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Miller 122 Rear Dr Junior Eight Special


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If you happen to find yourself in or near jacksonville :  make sure you pay a visit to the  Brumos Collection ...

Opened just before the pandemic - the collection features some of the greatest open wheelers and sports cars on this planet ...

And this Miller 122 Junior Eight Special rear drive Indy car is one of the stars of the collection - 

the current owner - I think - is Dan Davis ...

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This is a long term project that began with my fortuitous purchase of the “Miller Dynasty” By the late Mark Dees when the second Edition was published about twenty five years ago ….  It is now Unobtanium - but the excellent book on Miller - by Gordon E White is a reasonable substitute - if you are playing along at home …

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The Miller in question is a true survivor - it’s restored (it’s 97 years old - give me a break) - but has many (most?) of its original components - and it’s restoration was documented with build photos posted on the Miller on line site - and both the Dees bible and the White “mini” bible published factory drawings for this car - so I just couldn’t resist …

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The Junior Eight rear drive Miller 122 was entered by Cliff Durant in the 1925 Indy 500 - note  - Duarant also entered a light blue Miller 122 front drive in the race.  For the record , the front drive finished second, fairing better than the two tone green rear drive - this car, driven by Earl Cooper, crashed on lap 127 [turn one] but was credited with a 17th pl finish …

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The Miller 122s were the bridge between the Miller 183s and the 91s ….  The HCS special - an early series 122 - won the Indy 500 in 1923 .  The late Gary Doucette kitted this car in 1/25 th scale.  Gary’s work was not as precise as Chris Etzel’s … but it’s still a nice kit - and still gettable on this thing they call the internet …. The Durant Junior Eight Special was a second series 122 with some changes in chassis width - and was supercharged - I’ve decided to build this in 24th scale - just to be infuriating …

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So the first thing you’re wondering is the difference between a 25th scale Indy car and a 24th sc Indy car.  The answer in this photo - the cream colored casting is the Miller 91 chassis casting in 25th sc by Etzel …. The longer chassis  next to it is my 24th sc Miller 122 chassis - this is the master part with engine castings ….  To be explained shortly ..

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Did I mention that this has been a "long term" project ??

I had done some of the early master pasts 8 / 9 years ago.  Miller was featured at the 2013 Amelia Concourse  - 

my first trip to this wonderful event  -  and my most trusted assistant is holding the chassis and body master parts in this photo ...

great opportunity to photograph half a dozen Miller Indy cars - including the Junior Special ...

so my 24th scale Miller 122 was "featured" at the '13 Amelia Concourse - although only for about 1 minute ...

 

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I made all of the basic parts - including a nearly complete engine and drive train - Gordon White gets an assist here - I exchanged some

emails w him and he explained to me That the Miller 122 cylinder heads - 2 x 4 - were very nearly the same physical dimensions as the 91 cyl heads .,,  but that the crank case was larger - this info gave me confidence to make the engine in 24th scale … this is a shot

of some of the master parts with tabs added for casting - this is where Harold Bradford enters the story …

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So the parts were finished some years ago - and then given to Harold Bradford - “Brad” - to cast - when I learned that The Revs Museum had a “sister” 122 - the 1924 “Boyle Special” - well of course I couldn’t make just one ….  Brad immediately set about casting the parts - just kidding- he actually stays pretty busy filling orders for stuff he has sold for years - so the parts sort of languished in his basement until I showed up  again and convinced him to let me cast the body - the pix aren’t so good but the casting turned out well - and Brad agreed to dive in and cast the rest …

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The front engine mount is a cradle that was used for the next 40 years by Miller and then by Fred Offenhauser  -  I’m attaching it with some bolts  which is spec - and will be secure … the Miller race cars site has a wealth of photos  - found one of the crank case cover - showing the fins and bolt pattern …

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The forward section of the chassis is exposed and I’ve got to add some parts to correct scale width and for strength - I think the chassis longerons (think that’s they’re called) are a bit too wide on the Etzel chassis - but mine are too narrow …

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Over the years I’ve photographed a number of 91s and 122s. The first shot shows how the front of the shock attaches to the frame - the second photo shows the shock mount that holds the trailing end of the front leaf spring …. Going here next

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