Oct 05 2011

A Tampa Bay Automobile Museum Challenge: Help Identify This Front Wheel Drive Racer

The Tampa Bay AutomobileMuseum has a challenge for VanderbiltCupRaces.com viewers concerning a recently purchased front wheel drive racer. Here are clues from  Olivier Cerf:


 The Tampa Bay Automobile Museum recently purchased this car in Europe and we would like your assistance in uncovering its history.


According to the photos (the car is still in transit from Europe), the chassis is a Miller FWD from the nineteen twenties.


The engine is Ford model A with a “Cyclone Roof Racing” head and Winfield carburetors. The gear box and differential should be Ford components. We are left with the following questions:

- Is it possible to identify the origin of the chassis through some markings ?
- Does anyone know of a FWD Miller chassis with a Ford model A engine ?
- Miller was thinking of selling the chassis adapted to a 200CI engine, but according to the literature on the subject, there were no sales. Is it possible that one chassis did exist and was sold later? The conversion to the Ford engine should be from 1931 or 32.
- How many FWD Millers are known to still exist ?

Any and all information is welcome.

We operate a small museum (www. tbauto.org) and we have an extensive collection of early FWD automobiles including models from Alvis, Cord, Ruxton, Tracta, and many more.

We thank you for your help.

Alain A. Cerf
Olivier Cerf


If you can be assistance, please leave a comment below.

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Nov 08 2011 Ivan Pozega 9:30 AM

Louis Chevrolet built a front wheel drive Ford for the 1926 racing season but that car was powered by a supercharged sleeved down Model T engine with a Frontenac DO cylinder head and from all reports it retained the Model T frame. It was entered in the Indy 500 that year by the Hamlin-Holmes Motor Co. of Chicago IL. Jack McCarver qaulified on the 9th row but lost a connecting rod on the 22nd lap and retired. Some time during the year the car was crashed at a race in Detroit so i wonder if it was ‘re-chassied’ after this. It continued to be raced, albeit unsuccessfully,  and was still running in 1932 but by then it was called the Ray Day Piston Special. As far as i know, Hamlin-Holmes only built two cars. A touring model in 1919 that looked very much like a Model T Ford and in 1930, possibly the company’s last year of existence, a front weel drive 4 door sedan was built.

Nov 11 2011 Howard Kroplick 9:13 PM

Ivan: Thanks so much for the information!


Mar 07 2014 Kevin parkinson 8:22 PM

If you Google hamlin front drive special you will see in jalopy journal. a remark from great grandson of the hamlin family w some more pics and info

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