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Gulf Miller 1938 AWD Indycar

10601 Views 43 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Transmission
Hello everyone, not posted a new build for a while. I've decided to have another go at 4wd with the three ball diffs like I did in my Cosworth. This time in a much earlier car with rather narrower tyres. Its going to enter in John Warren's international thirties proxy so it'll be up against some of the best builders in the business.... aaarrrggh!

So far i've collected lots of images, found some drawings and ordered all the parts. Over the last couple of days I've found time to start designing.

This is where we are:

Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Motor vehicle

View attachment IMG_3723.BMP

Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Automotive tire

Best wishes


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Any "conti" build is great Xmas reading
Looking forward to some good 1/32 engineering, respect my friend
Will be following the progress keenly!
What a novel choice of car. I hope it has more success than the originals.

I just read up on these cars in Griff Borgeson's book on Miller and was surprised to find that they had the first known disc brakes - but not as we know them now. They were like a modern clutch, and have never been tried since.

Harry Miller is one of my favourite racing car designers, along with Jim Hall, Colin Chapman, Don Garlits and now Adrian Newey.. Bugatti copied his (earlier) engine design and became famous for it. Miller went bankrupt.
The livery looks great as well.
Can't wait to watch this build!
The livery looks great as well.
Sadly that is the later 1941 car (and a modern reproduction at that), it seems that the car I am building was silver (there was some kind of connection between Miller and the Silver Arrows) with coloured side pods(possibly red or blue) and it did have red wheels.

Currently i'm going to do the side pods red unless I unearth anything more accurate.

There is a good book about Miller (as mentioned above) and I wonde rif anyone might be able to help me with colour information from that?

Thanks for all the positive comments...
I have the book and it is all in monochrome I'm afraid. There is no mention anywhere of colour schemes, but I would assume that the cars would be coloured as per Gulf's corporate colours of the time as the whole object of the exercise was to advertise their fuel. These colours are not necessarily those we see now of course.

I don't know where the silver arrows connection comes from as there is no hint of any connection in this book. Miller's father was German and his mother Canadian. He was born and raised in the USA and was loyal to that country. Prior to WW2 the Germans were actively recruiting for US engineers with German connections to try and lure some US technological know-how to Germany, but Miller would have nothing to do with it. The book states that his wife Edna told the author that he had received "very liberal inducements to bring his experience to Germany, but they did not appeal to him"
very original . Will follow with attention. thanks a lot for this project !
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For info. and interest, neither car qualified for the 1938 race as they had cooling problems. In 1939 they came back. The side pods were external fuel tanks - b. dangerous. In pre-qualifying Johnny Seymour lost it, hit the wall and a fuel tank exploded. He escaped with light injuries but this prompted the second driver to decide not to race. The third driver qualified 6th and retired after 37 laps with a dropped valve.
Thank you everyone for your interest - yes the racing record of the car is not particularly good…. but that makes me all the more fascinated by it.

Well things have moved on and I have ordered a print form Shapeways of both the chassis and the guide.
Fitting the diffs in was very difficult in such a narrow body. I have had to work to very fine tolerances and this has made the bodywork very flimsy around the front axle 'wing' connection points. I have therefore had to incorporate a part fo the nose bodywork into the 3D print. Similarly at the rear both side pods have had to be used to hide the mechanicals.
It still gives me the majority of the bodywork to hand carve however.
I hope I've thought of everything. I am most worried that I won't be able to get the motor in! I may end up having to cut pieces out to get it seated in place…..
Still having fun, hope it is all worth it. Some of the parts have arrived but others are still weeks away apparently. The body should arrive in 2 weeks or so. I'll update after that.

Tire Wheel Toy Automotive tire Vehicle


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You are a the most totally certifiable nutter in a forum of nutters - I absolutely love your work!

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I would be very interested in a kit if a small series were envisaged .......
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I'm afraid that every time I mention to people that just buying the parts costs north of £300 people fade away, so no there won't be any sales on this.....

Carving has begun however.

Automotive lighting Automotive design Hood Bumper Vehicle door



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Hi Andy, i hope your well.

Iv always admired your work since first i saw your Vanwall, you detailing is

always top notch, plus your models are always not of the norm but looking

at the Miller i must say its one of those things only a mother could love LOL

i look forward to seeing it finished , should be interesting to say the least.

Not many people would even think of making a model of the car, great work.

Mac P
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I've been working on the bodywork detailing.
I've seen people tackle vents in many ways. I decided to glue individual vents on using quarter round plastic. The smallest I found in my local shop was 0.75mm. Smaller would look more scale but these parts are close to the limit of what I can hold and glue....

Cutting mat Hood Automotive design Wood Engineering

Cutting mat Writing implement Font Office supplies Pen

We're getting there.....


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Hello Andy,

it looks already very, very neat and will be perfect when lacquered and on the completed model!

I've also learned that scale details not necessarily always look right. Especially the tiny vents nearly disappear for the human eye when they are completely scale. That's the same for small gaps and other details on bodies of cars.

Best regards

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