One of the coolest boat we have ever seen is going to be sold at a Florida auction late this month. The Miss America VIII, built by Garfield Wood and powered by, get this, two Harry Miller built V16 engines rated at 930hp a piece, it is both beautiful and scarily fast! The boat was a big winner during the late 1920s and dominated one of the biggest speed boat races of the era, a contest called, “The Gold Cup”. This particular boat won that race in 1929 and 1931 and was the runner up in 1930.
The restoration of the hull is underway apparently and will need to be completed by the new owner. There are lots of very capable boat restorers who can do the artistic level of wood working necessary to put the physical structure of the boat back to original condition. What amazes us is those two magnificent Miller V16s living right behind the drivers’ compartment, and by compartment, we mean wooden seat.
Miller has gone down in history as one of the greatest engineering minds in American racing history. The only other engines that developed anything close ot 900hp in the late 1920s were massive radials on aeroplanes and the giant steam locomotives pulling freight across the country. These engines appear to have been restored as there are four Holley 2bbl carbs topping each of the two engines. Interestingly the original superchargers are included but are not on the engines as they need to be restored. Every piece of those engines was hand made by Miller and his small team of craftsmen. Truly amazing stuff.
This very boat went 104mph on the water in the late 1920s/early 1930s. That may as well have been the speed of sound back then and is still insane even today!