Croatian Al Miller on Indy 500
This photograph taken on Indiannapolis Motor Speedway in 1967 will probably make every Croat's heart skip a beat, until they realize it can't be *that*. Well, can't it?
This is car is Gerhardt-Ford entered by Walter 'Willy' Weir for Indy 500
in '67, sponsored by Cleaver-Brooks. The car was never a contender but
Weir nevertheless invited Italian Grand Prix driver Lorenzo Bandini to
drive it for him (as he explained it his reason was "These foreigners know
how to drive these rear engine cars."). Unfortunately Bandini lost his
life in Monaco Grand Prix six days before he was to qualify for the Indy
race and his place was taken by Al Miller. He qualified 31st and last- his
effort deprived Jim Hurtubise a place on the grid (that would have been
the last appearance of a roadster at Indy 500). Nevertheless, he was in
the good company in the last row on the grid- Austrian Jochen Rindt (Grand
Prix World Champion in 1970) and Graham Hill (two times World Champion, in
1962 and 1968, winner of Le Mans in 1972 and Indy 500 in 1966) were there,
with Sir Jackie Stewart (triple World Champion, in 1969, 1971 and 1973)
only a row in front of them. Miller retired the car on 73rd lap of the
race with an oil leak.
Al Miller was born on 23 Nov 1921 in Detroit, Michigan, and died on 28 Jul
1978 in Mount Clemens, Michigan. His real name was Albert Krulock,
although the family's old name was Krulac, before it was Americanized. He
was definitely of Croatian origin (from the Spanico area), and that might
explain the checkers of historic Croatian coat of arms on his car.
The 'author' wishes to thank experts and enthusiasts at The Nostalgia
Forum @ AtlasF1 Bulletin Board for supplying most of the information
herein (I merely enqured them about this photo and instantly recieved most
helpful information I presented here).
Ovo je fotografija automobila Al Millera (pravim imenom
Albert Krulock, sto je amerikanizirano iz Krulac), naseg porijekla koji je
1967 nastupio na 500 milja Indiannapolisa. Inace je taj auto trebao voziti
(pretpostavljam da onda ne bi bio tako lijepo obojan) poznati talijanski
vozac Lorenzo Bandini, koji je nazalost tragicno poginuo na Velikoj
Nagradi Monaca nekoliko tjedana prije kvalifikacija za Indy.