Domination. No other word so accurately describes the Offenhauser engine’s six-decade reign over American auto racing. On small urban tracks, state fair dirt circuits, and Indy’s brick oval, “Offy” was synonymous with “winner circle.”
At the height of its power in the 1950s, entire Indy grids were composed of Offenhauser-powered roadsters. Neither the rear-engined revolution of the mid-1960s nor the entry of major players like Ford would knock Offy from its throne. When the “little four with the big punch” finally ceased being competitive in the early 1980s, it was a victim of the rule book more than any engineering shortcoming.
Offenhauser: The Legendary Racing Engine and the Men Who Built It traces the glorious history of the most renowned American racing engine of all time. Author Gordon Eliot White has thoroughly researched this story from the early days of Harry Miller, through Fred Offenhauser, to the final days under Meyer & Drake ownership. More than 250 historical black-and-white photographs and a special color section accompany White’s fascinating narrative. With over 18,000 copies sold, this book tells the definitive story of the designers, machinists, and drivers who created the Offenhauser legend. Essential reading for the racing historian and fan, White’s book captures the human, technical, and political aspects of Offenhauser’s unforgettable story.