Page 1 of 2 Next >> Bill Milliken was one of the great automotive pioneers of the 20th century. Originally employed in the aviation industry, helping develop the Boeing B17 and B29, he later focused on vehicle dynamics, created some of the world's most famous car stunts but also campaigned Bugattis and Millers in historic races. His influence is still wide-spread, and at a recent survey in Ferrari's racing department reportedly 14 copies were found of the Race Car Vehicle Dynamics book, written by Milliken and his son Douglas. Most famous of all his creations, is perhaps the Milliken MX-1 'Camber Car' built during the 1960s.
This experimental machine was created to explore a wide variety of negative camber angles and their effect on the car's handling. The car effectively consisted of two motorcycles leaning in. Although the MX-1 initially had problems running in a straight line, it could corner at remarkably high speeds. The issues were sorted by adding more castor to the front and rear wheels. Milliken extensively tested the car, initially on a small test pad behind his house but eventually he received a road registration, so Milliken could explore the car further on public roads.
Using a purpose-built tubular frame, the construction of the MX-1 started back in 1960 and it took seven years to complete. The suspension was of a conventional design with torsion bar springs. What was very unusual were the dozens of mounting points in the chassis, which allowed Milliken to vary the camber from 0° to 50°. Mounted amidships was a Mercury Marine two-stroke, flat six engine. It produced around 80 bhp and this power was fed to the rear wheels through a Volkswagen gearbox. The MX-1 was clothed in a simple, cigar-shaped body, resembling single seater racers of the day. Page 1 of 2 Next >>