Hall of Fame: Fred Offenhauser

Fred Offenhauser, an outstanding machinist and toolmaker, joined Harry Miller’s staff as a designer in 1913 and rapidly gained a reputation for his ability to repair or rebuild any part of any race car, both foreign and domestic. In addition to his other projects, he rebuilt Bob Burman’s wrecked 1913 Grand Prix Peugeot for the 1914 season and designed and helped build Barney Oldfield’s 1917 Golden Submarine.

With the addition of Leo Goossen as designer in 1919, Offenhauser became Miller’s plant superintendent. He purchased the company from Miller in 1933 and operated it for 14 years before selling it to Louis Meyer and Dale Drake in 1946. He quickly began producing the famous four-cylinder Offenhauser racing engines that, starting in 1934, powered 24 of the next 27 winning cars in Indianapolis 500 races.

Courtesy of Indianapolis Motors Speedway Museum

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