Leo William Goossen (1895-1974) is regarded by many historians as America’s foremost designer of racing engines for a 50-year period beginning with the early 1920s.
As a teenager in Flint, MI, Goossen took a job with Buick Motor Division of General Motors, where he rose through the ranks and became involved with laying out and detailing drawings for experimental and racing components.
From 1919-1933, he worked as Harry Miller’s chief designer, engineer and draftsman. Goossen designed the famed Miller Eight 183 CID engine, as well as follow-on 122- and 91-cubic inch variants. He also designed several complete Indianapolis racing cars for Miller’s clients.
While chief engineer for Fred Offenhauser from 1933-1946, Leo laid out and detailed the immortal four-cylinder 220-cubic inch “Offy” midget engine and a later 255-cubic inch engine.
From 1946-1965, he was chief development engineer for Meyer & Drake Engineering, where he co-designed (with Bud Winfield) the famed Novi supercharged V-8.
All drawings, layouts and calculations were made by Leo in his home and on the same drawing board on which he had laid out the original Miller 183. Goossen served as a special consultant on the design of Ford’s racing engines in the 1960s.