Two Are Better Than One
In 1946, Lou Fageol entered the Indianapolis 500 after the legendary event resumed since its hiatus during WWII. He entered his newest and quite innovative machine “the Twin Coach.”
Powered by duel supercharged 90 c.i. Offenhauser midget engines witch resided in an old Miller front-wheel drive chassis, one engine powered the Miller FWD axel and 2nd engine powered the rear axel, making an AWD racer and one of the earliest.
Although it was a heavy weight compared to the competition, the Twin Coach had far superior traction and handling, thanks to the four-wheel drive and near perfect weight distribution.
Twin engines were a family business, Fageol’s father, Frank, was a co-founder of the Fageol Motors Co. Frank built and designed twin-engined busses that he sold under the Twin Coach Company name.
Paul Russo piloted this unique machine, as you can see from the picture, the cockpit sat directly on top of both superchargers. Russo qualified second place with an average of 126.183mph. Russo raved about the car's stability, after starting strong the success wouldn’t last. At lap 17 running up front Russo hit some oil on the track left behind by an Alfa Romeo that had hit the wall. He was carried away with a broken leg, and the Fageol Twin Coach Special never raced again.
One of the offy engine did get new life, Johnny Vesco acquired the rear Engine and ran it in the Vesco family streamliner #444, setting a landpseed record of 180.90 mph in 1969.