different tire side wall construction and pressures.

 

 In the early 20s, Tommy Milton, Harry Hartz and Ira Vail had Millers that were sponsored by DiSteel. DiSteel made steel disc wheels.

   They used their sponsor's wheels during the Indy 500, but found the ride very harsh compared to the softer spring effect of the wire wheels.

 

 Another interesting effect of the early solid disc wheels or wire wheels with aero wheel covers was that when the drivers turned the front wheels into a corner, the air would catch them, like a sail, and cause the car to oversteer into the corner.  For that reason the more common setup was to use the disc wheels in the rear with the wire wheels in front.

 

 The most common sizes of wire wheels were 15", 16", 18" and, even, 20" diameter.

 

  I have noticed that there were hardly any migets that used wire wheels.... apparently, there was nothing available in that size (12"diam).

 

 Some of the Euro brands of wire wheels that, probably, saw action in U.S, racing would have been Dunlop, Borranni and Campagnolo.....

 

 I'm sure some of the other esteemed historians of this list can come up with more detailed information than I have and I welcome them to add to this and,  also, correct any misconceptions that I may have

 

 Generally, the more flexible the the wheel is in lateral, radial and vertical load, the softer and more forgiving  the ride.

 

 Better handling characteristics, such as acceleration, braking and steering, require a stiffer wheel construction.

 

 factors effecting wire wheel dynamics and characteristics

 

 spokes-   

count

gage

length

material

tension

radial angle of attachment

lateral angle of attachment

lace pattern- radial or cross lace

structural friction

 

 

rims- 

weight

rotational inertia

ridgidity

 material

 

 

 hubs-      

weight

rotational inertia

ridgidity

material

Vintage Race Cars!

Posted by macmillersgarage on March 1, 2009 at 8:26 AM Comments comments (2)



There is, currently, an ongoing discussion among collectors, builders and historians concerning the identification and classification of vintage racing cars. This discussion sometimes has gotten rather "heated" among the "real" owners and the replica car owners & builders. 


 I am a builder of "replica" racecars, including Indy roadsters. I have, also, been involved in the restoration and maintanance of many real vintage race cars, including Indy roadsters, so I have a good knowledge of the nature of the business from both perspectives.


While this article is written in response to the dealings I have had with the Indy roadster collectors and builders, it, certainly, applies to the hundreds of sprint, midget and early "speedway" cars that run in vintage events throughout the country. 


 I am in full agreement that all vintage race cars should be correctly identified and classified.

 

   Reproductions and replicas are welcome at most "meets" including Milwaukee, Loudon, California,Texas and Darlington event. I don't think that I would take a replica to Monterey or Pebble Beach.

 


 There are three distinct types of vintage race cars. Here is the way I define them for my purpose

 

 

 #1. Original Cars and "real cars"

Top of the line is the "original", unmolested car, equipped with its complete original frame, complete original bodywork and its originally installed engine, restored and  presented in its original paint in "as raced" condition and preparation. These cars are fully documented from builder to current owner.

  Also in this category are the many "real" cars that still exist. These cars are displayed, run and represented as the real car as identified by their paint job and other exclusive features of the original car. These cars range from 100% real, original cars down to real cars that were mutilated into supermodifieds in their later lives. These "supers" were identified and salvaged by collectors and restored to their original configuration. Much of these cars has been lost, destroyed and mutilated beyond repair.

 Some of these cars contain no more than 25% of the original car that they represent. Many of these "real" roadsters were salvaged supermodifieds with original frames so cut up and modified that new frames are required. Most "real" owners get the new frame builder to incorporate, at least, a few pieces of the original frame tubing to legitimize their claim to the "real" car.

 Most all of the "real" roadsters are restored with new fiberglass and/or aluminum bodywork. Much of the original bodywork is missing, hacked up, modified and/or damaged beyond repair. I have, personally, built over 40 new sets of Watson roadster bodywork over the past 15 years, some for replicas, some for the restoration of "real" cars and some for A J Watson, himself.

  Many of the "real" roadsters, especially the salvaged super modifieds, were acquired minus their OFFY engines. While virtually all of the "real" cars have OFFY engines, the origin and linage of these engines can be rather vague. Some "real" cars have their original "real" engine, some have a "real" engine and some have engines that were assembled from miscellaneous spare parts. Historian, Gordon White, has good records of which serial number OFFY engine was purchased by which car owner for installation in which car.

