As much art as machine, Miller Electric Mfg. Co.’s custom high-powered 1929 Roadster premiered recently at the 36th Annual Street Rod Nationals. The Miller Roadster’s debut coincides with the announcement of Miller’s Dream Weldshop sweepstakes, a celebration of the do-it-yourself welder.
The sweepstakes winner receives a welding and cutting package that includes the same models of Miller equipment used to create the hot rod, plus two hours of individual instruction from a Miller expert, a heavy-duty welding table, auto-darkening helmet and numerous other prizes. The Dream Weldshop package is valued at more than $12,000.
The Dream Weldshop sweepstakes runs from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30. Entry and contest information can be found on Miller’s website at www.MillerWelds.com. TLC’s popular RIDES program will dedicate an entire episode to the building of the Miller Roadster. The show airs Sept. 6.
“We wanted to show that the tools and techniques we used are within easy reach of the average home hobbyist," said Wayne Reece, one of the car’s primary designers and builders. "The welding and plasma cutting equipment we chose wasn’t exotic or expensive, just operator friendly. In fact, almost anyone can learn to use a Miller MIG welder or plasma cutter with just a few hours of practice."
Reece, a district manager with Miller and a street rod enthusiast, designed the custom Miller Roadster based on a 1929 Ford Roadster in honor of the year Miller was founded. Reece coordinated a team of nationally renowned experts to help with the fabrication and design, including Pat Keating and Glen Miller, his friends and fellow Louisville residents. Others providing design input, support and components include Ron Covell, Chip Foose, Brookville Roadster, Total Cost Involved Engineering, Inc., Metra Electronics, Taylor’s House of Color, Scotts Jr. Interiors, Roush Performance and others.
"The double Roush 302 engines put the design over the top for me," said Ron Covell, one of the country’s leading metalworkers and award-winning car builder. Covell, who helped with the car’s hardtop, was referring to the two powerful engines, one in the Roadster and one powering a Miller Trailblazer welding generator in the matching trailer. The Trailblazer is an engine-driven welding generator normally powered by a 20-HP or 22-HP engine.
"The Roadster features top-rated suspension components and chassis, plus some real interesting body modifications from Pat [Keating]," Covell said. Pat Keating, owner of Keating’s Customs, Inc., said, "This Model A Roadster is a little bit unusual because we flush-mounted the doors and installed electric windows." The original Model A doors overlapped and had side curtains instead of windows.
The Roadster sports the original Miller logo on its side, and features a unique removable aluminum hardtop covered in Mercedes cloth with hand-stitched seams, suede and ostrich-hide headliner. The bed features a motorized hardtop cover that raises to display a state-of-the-art stereo and DVD system from Metra Electronics.
“Blending modern convenience with classic style is one of the unique aspects of this design," said Reece. “We even designed our Roadster to have heat and air conditioning."
The Miller Roadster also features independent front suspension, a Ford C-6 transmission with 2,200-rpm stall converter, a 700-watt JBL stereo with a flip-out 7" television below the dash, classic 5-spoke spindle wheels designed by Chip Foose, South African ostrich hide interior, Ferio bucket seats, a perfectly reproduced 1929 Ford frame fabricated by TCI (Total Cost Involved) and body components from Brookville Roadster.
THE ULTIMATE HOME WELDSHOP
The Dream Weldshop sweepstakes package includes:
– A Miller Dynasty 200 TIG welder featuring advanced inverter technology with Auto-Line technology that can automatically connect to 120-460VAC.
– A Millermatic 251 MIG welder, an easy-to-use, all-in-one MIG welder.
– A Miller Spectrum 625 Plasma Cutter that cuts any metal that conducts electricity.
– A Miller Big Window Elite Auto-Darkening Helmet that lets you view and prep your work through the lens, and then darkens in 1/20,000 of a second when you start welding.
– A 4′ x 6′ welding table with plasma cutting chute.
– Training CDs, manuals and two hours of individual instruction.
– Welding accessories, gloves and jacket.
– A shop coat, stool and clock.
– And much more, bringing the value of the package to more than $12,000. Ten runners-up will receive Miller Roadster T-shirts.