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The Novi - where are they now?

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  • #16
    https://www.conceptcarz.com/profile/...-indy-car.aspx

    The 1941 Miller-Ford Novi was up for auction in the not too distant past.
    Last edited by Pelican Joe; 06-22-2022, 12:57 PM.
    Real drivers don't need fenders!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Pelican Joe View Post

      I believe the Weld car was the Granatelli chassis. It was their attempt to better the 4 wheel drive Ferguson.
      That's what I thought too.
      "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal".

      John Kennedy at American University 1963

      "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power"

      A. Lincoln

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Oddy View Post
        I've always thought the P104 was a very interesting car, I even had a P104 bodied slot car back in the day. But I really can't find much in depth about it anywhere. Anyone here care to elaborate on it?
        From what I recall, Stirling Moss suggested the Ferguson to Granatelli. Granatelli then had them ship out one of their P99 F1 cars to test at Indy. He liked what he saw and commissioned them to create an Indy version for him to use. The P104 was similar to the P99, just upgraded to be more robust. Derek Gardner, of future Tyrrell fame, designed the gearbox. Bobby Unser was assigned to the car in 1964, but only managed to qualify 22nd. Unser later claimed that the lack of pre-May testing hurt the team. His day was then cut short when he was wrapped up in the accident that killed Dave MacDonald and Eddie Sachs. The STP team then built their own version of the P104, making it lighter, but retaining the Gardner designed gearbox. Unser liked the car, but damaged it during practice. He reverted to the Ferguson for the 1965, but dropped out after suffering a mechanical failure.

        Unser has stated that while the 4-wheel drive gave him an advantage, the car was too heavy. It clocked in at over 2000 pounds. He said the lighter version they built in 1965 was way better.

        The other thing Unser remembered was that he could tell that the engine was being bogged down, and had the team lower the gearing. This led to higher torque, better mileage, and increased engine reliability, but according to Unser it was too little too late. Granatelli was already moving on to the turbine, a car that utilized the 4-wheel drive technology they had first experienced with the Ferguson.
        Real drivers don't need fenders!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Pelican Joe View Post

          From what I recall, Stirling Moss suggested the Ferguson to Granatelli. Granatelli then had them ship out one of their P99 F1 cars to test at Indy. He liked what he saw and commissioned them to create an Indy version for him to use. The P104 was similar to the P99, just upgraded to be more robust. Derek Gardner, of future Tyrrell fame, designed the gearbox. Bobby Unser was assigned to the car in 1964, but only managed to qualify 22nd. Unser later claimed that the lack of pre-May testing hurt the team. His day was then cut short when he was wrapped up in the accident that killed Dave MacDonald and Eddie Sachs. The STP team then built their own version of the P104, making it lighter, but retaining the Gardner designed gearbox. Unser liked the car, but damaged it during practice. He reverted to the Ferguson for the 1965, but dropped out after suffering a mechanical failure.

          Unser has stated that while the 4-wheel drive gave him an advantage, the car was too heavy. It clocked in at over 2000 pounds. He said the lighter version they built in 1965 was way better.

          The other thing Unser remembered was that he could tell that the engine was being bogged down, and had the team lower the gearing. This led to higher torque, better mileage, and increased engine reliability, but according to Unser it was too little too late. Granatelli was already moving on to the turbine, a car that utilized the 4-wheel drive technology they had first experienced with the Ferguson.
          Thats the kind of stuff i was hoping for, thanks!!
          “Church supper with grandma and granddad, lets go out and have ourselves the best time we ever had" - John Mellencamp

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          • #20
            The 41 Novi still has almost,if not all,of it's original paint.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Pelican Joe View Post

              From what I recall, Stirling Moss suggested the Ferguson to Granatelli. Granatelli then had them ship out one of their P99 F1 cars to test at Indy. He liked what he saw and commissioned them to create an Indy version for him to use. The P104 was similar to the P99, just upgraded to be more robust. Derek Gardner, of future Tyrrell fame, designed the gearbox. Bobby Unser was assigned to the car in 1964, but only managed to qualify 22nd. Unser later claimed that the lack of pre-May testing hurt the team. His day was then cut short when he was wrapped up in the accident that killed Dave MacDonald and Eddie Sachs. The STP team then built their own version of the P104, making it lighter, but retaining the Gardner designed gearbox. Unser liked the car, but damaged it during practice. He reverted to the Ferguson for the 1965, but dropped out after suffering a mechanical failure.

              Unser has stated that while the 4-wheel drive gave him an advantage, the car was too heavy. It clocked in at over 2000 pounds. He said the lighter version they built in 1965 was way better.

              The other thing Unser remembered was that he could tell that the engine was being bogged down, and had the team lower the gearing. This led to higher torque, better mileage, and increased engine reliability, but according to Unser it was too little too late. Granatelli was already moving on to the turbine, a car that utilized the 4-wheel drive technology they had first experienced with the Ferguson.
              As I recall the NOVI engine itself was no lightweight.
              "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal".

