Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 19-20, 2022
Few names are as synonymous with Indianapolis as Harry Miller. Maybe Andy Granatelli would be up there for people in the know. And Tony Hulman. Well, all three are in play here, but let’s start with this: legendary Indy car designed Harry Miller was approached by Preston Tucker to design an Indy car around a road car-based engine. This was the “junk formula” era.
Tucker then got his friend Edsel Ford to persuade his dad Henry to fund it. Henry ended up making his franchised dealers foot the bill, but the project went ahead. The result was a two-seater, front-wheel-drive chassis powered by a Ford flathead V8. The bodies were built by Emil Diedt, a famous Indy car name on its own.
Ten examples were produced, but just four qualified for the 1935 Indy 500. None finished due to a design flaw with the steering. Henry Ford scooped all of them up, apparently out of embarrassment/rage, and hid them away in Dearborn. They would slowly be sold off to private customers.
This car escaped not long after, and, just after WWII, was owned by a California-based race team owner who had a 4.4-liter Offenhauser inline-four put in it in place of the flathead. Output now is estimated to be 350 horsepower. In 1948, the car was purchased by team owner Andy Granatelli, who entered it in the 1948 race. So the known competition history for this car, chassis #5, consists of:
- 1948 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ (with Granatelli)
He actually destroyed the car in practice and it was later rebuilt. In 1949, it was purchased by Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman and remained with the IMS Museum until 1993. This is a hard car to come by, and it has an estimate of $750,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $830,000.