Harry Miller is rightfully one of the most celebrated minds in the history of American racing. The things he was doing nearly 100 years ago are mind-boggling when put into the context of today. His designs and ideas are still widely employed in racing engines today. Miller may not have been the best business guy but he was an unparalleled thinker and maker. This video is a showcase of perhaps his finest masterpiece, or one of them. The video rules because we get to watch and hear this incredible Miller V-16 run. This is one of a handful of engines that Miller built for rich guys racing in the Gold Cup boat races. What kind of rich guys? This engine was built for Horace Dodge, for starters.
While it changed a little over its operational life, the example we see here is a 723ci displacement (which was the limit at the Gold Cup, apparently) V-16 which is supercharged. The supercharger is a centrifugal unit and the whole package is like a giant piece of polished sculpture. Every aspect of the engine from the cam covers to the blower to the wonderful intake manifold and more is artistic and functional. It is amazing that this one has survived for so long and when you hear it run, even just sitting at an idle it is something of a mechanical religious experience.
Amazingly this engine is reported to have produced over 1,000hp in the early 1930s. It was first built for Dodge somewhere around 1927 and it swapped hands a few times. The engine, since this video was made has been reunited with a legit Gold Cup contesting boat from the period and stands as one of the only examples left in the world of a proper racing boat from the 1920s/30s era. The time when the biggest industrialist in the USA raced each other in these behemoth machines on the water. How amazing?!