Milt Marion

Milt Marion

3/2/1909 - 12/9/1999

Milt Marion was a northeastern dirt track ace and car owner who ran a variety of champ and sprint cars, entered everything from Millers to Alfa GP cars at Indy, had a Miller-powered Gold Cup raceboat, among many other things. His company, Marion Engineering (the banner under which his cars were often entered) was based on Long Island. In 1931 he went to the Indy 500 with a Duesenberg but failed to qualify. The same thing happened again in 1932 and 1934 He won the first beach/road race at Daytona, which featured stock cars and was sanctioned by the American Automobile Association, was run on March 8, 1936. Any description of that inaugural event convinces you that no one in attendance could've possibly seen any future in such an activity. The track included 1.5 miles of beach and 1.5 miles of A1A connected with two wide sweeping turns where dunes once sat. The turns became gummy with churned sand, and cars bogged down and often sat idle for the duration. The 250-mile race featured several big names from the world of auto racing, including Indy 500 winner Bill Cummings. But it dragged on and on and became little more than a battle of attrition. The the race was called after 75 laps with Milt Marion declared the winner. Listed in fifth place was a tall local mechanic with a burning interest in racing William Henry Getty France. In 1931 he tried the Indy 500 again and, once again failed to qualify. He entered an Alfa Romeo 308 for Louis Durant in 1946, he finished 6th. It also seems that he entered a Maserati for Tommy Hinnershitz. The following year he entered the same Alfa for Walt Brown. He came 7th. In 1949 he purchased a Kurtis Indy car, Kurtis Kraft 2000 Serial Number 326. Milt Marion carried out some modifications including changing the cross springs. He entered it for the Indy 500 that year driven by Sam Hanks. Overall he entered 10 AAA races, only qualifying 3 times, and only finishing once.

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