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#76 don.siegel


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Posted 29 June 2020 - 03:34 AM

The Pactra "Gilmore Spl" (Gilmore was an oil magnate) was a 1928 Miller chassis fitted with the 4-cylinder "marine" engine, as raced at Indy in 1932.

#77 TSR


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Posted 29 June 2020 - 05:52 PM

Don, yes. I guess i did not make myself clear enough.

As I mentioned in the previous post, its 1928, single seat body was widened for the new formula in 1930. It was an easy thing to do since the Miller aluminum bodies were merely bolted onto the chassis rails. The Gilmore Spl. had actually a long life and still exists today. It was first built in the Miller shops in Los Angeles in 1925 and first had an 8-cylinder supercharged 91ci engine. It raced at Indy in 1925, 1926 and 1927 without success.

In 1928, Leo Goossen and Harry Miller had developed a low-cost, 2-valve, 4-cylinder engine for boat racing, but rules allowed a greater displacement for such engines, and several Indy racers tried capitalizing on the greater torque offered by a non supercharged, simpler engine. So Wilbur Shaw convinced Earl Bell Gilmore to finance the complete rebuild of the car for the 1928 race, making it effectively a new car, but once more it was unsuccessful.

In 1932, Shaw drove the car again in its wider form, but then left to drive for the Chicago gangster Mike Boyles, and became a 3-time Indy winner, twice in the single seat Maserati 8CTF, the "Boyle Spl.".

The Pactra body is that of the Gilmore Spl. in 1928, absolutely correct with the 4-cylinder marine engine, which it retains to this day as well as its widened body. The car is currently in the IMS museum's basement on loan after it had been sold at auction by Dana mecum in 2010. See its picture here:


There were other "Gilmore Spl." Indy and dirt racing cars, but the one currently in the IMS museum is the actual genuine Miller chassis sporting the 1932 body. After Earl Gilmore sold the car, it raced again at Indy (unsuccessfully) several times. The Gilmore Spl. others entries were Wetteroth built cars, with Offenhauser engines (effectively the Miller marine engine now under Fred Offenhauser's manufacturing after Miller's bankruptcy in 1931), and there is of course the 1935 Ford chassis with the Goossen designed, Offenhauser built V16 engine, the Sampson Special, partially sponsored by Gilmore, another car that still with us today.

Pactra got it right.


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