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Miller Meet at Milwaukee Masterpiece Wooed Rodders

Miller Meet at Milwaukee Masterpiece Wooed Rodders


Model A with Offy motor.


There’s a thin line between rodding and racing. The first hot rods were dry lake racing roadsters. Camshaft wizard Ed Iskendarian told me the “hot rod” derived from “hot roadster.”  Well, there were plenty of roadsters and raceabouts circling the Milwaukee Mile when the 2014 “Millers at Milwaukee” racing car meet took place on July 11-12. Over 52 cars took part in the 20th anniversary meet.

Flattie V-8 powers Lou Natenshon’s car. 

The hot rodders who come to this event can usually be seen with their heads under the hoods of the old racing cars. Whether it was the Offenhauser race engine stuffed into a Model A coupe or the 169-cid 1940 Champion six in a Studebaker dirt track car, the early racing technology and the vintage speed parts attracted lots of stares from hot rodders. After all, when is the last time you saw a finned aluminum cylinder head on a Studebaker flathead six?

Offy engine powers this Model A Ford

Auctioneer Dana Mecum, of Walworth, Wis., brought his ‘33 Fred Frame Ford roadster with Cote Motor Co. graphics. Cote Motor Co. was a New England Ford dealership owned by Arthur V. Cote, who also owned Ford Power Products of Boston, Mass. This car is often considered the first American stock racing car. Another attention getter was the engine in a 1930 Duesenberg racing car, which was also driven by Fred Frame. Miles Collier and the Revs Institute for Auto Research own this racing car, which is based in Naples, Fla. It has a straight eight with twin overhead cams, four valves per cylinder and a supercharger.

1940 Studebaker Champion Six in race-prepped trim.

The engine in Bill Hoff’s 1924 Bentley from Pecatonica, Ill., was another motor that often had a crowd of hot rodders around it. However, the same folks took a big liking to Lou Natenshon’s “junk formula” Ford with “flattie” V-8 power.  There's nothing rodders like better thank seeing the insides of a roaring roadster!

Dana Mecum’s 1933 Cote Ford.