 Most "real" car owners have full documentation and photo presentations of the history of their cars to back up their claim to ownership of the real car.

   In my opinion, for a "real" owner to claim a "real" car, the car should, at minimum, have its original frame, original bodywork and original engine.

  These "real" cars can be some of the most misrepresented cars in the vintage business.  Most are over restored, far beyond their originally "as raced" condition. Some of these "real" cars are very close to recreations or reproductions.  I would suggest that each of these "real"cars be evaluated and assigned a "percentage of reality" rating but I doubt that many of the "real" car owners would cooperate in a "reality evaluation" of their cars.

 

 

#2. Recreations and Reproductions

  Known, newly constructed cars built, as close as possible, to represent an original existing or "no longer existing" real car. These cars feature new frames and bodywork and original period engine, driveline and suspension, steering, brakes, wheels & tires. Having some part or parts that were actually used on the "real" car adds a few "points", I suppose.  Original style paintwork and upholstery are also featured

 An odd little "continuation of production" classification is part of the "recreation and reproduction" group.  A.J. Watson is the only open wheel guy left, who could claim "continuation of production", but I've never heard him use the term. I have heard comments by some of the "real" owners that the cars A.J. has built in the last 20 years are not real Watson roadsters but I'm not gonna be the guy who tells A.J, to his face....

 

 

  #3. Replicas and "Tribute Cars"

 "Replicas" are newly constructed cars using the style, shapes and design of an original type of car, but, using non original components and systems such as suspension, brakes ,engine and drive line. The various engines, transmissions, rear axles, brakes, etc. are selected because of availability, costs and convenience. Replicas are usually painted in the owner/builder's favorite colors and schemes.  Replicas can range from a rather basic assemblage of salvage parts and materials to top quality, pro built cars. At meets, where they actually run the cars on the track, replicas feature good reliability, low operational cost and fun, worry-free driving, without the constant concern of damaging incredibly expensive and/or irreplacable original old cars and engines.

"Tribute cars" is a new term, for vintage style replica cars, to describe a car that pays homage to an existing or "no longer existing" real car, by using the original paint job and as many of the unique features of the original car as is possible or practical. I guess, the recreations/ reproductions are the ultimate tribute cars but many tribute cars are replicas using only the original paint job.


   One final term, that is used frequently in vintage racing, is the word,”copy”, such as “Watson roadster copy” and “Kurtis midget copy”. I have heard the word, “copy” used, at some point, to describe almost all recreation vintage cars and, even, many replicas.

  For my purpose, the definition of the word,“copy” is a race car that was built, in the same time period as the original car, by a builder, other than the original designer/builder, using the exact design, shapes and features of the original car, with the intent of competing against the original car in actual competition.

  Probably the best examples of the word,“copy”, are “Trevis built Watson roadster copies” and “Ewing built Watson roadster copies. There were also many Kurtis midget copies competing with the original Kurtis cars throughout the midget era.

  While I understand the common use of the word,”copy”, in vintage racing , I prefer the words, recreation and replica. 

 

A couple of comments in conclusion.

* A rule, that I observe in my shop, is that I never use any real vintage parts when building a replica. Any real vintage parts should be reserved for real restoration.

* I also never represent any cars or parts as anything more than they are.


  I thank my lucky stars, everyday, for the guys, who go far beyond reason to rescue these incredibly valuble historic cars and, at great personal expense, put them on the track for all of us to enjoy.  I also thank my lucky stars for the wonderful artisans and craftsmen who help to rebuild and restore the original cars and, can, also take a pile of tubing and a roll of fiberglass and build a brand new piece of vintage style, automotive art. 


 

 mac miller in Indy



 

The Mac Miller Specials

Posted by macmillersgarage on February 24, 2009 at 9:43 PM Comments comments (0)

The Mac Miller Specials

 by Tom McGriff, proprietor of Mac Miller’s Garage INDY

 

 

 Over the last three years, I have had the opportunity to build new versions of three of my favorite race cars of all time, a 1920s Miller style Speedway car, a 1960s style USAC sprint car and an early 60s Watson style Indy roadster.

 

 

#1 Fike Plumbing Special

These projects began when I was contacted by Dr. Robert Dicks of Greenwood IN, about building a new replica of Parnelli Jones’ 1960, 1961 and 1962 championship winning USAC sprint car, the Fike Plumbing Spl.

 During our planning meeting, I laid out specs for a car that would be the most practical and enjoyable vintage style racecar possible.

