1920 Marmon Model 34B

This is the 'Cloverleaf' roadster. Noted by the four leaf clover cabin design. The Model 34 construction 'featured unification making the body and chassis practically one unit.' Notice the running boards used to strengthen the frame.

The engine is a 339 cubic-inch aluminum block, known as the 'New Series.' Other new features on the Model B include: an indirect lighted cluster of instruments under a single glass, multiple disc dry clutch, adjustable shocks and a coil ignition. The enclosed trunk is one of the first.

The Model 340B was selected to be the pace car for the Indianapolis 500.

The Marmon brand name was manufactured by Nordyke & Marmon Company, located in Indianapolis, Indiana and produced automobiles from 1903 through 1933. The Marmon automobiles are most remembered for their impressive V-16 engine introduced during the early 1930s as well as introducing the rear-view mirror.

The Model 32 featured rear-view mirrors, and was the first vehicle ever with this feature. It is also responsible for the creation of the Wasp, the winner of the first Indianapolis 500 race. The name 'Wasp' was chosen due to its yellow color and pointed tail.

At the 1911 Indianapolis 500 race, the Marmon was the only vehicle equipped with a single seat, rather than the popular two-seat configuration. The first seat was for the driver while the second seat housed the mechanic. Many people were critical of the single seat configuration. They felt it unsafe because the driver would not be aware of other cars overtaking him. A solution was devised by the Marmon crew to install a rear-view mirror on the vehicle, the first of its kind according to many historians.

In 1916 the Marmon 34 was introduced as an evolution of the Model 32. The Model 34B was powered by an overhead-valve six-cylinder engine comprised mostly of aluminum. Aluminum was used throughout many parts of the vehicle including the body, radiator and hood. Its 340 cubic-inch displacement produced 34 horsepower, thus its name - 'the 34'. The Model 34 was available in a variety of body-styles including roadsters, speedsters, touring, and limousine, to name a few. The only wheelbase size available was 136 inches. Weight was in the neighborhood of 3300 pounds. Production of the Model 34 continued until 1924 which it was replaced with the Model 74 and 75.

As a publicity stunt and to gain media attention about the new Model 34, a Marmon 34 was driven across American in under six days. This beat 'Cannonball' Baker's time record.

The transmission is an unsynchronized three-speed manual unit in the H pattern. Mechanical rear brakes provide the stopping power.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2008
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