To celebrate the opening of its test track in Utica, Mich., on June 13, 1928, the Packard Motor Co. asked racer Leon Duray to attempt a top-speed run on its new oval. Duray, fresh from running from the pole at the Indianapolis 500 that year in the Miller 91 Packard Cable Special, hit 148 mph -- a record that would stand until the Monza test track opened in Italy following World War II. What's more amazing than the record was how builder Henry Miller accomplished it: with a 91-cubic-inch supercharged straight eight engine good for 250 hp driving the front wheels. In that era, front-wheel-drive meant a lower car that could better balance its weight in corners. The Miller 91 in front- and rear-wheel-drive form became a racing classic, but Duray never did win the 500.
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