1928 Miller Front-Drive 91 Engine no. 20.
Late in 1924, Harry Miller would build his first two Indy front drive engines, each with 122 cubic inch displacement. Thanks to a rule change the following year, the maximum displacement was reduced to 91 cubic inches. Though rear-wheel drive was standard for racing cars of the time, the innovative Millers used front-wheel drive and were among the fastest cars of that era. In 1926, the two Millers entered at Indianapolis qualified on pole and in fourth position. In 1927, three qualified second, third and fourth. And in both 1928 and 1929, they qualified one, two and three. Amazing achievements to say the least.
This Miller engine has an amazing story. Originally owned by the Mike Boyle racing team, Boyle driver, Fred Comer, constructed a unique and unusual intercooler of 72 half-inch copper tubes, each approximately nine inches long, for the engine. It was given to Mr. Crawford in the 1930s at which time it was obsolete for racing, save for the fact that it could have been cut in two and used as the basis for a four cylinder midget race car engine. Fortunately, Mr. Crawford kept it looking like it could have been pulled out of a race car and saved it for future museum display. It was prominently displayed at the Thompson Auto Album from the late 1940s through early 1960s before gifted to the Western Reserve Historical Society by Mr. Crawford in 1964. It has now been part of the collection for over 70 years. While the exact history of this particular engine has not been previously researched, it can be stated with certainty that the unique intercooler is the one Fred Comer designed, built and installed on the Mike Boyle owned front drive he drove in 1928. The 91 front drive engine underwent numerous design and engineering changes by Miller during the five years it was built.
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