 This car features a  2.8 litre V6 engine, 3 spd automatic transmission and differential rear axle, all out of the same Ford Mustang. Advantages of this power train are self starting capability, gasoline fuel and repair & maintenance parts are available from any local auto parts store.

 The car is built, using a select combination of production car parts, race parts, and hot rod parts installed on a custom designed tube frame with newly designed fiberglass bodywork.

  Suspension features a front cross leaf spring, parallel mounted rear torsion bars and tubular shocks, just like the original, Hank Henry built, “Fike”

 The car is finished off with a set of, 60s style, Firestone “ribs and diamonds” dirt track tires mounted on Halibrand style wheels, original style upholstery and, finally, the classic blue and white “Fike Plumbing Spl.” paint job.

 

#98 Agajanian/Willard Battery Special

 Following a season of great results and experiences with the “Fike“ sprint car, Dr. Dicks commissioned me to build a new Parnelli Jones, 1963 Indy 500 winning, Agajanian/ Willard Battery Spl. #98 Watson roadster.

  During our planning session, we had to make a choice between building a “recreation”, using real vintage suspension, steering, brakes, driveline. etc, or a “replica”, using all new modern components and systems. We, wisely, chose to go all new and avoided the time and hassle of sorting up scarce and expensive original vintage parts.

 The concept of this roadster was different from the sprint car. It was to be built as close to the design and ”look” of Parnelli’s original 1963 ”Ol’ Calhoun”, as possible, including a standard “Watson blueprint” frame and extensive bodywork modifications to include the custom shape windscreen fairing, large recessed nose air scoop and front suspension fairings.

  The suspension is a standard Watson cross torsion bar, Watts linkage setup with front and rear Panhard bars.  It is equipped with Watson standard, four front shocks and two rear shocks.

  This car was, also, to be built, using the best race quality components and systems available, including brakes, steering, suspension and fluid systems.

  This car features a 2 litre, 4 cyl Alfa Romeo engine and 5 spd. Alfa manual transmission. The engine is equipped with side draft Weber carbs and, of course, that spectacular, OFFY style, exhaust system.

The radical offset rear axle was custom built to my specs, using a “midget” QC center section, “stock car” style side bells and 3 “ axle tubes.  This type of axle was chosen so that we could use a “differential” and, from a handling and installation standpoint, it has been a very good decision.

  As with the sprint car, the advantages of this powertrain choice is self starting capability and gasoline fuel……. Oh! And it is far less expensive to buy and maintain than an OFFY.

  The “look” is complete with a set of custom built Halibrand style “kidney bean” wheels and three eared “knock offs”, dimensionally correct Firestone “Indy 500” tires, original style upholstery and, what was, probably, the most spectacular roadster paint job ever. Pearl white, red and blue scallops and gold leaf lettering.

 

#15 Boyle Valve Special

The Boyle Valve Spl. #15, 1928 Miller replica was commissioned by Carl Schulz of Indio CA.

   As with the “Fike” car, the “Boyle” was designed to be as practical, enjoyable and reliable, as possible, by using selected street, race and hotrod components combined with a custom designed rail frame and Miller style bodywork.

  Also, like the “Fike”, the Boyle uses a Mustang based powertrain, including a 2.3 litre, 4 cyl SOHC engine, 3 spd automatic transmission and stock differential rear axle.

 The 2.3 SOHC Ford engine is, actually, quite a close relative to the Ford engines used in race cars throughout the 30s. Many of them were Ford 4 cyl. A and B blocks with “after market” SOHC racing heads.

  The suspension is a refinement of the original 1920s Miller FWD design, using four, parallel mounted, half leaf springs and custom made aluminum rotary “friction” shocks.

 The car is finished with 4” wide wire wheels and vintage Firestone Deluxe Champions, burgundy upholstery, a Miller style exhaust header and a very colorful white, red and blue paint job.

 

 

 The culmination of these three projects came on September 28 2008, when all three cars participated in a spectacular vintage meet on the high banks of the incomparable Winchester Speedway in Indiana. This event marked the only time that these three cars will ever be at the same track at the same time and all three did considerable track time.

 The Bob Dicks team saw Dr. Dicks driving the #98 Agajanian roadster and Randall Cook at the wheel of the #1 Fike sprint car, while “mac miller, hisself”, was wheeling the new Carl Schulz #15 Boyle Valve Spl.

