This car was built for the 1931 Indianapolis 500 by chassis builder/fabricator Hermann Rigling. Mr. Rigling’s partner in the design and construction was the renowned mechanic, Cotton Henning. The Rigling-Henning Duesenberg used a special engine that had been specially designed and built by Fred Duesenberg for racing. The engine was based on the Duesenberg Model A Block.
The 1931 Indy 500 was a vehicle driven by Bebe Strapp, where she qualified in sixth place, averaging 110.1 mph for four laps. He was running third when an oil leak and clutch problems forced his early retirement from the incident.
In the 1932 incident the vehicle was named the “Duesenberg Special” and was driven by LL Corum, but did not qualify. At the 1933 Indy 500, the car was named “The Jack O. Car Special” and driven by Willard Prentice, he finished 40th at 107.8 mph and finished 13th. The vehicle completed all 200 laps at an average speed of 95.6 mph and was ahead of 5 other Duesenbergs in the race.
The original design called for a 166 cubic inch four-cylinder, but this never came to fruition. The car failed to qualify at Indianapolis in 1920. Los Angeles Brewer owner Eddie Meier was embarrassed, putting the car with its failed engine in storage at the brewery. That engine was delivered to a wartime scrap drive and an unknown engine was fitted.
The car was purchased by Bob Sutherland and was a Miller 183CID 8 cylinder installed in the 1980s. It is one of three existing Miller 18.3 engines. TNT has been running competitively since then and continues to compete at the annual Miller Club events in Milwaukee.
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