17th Annual Harry Miller Club Vintage Indy Car Event

Big Bend, WI (July 14, 2011) – It is amazing to think that for 17 years in a row, the Harry Miller Club vintage Indy Car event at The Milwaukee Mile has lost only about one hour of track time due to inclement weather. This year was no different. Under mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the 80’s, over 40 cars made track time on the venerable one-mile oval. Last year the club broke the record for entries, this year it was attendance.

The Friday-Saturday event also featured the David V. Uihlein Collection of many engines, engine parts and accessories as well as memorabilia available at the Mecum auction held on Saturday morning inside the paddock. The biggest prize was the 91-inch supercharged Miller engine that hammered at $250,000. The rest of the oval track engines went to Speedy Bill’s Museum in Nebraska. One of Mr. Uihlein’s Frontenacs went for $30,000 and the 110″ Miller engine sold for $72,500. Interesting that a Miller intercooler sold for $23,000, one of Mr. Uihlein’s mechanics informed me that it was used for a doorstop for many years!

Tents added for cars on display were a huge hit. The club had decided to ease traffic on pit road for safety, by installing tents behind the pit fence. Not only did it improve safety and ease traffic, it added a new comfort for the Miller Meet-shade! Now spectators and entrants could socialize and inspect the cars under a canopy in shaded comfort. Many people spoke highly of the new addition and hope it continues next year.

Several new entrants and cars made the trip to Milwaukee as well as sveral returning old friends. One example of both is Tom Barbour of Colorado. This was Tom’s first “Millers at Milwaukee” event as an entrant, however he arrived with a familiar car. Tom now owns the 1927 red and white Perfect Circle Miller that was originally restored by Chuck Davis. Davis along with Mr. Uihlein and Bob Sutherland are the three original pillars of the Harry Miller Club. All three have passed however their legacy lives on.

Many thanks to the participating entrants, Eric Anderson, Tom Barbour, Mike Barringer, Mike Bauman, Bill Blume of the Collier Collection, Lou Burmeister, Bill Castle, Ted Davis, Dr. Robert Dicks, Dick Dittman, Joe Freeman, Buz Hahn, Mark Heathman, John Hollansworth, Bill Hoff, Dennis Holloway, Andy Hurtubise, Charles Lawrence, Herb Lederer, Dana Mecum, Richard Morrison, Lou Natenshon, Pat Phinny, Mitchell Rasansky, Phil Reilly, Gary Schroeder, Carl Schulz, Bob Sirna, Bud Taylor, Steve Truchan, Margery Uihlein and Jim Himmelsbach of Zakira’s Garage.

Many vendors and nice static display was on hand in the paddock and kept the attention of those who attended. It was a pleasure seeing the original Idding’s sprint car as well as the Fredrickson midget race car that was a stalwart on the Badger Midget circuit in the 1960’s. Many nice historic road cars such as a Stutz, Lancia Aurelia, Plymouth Superbird, Mercury Cyclone and several Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Lotus and Shelby Mustangs were seen. Special thanks to Classic Video (Susan Zautke), Ed Dooley, First Turn Productions (John Darlington and Brad Edwards), Joe Freeman, Jon Haydon, Jr., Greenfield Gallery (Ralph Hibbard, Jr.), Tom Saal, Ken Walton and Gordon White for their terrific displays.

The 2012 “Millers at Milwaukee” will be exciting as it will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1912 Vanderbilt Cup and Grand Prize races which was held on the streets of Milwaukee. The featured marque will be the cars of the Vanderbilt Cup. Mark your calendars for July 6-7, 2012 when we celebrate the cars that ran in the Vanderbilt Cup race along with the Millers at Milwaukee entries.

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