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*Please note that this lot is sold on a Bill of Sale.
Offenhauser, affectionately called “Offy,” continued the legacy of famed engine builder Harry Miller and dominated American open-wheel racing for over half-a-century. In 1954, George Tilp, a gentleman racer who was instrumental in launching the careers of drivers like Phil Hill, commissioned Meyer & Drake Engineering to build a racing engine for his Aston Martin DB2 (and later installed in a Ferrari Mondial). As chief developer for the engineering company – and former chief engineer for Harry Miller and Fred Offenhauser – Leo Goossen was intimately familiar with Offenhauser engines and constructed the custom 180 offered here.
Refining the already compact and efficient design of the Offy, the 180 features unique crankcase components, intake system, exhaust header, and injector pump brackets. Additionally, a Bosch mechanical fuel injection system, the most sophisticated of its time, was installed instead of the more common multiple carburetor setup. In 1955, Tilp became a patron of racing legend Phil Hill, who would ultimately acquire the engine for his own collection. Hill later sold it to his friend, the well-known automotive collector Ron Kellogg, in 1985.
The story of this unique engine is recorded in the seminal work, Offenhauser: The Legendary Racing Engine and the Men Who Built It by Gordon Eliot White. An engine designed and built by legendary engineer Leo Goossen, this is a rare opportunity to acquire a piece of racing history once owned by a racing legend.