1920 Falls Eight

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This Falls Eight race car was designed and built in 1920 for use on Midwest tracks ( including Indianapolis, Milwaukee and others). The Falls Motor Corp. of Sheboygan Falls was one of the Pioneers in Wisconsin’s automotive heritage and perhaps one of the birthplaces of the automotive industry in the US.

By 1912, the first Falls automobile engines were being produced to power the Michigan Buggy. In 1913, the Falls Model B motor, a four cylinder 40-45 horsepower engine, was built for the Burch auto sleigh—the forerunner of the Sno-cat and snowmobile.

In 1916, the engine business had developed to such a point where sizeable contracts were signed for automobile engines for Grant, Elgin, Maibohm, Velie, Dort, Apperson, Gardner and Moon, Falls Machine was reorganized and named Falls Motor Corp. with 100% production in automobile engines.

In 1920, engineer for the Falls Motor Corp., Louis Knocke designed the eight cylinder Falls engine, of which only eight were built. It incorporated many unique features in respect to lubrication. Of these engines only engine 0001 was put into a race car to test and prove the new design.

The race car spent almost 50 years in a Museum, but was then sold and restored in 1999. The Falls Eight then was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours de Elegance and returned to the track, where it has been racing until very recently.

The Falls Eight was raced at the Monterey Historics.

Notable Owners:

The Falls Eight was once owned by 1961 Formula One World Champion Phil Hill.


  • In-line 8 cylinder 5 liter OHV engine (only remaining of the 8 prototypes designed by Louis Knocke)
  • High pressure internal oil system with both manual and engine operated pumps
  • Elgin 3 speed transmission
  • Zenith “Duplex” Carb.
  • Rear external contracting band brakes
  • Serial #: 10001