LINCOLN PARK — The Lincoln Park Historical Museum will host the exhibition “Chuck Miller’s Mobile Masterpieces” Aug. 14 to Sept. 18, a tribute to Miller’s Styline custom auto design career, with a special event bringing some of his original creations to the grounds of the museum for one day.
The Red Baron custom hot rod built by Miller will be on the museum grounds as will several of Chuck’s Zingers! – half-scale autos with monstrous chromed hot rod engines of which extremely popular model kits were made for the youth market – for the opening reception from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 14.
By the time Miller graduated from Lincoln Park High School in 1961, he was already obsessed with cars, having created models with creativity and painstaking detail. When he wasn’t sketching cars or working on models, Miller was wrenching the real thing, securing a job at Dick’s Collision in River Rouge.
At 20, Miller took over the shop and changed the name to Styline Customs in 1963. Though he mostly made his living bumping out dents and fixing fenders, he was soon turning out eye-catching creations of his own.
Bugs Buggy, The Crater Raider, The Sonic Cuda — created in 1971 as part of the Chrysler Plymouth Rapid Transit System melding of cutting edge style and heavy horse power touring show cars, the Corvette Sportwagon — a conversion created for Motown Funk Brothers percussionist Uriel Jones and dubbed the “drum buggy” — the Zingers!, The Woodburner, and especially the Red Baron Roadster were just a few of the wild and wooly car creations that Miller made in the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1968 Miller was awarded the Ridler Award at Detroit’s Autorama for his Fire Truck Engine Co. No. 13, a plastic model kit of which soon followed.
Bob Larivee Sr’s. passion for hot rods has seen him behind the wheel in racing car driver’s seats, officiating at race tracks, and producing Detroit’s Autorama for 33 years starting in 1961. He also is the author and subject of several volumes tracing Detroit’s fascination with custom cars and drag racing history. Larivee will be at the museum on the 14th to sign his new book “Hot Rod Dreams” as well as his “Hot Rod Detroit: A Complete History of Hot Rodding in the Motor City”.
Cult pop artist Glenn Barr has created a limited-edition signed and numbered serigraph tied in with Miller’s Red Baron especially for this exhibition. Prints will be available for purchase at the museum the run of the exhibition while they last.
Also on Aug. 14, Hallmark Guitars will feature its custom Red Baron electric guitar to be played by chanteuse Margaret Doll Rod, of the Demolition Doll Rods.
Jack White’s Third Man Records Cass Corridor will have its mobile record shop on site offering home towners MC5 and Bob Seger releases from among their eclectic catalog of vinyl albums and singles.
Complimentary snacks at the reception courtesy of the Lincoln Park Historical Society will include chips courtesy of Great Lakes Potato Chip Co, signature soda from Motor City Brewing Works, along with grilled hot dogs and bottled water.
Members of the West Side Rod and Customs Club will attend the reception with their vehicles. Other clubs interested in attending should send a text message to 248-924-0298.
The Lincoln Park Historical Museum is at 1335 Southfield Road, Lincoln Park. Hours are 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Facemasks are required of all indoor visitors. The museum entrance is wheelchair accessible.
Further information is available at the museum’s Facebook page for the event, https://www.facebook.com/chuckmillerstylinetribute; at its website, www.lphistorical.org; by calling 313-386-3137; or emailing [email protected].