1931 Miller V16 racing car – Click above for high-res image gallery
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 wasn't even a distant dream in 1931. In fact, its father, Porsche family scion Ferdinand Piëch, wasn't even born yet. Bugatti was still racing and building cars under the watchful eye of its founder Ettore Bugatti. But on this side of the Atlantic, Bugatti's American counterpart Harry Miller was building some of the most influential racing machines in automotive history. Like the Bugatti Type 35 was to inter-war grand prix racing in Europe, Miller customer cars dominated Indy racing in America: in the mid-1920s, they accounted for over 80% of the Indy 500 field. Miller's cars won that famous race alone nine times, and his engine design – penned together with Fred Offenhauser – remained in use through the 1980s, it was so advanced. But what you see here is arguably the most advanced car Miller ever produced.
Bearing a 303-cubic-inch, 300-horsepower, sixteen-cylinder engine, the 1931 Miller V16 racing car was and remains today a unique piece of machinery. It competed in several runnings of the Indianapolis 500, and stands as the only sixteen-cylinder car that Miller ever made. It was reclaimed by one Chuck Davis in 1978, who painstakingly tracked down the original engine, which had been separated along the way from its chassis, and reunited the two ahead of an extensive restoration project. It's since been on display at Goodwood, Pebble Beach and Amelia Island, to say nothing of the numerous Miller Club events, and is now set to roll across the auction block at RM Auctions' event at Monterey next month. It's expected to fetch somewhere between $600,000 and $1 million. Check it out in our high-res image gallery below.