 

  The Bob Dicks cars run, regularly, at vintage meets throughout the summer. Over the last three years, they have participated in meets in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. The #1 Fike Plumbing Spl. made an appearance at the 2008 Amelia Island Florida Concourse, in honor of Parnelli Jones.

 In addition to the experience of owning and running these cars, Dr. Dicks has become personal friends with Parnelli.

 

The #15 Boyle Valve Spl. participated in a number of Indiana shows and meets including Mt. Lawn Speedway and Winchester Speedway, before being delivered to owner Carl Schulz in Indio, California.  Its first West Coast “on track” appearance should be at the big Fontana “California Speedway” meet in March 2009.

 

 A few final comments on the Mac Miller Specials.

* These cars are brand new, built from the ground up from a pile of tubing and a roll of fiberglass and are never misrepresented as the real cars. They are replicas designed and built for maximum reliability, ease of operation, minimum operating, maintenance & repair cost and maximum enjoyment.

 * These cars are built with all new parts and systems. No vintage parts are used because, it is my policy that all real vintage parts should be reserved for the restoration of real vintage cars.

  * These cars are designed and built to run. While many cars that show up at vintage meets, including some real cars, sit quietly and motionless on display, the Mac Miller Specials are “in motion” and “making noise”, on the track. Over the past three seasons, these cars have completed close to 100% of all lap time available to them.

 

The next Mac Miller Spl, based on the ‘56/’57 Kurtis 500 Indy roadsters, is well along in construction and could make Indiana appearances next summer.

 

Design drawings, parts & material lists, part number & parts source lists and design consultation are available for all of the Mac Miller Specials. Also available is complete fiberglass bodywork for all Mac Miller cars.

 E-mail for information and costs.

 

 

 Tom McGriff

Proprietor of Mac Miller’s Garage INDY

P.O.Box 22444

Indianapolis IN 46222

 

     Tel:   317 738 6405

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The Greatest Time in INDY History!

Posted by macmillersgarage on February 24, 2009 at 9:29 PM Comments comments (3)

 

 

 

  The greatest 10 year span at the INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY was from 1957 through 1967.

 

 

Not only was this the greatest group of drivers in history, including Jones, Clark, the real Foyt, the real andretti, the real Unsers, Gurney, nascar drivers, sports car drivers, sprint car drivers, euros etc, etc, but also the greatest and most interesting cars, including the mid 50s Kurtis Novis, the late 50s/early 60s Kurtis 500G and Watson roadsters, the Epperly "laydowns", "the Cooper", the Lotus/Fords, Lolas, anything from Mickey Thompson, the giant early 60s Kurtis Novis, the beautiful '66 Eagles, and the very clever '67 STP turbine.....

 

In addition to the great cars and drivers from '57 through '67,there were also more interesting car builders, mechanics, car owners and sponsors "per square inch" than any other time in history


Car builders Kurtis, Watson, "Lugie", Meskowski, Kuzma, Salih, Trevis, Ewing, Halibrand, Gerhardt, Gurney, Chapman, Broadley, Brabham, Thompson, Epperly.

 

Owners like Hopkins, Dean, Chapman, Bignotti, Root, Zink, Granatelli, Demler, Gerhardt, Bowes, Wilke, Watson, Agajanian, Robbins, Porter, Yunick, Thompson, Vatis, Gurney, Mecom, Van Liew, Walther, etc. etc................ sponsors like Dean Van Lines, Bowes Seal Fast, Sumar, Dayton Steel Foundry, Bardahl, D-A Lubricants, Leader Cards, Bryant Heating and Cooling, American Red Ball Van Lines, Federal Engineering, Travelon, Belond, Konstant Hot, Wynn's and STP.

 

It was the greatest technical period in INDY CAR history, OFFY vs Ford vs NOVI vs turbine, race engines vs stock blocks, turbos and superchargers vs normally aspirated, Americans vs euros, front engine vs rear engine, Firestone vs Goodyear vs Dunlop vs Sears Allstate, 2 wheel drive vs 4 wheel drive and tube frame vs monocoque.


Ward, Sachs, Bryan, Hanks, the Rathmans, Marshman, Hurtubise, Ruby, "Caveman" Christie, Elisian, O'Conner and on and on.


They even had the best paint jobs back then, from guys like Dean Jeffries and George Gruber, with all of the pearl and candy colors, the classic scallops and the great gold and silver leaf numbers and trim.


But the best part of it all was that almost all of the cars were

 called "Specials", because they were!


1957 through 1967 had it all!!!!!!!!

 

 


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