There’s a special place in Indy auto racing history for four incredibly historic machines that will be part of the 2019 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance, Aug. 4, in Veterans Park. Brought to us from the Mecum Collection, the 1923 Miller 122 HCS Special, the 1934 Sparks/Weirick Gilmore Special, the 1947 Deidt FD Blue Crown Special and the 1952 Kurtis-Kraft 4000 Springfield Welding Special will represent four decades of Indianapolis 500 winners on the concours show field.
The 1923 Miller 122 HCS Special was the first completely Miller-made race car to win the Indy 500. It’s Miller chassis holds a jewel-like 122 cu. In. Miller twin-cam straight 8 cylinder engine rated at 120 hp. It was driven to victory for team owner Harry C. Stutz by Tommy Milton. Milton started on the pole with a qualifying speed of 108 mph, a track record, and with this win became the first two-time Indy 500 winning driver.
The 1934 Sparks/Weirick Gilmore Special with a chassis built by Myron Stevens features a 270 cu.in. twin-cam Miller straight 4 cylinder engine. Rex Mays, a name familiar to many Milwaukeeans, drove the Sparks in 1935 and 1936 when it qualified for pole position both years at 120.736 and 119.644 mph, respectively. It continued to race in every Indy 500 until 1948. It also won the 1934 Mines Field Race with driver Kelly Petillo.
The 1947 Deidt FD Blue Crown Special with its sleek, low-slung Deidt FD chassis features front-wheel drive, inboard front disc brakes, and an Offenhauser engine. Bill Holland drove the car for four consecutive years at Indianapolis for Lou Moore’s remarkably successful team. This car won in 1949 and finished 2nd in 1947, 1948 and 1950.
Rounding out the four decades is the 1952 Kurtis-Kraft 4000 Springfield Welding Special powered by an Offenhauser 270 powerplant. It was owned by Bessie Lee Paoli, the first woman to own an Indy car team. At the time women were not allowed in the pits at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but Bessie Lee didn’t let that slow her down as she hung on the fence watching her team race. Thankfully times have changed. This car was raced throughout the 1952 season by Chuck Stevenson and won the AAA Points Championship. The following year at the 1953 Indianapolis 500, driver Art Cross finished 2nd with an average speed of over 126 mph.
Take advantage of this rare opportunity to see these very special Indy winners up close, along with hundreds of other classic, vintage and historic vehicles at the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance and Show & Glow Paddock Aug. 4, Veterans Park, Milwaukee’s lakefront.
Buy tickets online to save time at the gate. https://www.milwaukeeconcours.com/product/event-tickets/
Check out our silent auction. https://19elegance.givesmart.com/
Join us for the Style & Speed Social on Saturday evening, Aug. 3. https://www.milwaukeeconcours.com/style-speed-social/