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Looks to be a special "made for the movies" car, super long boat-tailed roadster, odd wire wheels with protruding hubs, tires seem over-sized, exposed side rails and no running board step, smallish headlights, radiator shell far forward. Unusual hood side detail may yield some clue.

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Interesting photo, I agree it’s a movie prop build. Car is very long and low.......proportions are off, headlights look European and too small,for the car. Wheels are weird. Thanks for posting.

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That it was a prop car is an interesting possibility. For the record, however, it was driven regularly throughout the film by both Mackaill and a stunt driver. Also, as Dave Henderson noted, it has the sloping radiator shell, which I haven't been able to find (like this one) anywhere else. It has some of the characteristics of a Model J, all the more reason to buy into the prop idea. It could have been mocked up to be Model J-like without shelling out the cash. Any other ideas/knowledge, please chime in. Thanks.

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12 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

I think it is a road car Harry Miller was involved with. Bob 


Bob, perhaps this is the car you refer to;
The Miller front drive V8 roadster that was commissioned by Phillip Chancellor, who had asked him to build "the finest and fastest sports car yet" in 1928.  Miller's work on the chassis was taken over by Leo Goosen and C. W. Van Ranst of L29 Cord fame, and coachbuilder J. Gerald Kirchhoff is credited with having done the body.  Features of it do resemble the movie car, even the radiator shell seems to slope.  All as per The Miller Dynasty by the late Mark L. Dees.MVC-014S.JPG.2eb2a7fa2470f403285f9ebac8f4cc82.JPG

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1 hour ago, 1937hd45 said:

Dave, Thank you so much for posting that photo! I looked through my copy of The Miller Dynasty last night and couldn't find that photo, I had a clear memory of that teardrop bulge in the hood side. 

Bob, page 288.

 

2 hours ago, TexRiv_63 said:

Does this Miller car still exist?

Don,  Again from Miller Dynasty, the car turned out to be a disappointment to Chancellor.  Vibrations, noisy gears, quirky handling, and loss of a wheel because the knockoff hubs had been installed backward all contributed to his selling it after about a year.  Bad luck followed the car around, a bus sideswiped a protruding front hub, an inept grease monkey confused the spark advance with the throttle and ran off leaving the engine revving at full throttle destroying it.  Subsequently it was replaced with a flat head Ford engine, and later the cycle front fenders were re styled.  After passing through a succession of owners it was said that the final owner, "whoever he was, finally did in the precious speedster."
Here it's shown with the somewhat "Cordish" front fenders, and the top bumper bar turned over, making it parallel with the lower one.MVC-015S.JPG.ef58831d27afa1034978e62a5637593d.JPG

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That makes it officially NOT a movie prop.......but I still stand by the fact it looks ......not up to what one would expect from what is under the hood.........pretty it ain’t!

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Hi Carl,

As an antique auto neophyte, I'm pleased I didn't make a fool of myself. My expertise is antique films, and, as such, I see many antique cars and make a point of identifying them. This one, however, was unidentifiable. I reached out to Gene Zorich, an absolute film guru. He suggested I post it to this site, and I'm glad he did.

 

The car plays a sizable part in the first half of the film. Mackaill is an heiress and the owner of the car. She decides to take flying lessons from Humphrey Bogart who takes her through a series of acrobatic moves, making her sick. Bogart needing a ride into the city, she pays him back by driving the Miller wildly. The scene shifts between close ups and long shots. The stunt driver in the long shots puts the car through its paces. The film is rarely shown. It came out of Columbia during its poverty row days. Despite his lead in the film, Bogart would go on to play primarily the heavy second in Warner Bros. films until The Maltese Falcon. Mackaill, a major silent star, was fading fast, although also in 1932 she made one of the best pre-code films and a great one by any standard called Safe in Hell.

 

Connecting film and autos, I have no doubt that you are all well aware that a Dusenberg SSJ sold last month for $22 million, setting a new record for an auction sale, more than $8 million more than the first produced Shelby Cobra. I understand it was the most expensive pre-war era vehicle ever sold. Engines J-563 and J-567 were built on spec and lent to Gary Cooper and Clark Gable for 6 months. Cooper bought his; Gable did not. It was the Cooper car that sold last month. The Gable car went up for auction in 2012, but a high bid of $6+ million didn't meet the reserve. Cars and celluloid, you gotta' love 'em both.

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