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1921 Duesenberg Grand Prix Racer Boattail Racer

    In 1920, Indianapolis 500 officials decided to accept the European 3-liter (183 cubic inch) engine formula for the upcoming Indy 500. The attempt to bring more European competitors to the '500' set the stage for the Duesenberg race team to enter four 'Grand Prix' cars in the 1921 Grand Prix de l'ACF – the French Grand Prix – at Le Mans.

    A huge upset was caused in 1921 when a team of four American Duesenberg racing cars was shipped to Europe for the French Grand Prix, and one of them, driven by Jimmy Murphy, won the race. The event was held over the LeMans course, two years before the first running of the 24-hour race. Shortly after returning home, Murphy purchased the car from the Duesenberg brothers and then replaced the Duesenberg SOHC straight-eight with a Miller DOHC eight-cylinder and entered it as the Murphy Special. With this combination, Murphy won the 1922 '500' at a record 94.484 mph as the first ever to do so from the pole position.

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