The Miller/Offenhauser Historical Society

Christie's sale of Bob Sutherland's Miller race cars
The Derby-Miller at Pebble Beach


The late Bob Sutherland's racing car collection was auctioned by Christie's at Pebble Beach.  Unfortunately, none of the Miller cars were currently running.

    1919 TNT - Sold at $170,000.
    1924 122 rear-drive - Bid to $440,000, did not sell.
    1928 91 rear-drive (Majestic Special) - Sold at $150,000.
    1939 Bowes Seal Fast Special - Bid to $160,000, did not sell.
    1941 Miller-Ford-Novi - Bid to $500,000, did not sell.

Christie's Auction Photos
(click on any photo to enlarge to full-size)


91, TNT, 122


TNT 183 engine

TNT cockpit

TNT cockpit

122 engine parts


122 cockpit



91 cockpit

Novi (front),
Miller-Bowes (back)



The famous Derby-Miller has been restored by Mitchell Rasansky and was shown for the first time at Pebble Beach in August, 2000.  The car was orignally assembled by Phil Shafer in 1927 on behalf of AC Delco.  The car was made up of components from one or two wrecked Miller 91 front-drives with modifications to improve cooling, reliability, and handling.  The bodywork was styled more after the Coopers than the Millers of the era.  AC withdrew their funding before the 1928 Indy race where the car placed 6th.  It ran again at Indy in 1929 finishing 12th.  In the crowd that year were a couple of British gentlemen who were looking for a capable racing car with which to establish new world records on the tracks in Europe.  They purchased the car on behalf of the driver-to-be, Gwenda Stewart.  In 1930, she set a new European Class F (1.5 l) record.  Shortly thereafter, with the engine bored out slightly, she set new records in Class E (2.0 l): 5km, 5mi, and 10mi.  Speeds were in the 118-138mph range.  In 1931, she beat her own records, and the ones in America, in 5mi, 5km, and 10km.  Speeds were in the 139-142mph range.  The engine crankcase split in 1931 and virtually an entirely new engine was built: new crankcase, new supercharger, new pistons, new rods, and new cams.  The engine capacity was about 102cu in.  With the new engine, more records fell: 200km, 100mi, 1hr, 2mi, and 2km.  In 1934, Gwenda set a new lap record at Monthlery, also a new record speed for any track in Europe, at 145.94mph.  This was raised a little while later to a record that still stands at Monthlery, 147.79mph.  She then set a Brookland Class E record at 135.67mph which also still stands.  By 1936 the car had reached the end of its capabilities and was sold.  It was broken up, but years later, parts were found by Grif Borgeson, Mark Dees, and Bob Sutherland who brought them back to America.  It was incredible to see, and hear, this formidable yet beautiful racing car that carries so much history with it.

Derby-Miller Photos
(click on any photo to enlarge to full-size)

Derby-Miller starting and warming up on the lawn at Pebble Beach (517k - 51 sec) - miked at engine and then at exhaust
Copyright Ó 2000 Harold Peters.

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