Sampson “V16” Special

Name: Sampson “V16” Special

Year Built: 1938

Livery Year: 1939

Livery Year Driver: Bob Swanson

Sponsor: Sampson Motors

Chassis: Myron Stevens

Engine: Miller

Competing in the Indianapolis 500 several times between 1939 and 1949, the Sampson Special was powered for four of its starts by the very same engine used by Frank Lockhart when he lost his life while trying to break the world land speed record on the sands of Daytona Beach in 1928. Developed under Lockhart’s direction, the power plant was two supercharged 91½ cubic-inch straight-eight Millers reworked to form a 183-cubic-inch V-16. Later acquired by Gordon Schroeder, it was placed into a chassis built in 1938 by Myron Stevens and driven to the sixth-fastest qualifying time in 1939 and finished sixth in the 1940 race driven by Bob Swanson. Sponsored in 1946 by Spike Jones, the zany band leader, it was qualified for the outside of the front row by Sam Hanks with Lockhart’s 18-year-old engine still in the car.


Greg Davis
In memory of Sam Hanks and Reynold MacDonald