Le Mans legend Hurley Haywood pushes the oil pump a few times on the 1923 Miller Grand Prix car. I am packed into a space that most small children would not squeeze into with one arm around Hurley’s shoulder and the other on my camera. Eventually, with five of Brumos Racing’s strongest men pushing us toward the track, Hurley cranks the engine and we rumble toward the end of the pit lane. Hurley floors it….and the car feels like it hasn’t spent a single day off the race track since it was built 89 years ago.
The Harry A. Miller club is a group that meets once a year for two days of track time to celebrate the design genius, and early 20th century racing domination, that Miller’s cars had on the race track. This group of cars that showed up in Milwaukee puts the “V” in vintage. To say these are classics is an understatement of no equal.Race cars built as early as 1907, and as recently as 1963, ran laps around the Milwaukee Mile, the world’s oldest continuously operating raceway, for many hours each day. Alternating between slow and fast sessions, drivers took their purpose built race cars, including several Indianapolis 500 winners, for hot laps around the concrete speedway, which is still used as a modern Indycar race track.
Though proper racing is not part of the weekend’s festivities, drivers enjoyed pushing themselves, and these cars, as far as they dared. For being as old as they are, they are remarkably fast, powerful and are generally in fantastic condition. What a cool weekend of watching and listening to some of these old monsters pound around a speedway again.
If car’s could talk, the stories they would tell would be something truly unbelievable.
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Many thanks to Dan Davis, Brumos Racing team, Hurley Haywood, Harry A. Miller Club, Milwaukee Mile and many many others for an incredibly fun weekend.
All Images © Jamey Price, 2012. All Rights Reserved.