Breaking News – U-16 Miss America VIII Can Be Yours – Mecum Auction News

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You heard it here first. Not even on the Mecum Web site yet. So you have a leap on your other bidder pals.. Be the first to ask your Uncle Morty for money.. He only has so much.. Now is the time to get it all.
Miss America VIII a 1929 Gar Wood will be on the block at the Mecum Auction  in Kissimmee FLA on January 24-29, Osceola Heritage Park. This is a very fun event to fly down to. Tons and tons of very cool cars, and some of the usual boat gang is there. Plus you get to get a sun burn in January. Thats worth the trip alone. More on the engines and stuff here…

Miller V16 marine engines created specifically for Miss America VIII by Harry Miller so Gar Wood could make a run at the speed record. These were installed after winning the 1929 and 1931 Harmsworth trophies using Packards. They are the only two in the world and original to Miss America VIII.

The Facts

1113 cubic inch
Set up now @ 8:1 comp. runs on pump 93 octane gas
960 hp @ 4500 rpm on dyno. Designed to run at 6000 rpm, why take that chance?
Each engine originally fitted with two roots type superchargers (1800hp in that configuration)
One crankshaft, reconfigured with modern bearing inserts, no longer uses babitt bearings
One new block chosen from over 40 new castings to get a good one!
Zakira’s Garage has complete set of drawings and bluebrints
All rods replaced with newer metals which are stronger than originals, originals were kept.
Complete picture history of rebuilds
64″ long
One engine ran at Hershey many years ago as an exhibition.
Inertia starter which a small electric motor spools up a flywheel. Around 6500 rpm, then spins the engine 3-5 seconds when released!

Lot # 239 1929 Gar Wood “Miss America VIII”

Also featuring:

38′ Rum Runner reproduction with Liberty V12
24′ Gravette Streamliner
32′ Custom “Miss Universe” V12 750 HP Motor
29′ Ditchburn Viking, 6 cyl. Kermath
1955 Chris Craft 18′ Cobra Serial # 001
That’s right! The first 18′ Cobra produced and entered in the Lake Tahoe Parade!

Stay tuned for more news as it comes in..

16 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    So my 17′ Sportsman + how much $$$ will get me this? Maybe if I throw in an old Zodiac and plastic roto-molded kayak?

  2. matt
    matt says:

    Yes, thats a great idea, sell it all, cash it in.. The kids collage fund, all of it.. We will all enjoy that…Your wifes engagement ring.. She hates you by now anyway.

  3. Alex
    Alex says:

    I can’t believe those motor specs for that vintage! Even with all that displacement.

    Hmmmmm. Does Mecum accept Azerbaijani Express?

    • anonymous
      anonymous says:

      And those are only good for a pattern. LOL But you can always put those engines in Matts former cruiser. HOOOOOWEEEEEE!!!

    • chad
      chad says:

      You are not going to believe this, but….

      I walked out to the barn this morning. And in the corner, covered in decades of dust, I found Miss Americas I, II, and III. That means there’s still 5 of them out there.

  4. Scott Ales
    Scott Ales says:

    Just a few of the places Miss America VIII has spent time,

    Daytona Museum of Speed 1950s
    Talladega Race Track Museum
    Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum

    A few owners now,

    Gar Wood, of course.
    Bill France
    Dr. Ken Muscatel

    Rarely if ever did it sit outside. These are very respected owners and the balance are equally appreciative of the history they were held responsible for preserving.

  5. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    I was lucky to be a minor part of the team from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum that restored the VIII and took it to the Tahoe Concours in ’89, putting it on the water in running condition for the first time since the 1930’s. Dr. Ken Muscatel was the owner at that time. We had a magnificent weekend!

    Someone will be getting a real treasure when they win the auction for that one…

  6. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    I did not, but the HRM should have a bunch and Rick Tayerle shot videos that documented the Tahoe shows for several years, and we were on the ’89 tape.

    It should be mentioned that was the last year boats were fired up at the docks for the amusement of the crowd at Tahoe. There is a reason for that.

    We had the VIII’s two Packards running at the dock with the propshafts uncoupled when the U-joint at the stbd V-drive failed. The mechanic running the boat felt it going, but was not able to get the motor shut down before the driveshaft came loose. It banged around the boat for a few rotations, hit the gas tank, damaged the stbd stuffing box cooling and punched a hole in the deck. A close call.

    It’s all on the tape…

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