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The 1906 Frayer Miller Vanderbilt Cup Racing Car Revisted

This photo recently surfaced in our archives of one of the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup race Frayer-Miller cars racing cars. It is one of the three cars, all of which are slightly different and as the details on this one do not match up with the other two, it appears that we may now have all three posted now. Both of the other two Frayer-Miller cars car can be seen here  along with the background information on the air-cooled monsters, which featured 990.78 c.i. engines.


This photo is from the  Peter Helck Collection  and is quite large in size, which allowed the two large-sized thumbnail photos above to be made, giving you a chance to see all the details of the construction. Interesting items of note; the two-float bowl carburetor, a mechanical oiler just behind the engine along with two boxes that may contain a battery and possibly ignition coils, and the drilled brackets, levers and the floorboard for the driver and the mechanics feet. Photo courtesy of  Racemaker Press.

5 responses to “The 1906 Frayer Miller Vanderbilt Cup Racing Car Revisted

  1. Great photo, looks like a very early version of standard Dirt Car seating, with your feet below the frame rail and a short steering column. Bob

  2. I am amazed at the lack of spokes in the wheels – just 39 bits of wire to deliver all that torque and take the enormous cornering strains on a dirt track1! Brave men………..

  3. There exists a beautiful photo of the three Frayer-Millers just before or after a practice run for the elimination trials on Kroplick’s site ( You will notice that all three cars have wire wheels. During the actual race both 6 and 18 had artillery wheels (I haven’t seen a photograph of the third one during the actual elimination trial). There exist photographs of Szisz’ Renault before the 1906 Grand Prix having wire wheels, whereas during the actual race Szisz used (the famous detachable) wooden artillery wheels. Probably they didn’t trust the strength of the wire wheels during the actual contest.
    Another thing is the pointed fuel tank on the photograph of the Vanderbilt Cup Frayer-Miller in The Automobile of 1906 (in one of the earlier posts here). As you may also notice on the above mentioned photograph: there are no Frayer-Millers with pointed tanks, so this must be a later modification?

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