The First Novi

This is more of the series of original art created by David Story making its online premiere on First Super Speedway. This image is of one of many Indianapolis 500 race cars David has honored through his work. It is also part of David's Brickyard Invitational Sketchbook.
With only the slightest modification I wrote the following copy for and it was originally published there as coverage of the Sports Car Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) Brickyard Invitational race meet June 11-14, 2015.
The First Novi
Thanks to car collector, driver, business professional (owner, Ed Pink Racing Engines) and renaissance man Tom Malloy the guttural sounds of the famous Novi racing engine are in full song today. Malloy owns the 1941 Bowes Seal Fast racer that contains master builders Bud and Ed Winfield's first Novi engine. The Miller chassis that contains it originally appeared in 1935 at the Brickyard as part of a Ford racing effort but had little success.
Lew Welch acquired the car and after switching to Offenhauser power it achieved a pair of top-six finishes in 1938 and 1939. Always looking for an edge Welch pulled together a collaborative effort with Fred Offenhauser, Leo Goossen and the Winfields to make a gasoline-blasting monster V8. Working from a design created by the Winfield brothers, the team took aim at the 1941 Indianapolis 500.
The result of their collaboration was a 181 cubic inch, 450 horsepower supercharged engine referred to as a "Winfield." The Novi moniker would be applied later. Welch's garage was in Novi, Michigan.
The car – especially the engine – was an immediate hit with fans amazed by its booming, cannon blast sound. Clearly the loudest engine in the Garage Area it demanded attention. Seasoned driver and former Harley-Davidson "wrecking crew" motorcycle racer Ralph Hepburn was hired to tame the beast. Hepburn's experience was essential as many accounts indicate the horsepower of the engine could overwhelm the grip of the tires, producing spin. Hepburn had a solid run to fourth place, which remains one of the Novi's best Indianapolis 500 results.
Along with its power and distinctive roar the Novi, unfortunately, is also legendary for never quite making it to the mountaintop. The last Novi appeared for competition at the Indianapolis 500 in 1966 but failed to make the race. Frequently at the top of the speed charts the famous machine typically fell victim to various mechanical gremlins throughout its history.
David's caption reads:
"My wife and I had the opportunity to attend the SVRA Brickyard Invitational event this year. What a great event populated by friendly people who enjoy vintage cars. There must have been a century's worth of classic cars turning laps and on display. Cars like Tom Malloy's 1941 Novi was a great example of cars at the IMS. The pits were open to the public. It was great to wander around and talk with the owners. I had the opportunity to talk with Tom about his collection. He is a true enthusiast. I love the SVRA slogan, 'some people collect art, we race it'."

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