60 Cars And Record Attendance For 18th Annual Harry A. Miller Club Vintage Indy Car Meet

Although the official temperature was 94 degrees, the asphalt on the track, pit area and paddock was much hotter for those that gathered for the opening day of the 18th annual “Millers at Milwaukee” vintage Indy Car Meet on July 6th. However, many were able to cool in the shade of the handy paddock tents that made their second appearance at the Meet and everybody seemed to have a bottle of water with them. Saturday (July 7th) saw more seasonable temps as the running joke became that some needed a sweater in the cool and comfortable 82 degree Wisconsin summer weather.

Besides the heat on the opening day most talk centered on the record 60 cars entered and on site for the Harry A. Miller Club (HMC) Meet which saw the biggest two-day crowd seen since this marvelous event was started by HMC pillars, David Uihlein, Chuck Davis and Bob Sutherland. This year, the event focused on the 100th anniversary of the 1912 Vanderbilt Cup which was held on the streets of Milwaukee a short distance to the north of Wisconsin State Fair Park which houses the venerable Milwaukee Mile.

Thanks to John Haydon and his fine crew, attendees got to view a display of two large dioramas, each 4 feet x 12 feet in size. One model depicted the start-finish line along with pit area, grandstands, box seats and officials’ stand. The second display depicted the “city turn,” being the difficult first turn hairpin. Both dioramas beautifully depicted race action with many fine scale models of the competing Vanderbilt Cup/Grand Prize cars, as well as models of the spectators’ cars. The time and effort that went into this display is truly impressive and the details stunning. Plus attendees got to see the many Vanderbilt-era cars present such as Mike Bauman (1914 LaFrance), Greg Cone (1912 Stoddard-Dayton), Eldon Eby (1911 Oldsmobile, 1912 Cutting), Bill Evans (1909 Blitzen Benz, 1913 Isotta Fraschini), Jim Grundy (1912 National), Herb Lederer (1912 Mercer), Dana Mecum (1911 Mitchell) and Herb Singe, Jr. (1907 Pope-Hartford). Many expressed their appreciation for the club members for bringing their Vanderbilt-era cars to the meet this year.

A fine group of Indianapolis “roadsters” were present, including Bill Akin (1955 Kurtis KK500B, 1959 Epperly-Offy), Joe Freeman (1960 Watson-Offy), Tom Malloy (1962 Lesovsky-Offy), Bob McConnell (1958 Kurtis 500G), Larry Pfitzenmaier (1959 Watson-Offy), Phil Reilly (1960 Epperly-Offy) and Dave Schleppi (1961 Chenoweth-Chevy). The roadster contingent was rounded out by Lou Burmeister, Dr. Robert Dicks, Dick Dittman, Dale Mueller, and Bud Taylor and their vibrant tribute cars.

Of course the ‘Millers at Milwaukee’ Meet has to have Miller race cars present. Dan Davis brought a pair of fine Millers, the 1923 Miller 122 and the 1923 Straight-Eight 122. Also present were Fred Bohlander’s gorgeous 1919 Miller TNT and Terry Castle’s blue 1920 Miller-Durant, Dana Mecum’s 1931 grey Miller V-16 and 1935 red and white Miller-Ford along with Tom Malloy’s 1934 Burd Piston Ring Miller found their way for some track time.

Also many thanks to Eric Anderson, Ted Davis, Toney Edwards, Buz Hahn, Mark Heathman, John Hollansworth, Dennis Holloway, Scott Larson, Charles Lawrence, Sam Mann, Lou Natenshon, Carl Schultz, Josh Shaw, Steve Truchan, Jr., Bill Warner and Glen Windstrup for their entries.

Not only are there nice race cars in the pit and paddock, but one of the surprises of the Miller Meet are the fine classic automobiles that are brought to the event. Many street rods, fine muscle cars and even a rare Cord and Jaguar were present which makes a fine impromptu concours.

Several former drivers were at the track including Johnny Capels who brought up A.J. Watson’s Estes Special from Indianapolis. Also seen at the track was Road Race Hall of Fame driver, Hurley Haywood along with dirt trackers, Roy Caruthers, Andy Hurtubise, Rocky Hodges and Davey Ray.

All of us affiliated with the Harry Miller Club would like to offer their gratitude to Margery Uihlein for her support of the event.

Thanks to Burton Benjamin, Dick Billings, Ed Dooley, Joe Freeman & Tom Saal (Racemaker Press), Longname Enterprises (Josh Shaw & Jim Himmelsbach), Greenfield Gallery (Ralph Hibbard, Jr.), Bob McConnell, Lance Turner, Ken Walton and Gordon White for bringing their specialty historic auto racing memorabilia to the vending area. The event also marked the release of the new Joel Finn book, The 1912 Milwaukee Races: Vanderbilt Cup and Grand Prize. Finn’s book has been a long time coming but early reports are that it’s well worth the wait.

Mark your calendars! Next year’s HMC event will be Friday & Saturday, July 12th & 13th.

Share Button