Monday, 28 February 2011 10:01

The Davey-Milne Special

Written by  Martin Stubbs
The Davey-Milne Special was based on a Bugatti Type 37 chassis, the original car being imported to Australia in 1926. Reputed to be the fourth Type 37 produced in the factory, Chassis No: 37104. It had a number of owners in Australia and was entered in the 1933. 1934 and 1936 Australian Grand Prix, each time it retired in the race.
Like many Australian Bugattis it acquired its first non- original engine, a 1936 Hudson straight eight after the destruction of the original whilst in the ownership or Ron Edgerton. Ron experienced a number of problems with this engine and then sold the car to Stud Beasley who replaced the Hudson engine with a Willys speedcar unit. Earl Davey-Milne purchased the car without the Willys engine in 1943 and installed another Hudson straight eight. He developed the car with the intention of using it for hillclimbs and sprints. It never acquired another body and this would have covered the remarkable level of presentation of all the mechanical components. It also ran mostly with twin rear wheels for extra traction. In 1956 whilst competing at the Alexandria 1/4 mile sprints two conrods let go destroying the Hudson block, another engine was required. On a trip to North America, Earl noticed that Corvette V8 engines were popular choice for specials.
He returned from that trip with a 1958 4600cc Corvette engine and set about a complete rebuild of the car using this engine. The Davey-Milne Special exists in this form today and is still forms part of Earl's  collection of wonderful cars.
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