              John Kennedy at American University 1963

              "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power"

              A. Lincoln

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Oddy View Post

                Thats the kind of stuff i was hoping for, thanks!!
                If you have lots of money to spare for knowledge about a single car (P104) you might consider "Traction for Sale" by Bill Munro. That book is about all the work of Ferguson Formula, including a chapter on the Novi projects they were part of. But also has info on the other 4WD Indycars they were involved with. But if two chapters alone warrant the proice you pay for a ot of infy you'r likely not interested in....
                OK, it also has a lot of info about P99, the father of P104.

                But if you do have money to spare/waste, then it is something to think about.



                EDIT,


                I have a European background and thus also interest for other varieties of racing, like F1 and rallying.
                Ferguson participated in those kinds of racing as well and attention to Ferguson equipped rally cars in this book also that made the book worthwhile going for me.


                Last edited by Indyote; 06-23-2022, 07:42 AM.

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                • #23
                  I'll check into it thanks.
                  “Church supper with grandma and granddad, lets go out and have ourselves the best time we ever had" - John Mellencamp

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by MillerOffy View Post
                    The 41 Novi still has almost,if not all,of it's original paint.
                    I have verified this with someone who has seen the car. He told me that the car is entirely repainted in the 1941 colors save one circle on the nose cone that is left original.

                    But according him there is something peculiar with this car in its current state.
                    This is the lone Pre-war car ever that ran with a Winfield V8, postwar better known as Novi.
                    But according literature, there was only a single complete engine built for the 1941 race.
                    And the word is out that this first ever engine differed from all other later built ones slightly, making it unique among all the engines. And this particular engine is said to be no longer being complete anymore and partly damaged. Which makes that the car does indeed have a genuine Novi engine, but historically an incorrect one, one that did not exist yet when the car was raced.

                    Correct engine or not, it is still very loud I was told.

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                    • #25
                      Anyone know who owns the rights and/or blueprints and/or patterns to the Novi engine? I tried to chase this down some time ago and never came up with much. Closest I got was someone (forgot who) that said it might be possible that Tom Malloy acquired them along with a bunch of Novi parts about 15 years ago.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by rjbh20 View Post
                        Anyone know who owns the rights and/or blueprints and/or patterns to the Novi engine? I tried to chase this down some time ago and never came up with much. Closest I got was someone (forgot who) that said it might be possible that Tom Malloy acquired them along with a bunch of Novi parts about 15 years ago.
                        How much did Brock Yates end up with a few years ago? I thought he had some engine info along with a couple of cars.
                        Tibi Fumus Obsidio Septum Doro

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by rjbh20 View Post
                          ......t Tom Malloy acquired them along with a bunch of Novi parts about 15 years ago.
                          He got all of the parts that were left just as you said. I believe his Ed Pink Racing Engines Co has put together at least one Grantelli era Novi engine from the parts he bought for his own use. There were never very many Novi engines around at any given time. I don't know for sure but through the entire Lew Welch era there may have only been 3 (or maybe 4) engines built. The Granatellis may have had a couple of more built and they certainly did build some new design cylinder blocks with different valve configuration and cam designs. It's been said that the Granatelli era Novi engines sounded very different (with more of a roar) than the Lew Welch era engines which screamed due to the supercharger being run at higher RPMs and with different cam timing. At any rate if I had to bet right now there may have only ever been about a half dozen complete Novi engines ever built.

                          Right now the 1941 Miller front drive Novi actually runs as does the post war front drive of Hepburn/Miller. I can't remember the year for sure but the Ferguson Bobby Unser Novi was run at Michigan International Speedway in exhibition sometime back in the 1980s/early '90s on a CART race weekend. The last I heard that car was on display in a library in Novi, Michigan.

                          Andy Grantelli apparently donated Bobby Unser's 1963 configuration Kurtis Novi to the Unser Museum at some point saying that the engine was in running condition. A friend of mine asked Unser about this and he confirmed that the engine was supposed to be complete but he also said that the engine had never been started and there weren't any plans to try to start it.

                          The Novis (Nalon and Hurtubise) in the IMS Museum don't run at all as apparently the engines aren't complete.

                          If anyone here has additional information I would love to hear it. Thanks!

                          https://www.edpink.com/engine-gallery/
                          Last edited by indyrjc; 06-24-2022, 06:17 PM.

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                          • #28
                            The Unser Novi is supposed to be appearing in an Indy roadster-era display at the Savoy Museum in Cartersville,Ga from June 7 to October 2.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Pelican Joe View Post
                              2741901354_0202368733_b.jpg

                              Not my photo so don't anything about when or where, but proof that the 1941 Miller-Ford still exists and it looks like it has a Novi under the hood.
                              Might be Laguna Seca during an Historics weekend…

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                              • #30
                                I second what Randall said there, I'd be very surprised if there were more than three or four complete engines, ever. There will be lots of spares, and it's entirely feasible that an additional one or two engines could have been built up over the years, maybe not fully functional. Tom Malloy certainly bought a big chunk of parts many years ago.

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