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Bogus Lotus 11 made from Crosley Miller race car

Gil Knudson and Preston Rush built this car in Santa Ana, CA in 1962




Gil Knudson and Preston Rush built this car in Santa Ana, CA in 1962, using the chassis of a 1952 Crosley Miller racer acquired from Don Miller. Knudson shortened and narrowed a new aftermarket fiberglass Lotus 11 body to replace the older Miller body and fabricated a new aluminum center section and doors. Knudson was a degreed engineer who developed products and held patents for Bendix Corp. He had his own dynamometer at Bendix and used Crosley engines as test beds for injection systems and magnetos.

Gil's son, Leigh, told me that "I know he [Rush] raced at Riverside a couple years...and may have been at Pomona Fairgrounds. He soon got married and that was the end of racing."
The car was later owned by Willy Muller in Costa Mesa, CA and then, around 1979, by Scott Dapron. Scott moved a longitudinal frame tube to lower the driver's seat, installed a new belly pan, drilled the wheels, added Dico tires and had Nick Brajevich go through the motor. Scott took the car through technical inspection at Willow Springs but never raced, then sold the car around 1997, still with the old faded red paint. In 2002 the car was owned by a Fred Luteraan in Wedowee, Alabama.

Crosley parts include: Nick Brajevich 750cc OHC motor, 4-speed transmission, driveshaft torque tube, rear axle and differential, 12" wheels and disc brakes. Front suspension is Topolino which was common for H-Mods. Front and rear body sections attach with Dzus fasteners. Nice full-coverage belly pan. Nice aluminum work on the center section cowl, doors and bulkheads. Drilled disc brakes, drilled wheels, fuel cell, electric water pump, plexi headlight covers and 45 DCOE Weber. Motor has finned aluminum valve covers and water manifold. No seat belt. New battery. Clutch and brake pedal assembly and cylinders are high-quality CNC brand.

Chassis welding and paint are nice. Body in good shape but for a one-inch stress tear at the right side-front of the rear body section. Headlight plexi covers are cracked, but the car comes with new replacements. Tires (Dico) are not race tires but have little wear which indicate that the Brajevich motor has also had little wear. One steering wheel spoke is broken but the car really needs a smaller diameter steering wheel for easier entrance/egress. In 2011 a mechanic got the car started and drove it around his storage yard. It ran, shifted and braked fine but this gave us no real idea what would be required before racing. Any vintage race car should be gone through carefully. No warranties. No reserve.

Front track 44 3/4"; rear track 41 3/4"; wheelbase 77 1/2"; body width 57 1/4"; length 127"; height 27" (not including roll bar); chassis longitudinal tubes 2 1/2"; roll bar diameter 1 3/4"; Ground clearance body 3 7/8"; ground clearance oil pan 3".
11 lotus 45 DCOE Weber carborator 750 cc engine bogus lotus crosley miller race car crosley miller gil knudson lotus lotus 11 lotus 11 replica miller chassi preston rush lotus vintage lotus
 

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