Thursday, June 06, 2013

Did I ever post about the Marx brothers racing a 1928 Mercedes S 28 /180 boat tail speedster on Muroc in 1932?

Zeppo and Chico made a bet with a Hollywood producer that their car was faster than his Duesenburg.. and they went to Muroc with a huge crowd to see which was.. the Mercedes lost that one, Eddie Miller Jr, driving the Duesenberg, won.

 Hollywood was represented by all of The Marx Brothers, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Al Jolson, Carole Lombard, Mae West, Ben Lyon, Leila Hyams. The automotive side was represented by Eddie Miller, Harry Miller, and oil tycoon Earl Gilmore.

 Both cars were stripped for racing with the Duesenberg being prepared for racing by Eddie Miller with the enthusiastic approval of E.L. Cord.

Harry Miller flagged them off

The race started at 6:30 a.m. on a September 1932. The Mercedes sprinted ahead supercharger wailing, but the Duesenberg caught the lighter Mercedes on the first lap, and it was all over. Eddie Miller said that he shifted the Duesenberg into top at 5,200 rpm. The engine blew three quarts of oil out during the 109 mph run.

 the car was at the 2010 and 2011 possibly, Pebble Beach Concours

the full article has been scanned from Automobile Quarterly and can be found at

Photos from

info from

Full gallery at

above photos from

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  1. My grandfather is Eddie Miller- My Grandma told me these stories about the race first hand -
    I remember sitting on Eddies lap as a child -It is interesting to verify all these stories on the web
    80 years later Chris Doctor

    1. Well, you must have some terrific family stories! If you ever want a place to share them among car guys that admire so much of what your grandfather did, just email me at and I'll post them here.