Next up in our Ridler Award Winners Through the Ages is 1968, Chuck Miller’s hand built Fire truck. The custom built C-Cab body took the show circuit in a rage of fire! Chuck Miller owned Styline Customs in the late 60s and specialized in customs and concepts. The Fire truck was designed to attract attention and win awards. It obviously did that by winning the biggest award, the Ridler!
In 2011, Miller’s Fire Truck went up for auction with a pre-auction estimate of $75,000 – $125,000. The car is incredibly detailed. Miller dropped in a fuel tank that looked (or maybe was) a fire extinguisher. He used a first aid kit box for a battery cover, ladder on the side, and a red light on the intake. Auctions America wrote out a description that was incredibly accurate.
“The C-Cab Fire Truck played off several popular elements from the era, including every young man’s enthusiasm for fire equipment, the booming T-bucket craze, a recurrent show car practice that Street Rodder magazine called “Wacky Show Rods,” and the enduring popularity of the early “C-Cab” Model T trucks. Combining these themes, Miller built a delightful rendition with a single-monocle windscreen, tiller steering, a small-block V8 engine with a “dummy” blower, competition-themed American mag wheels, drilled ladder bars, and “pie crust” drag slicks.
Other stylistic elements include abbreviated wooden ladders, gold leaf side lettering, rear-only brakes, drum headlights, vintage Model T taillights, a winged Moto-Meter radiator cap, and a roof rack. Not intended for street use, the Fire Truck was designed and built with just one purpose: to win custom-car shows.”
Chuck Miller won the single Ridler award but went on to build more vehicles that were outstanding, outlandish and just plain amazing. Miller was inducted in the Kustom Kemps of America Hall of Fame and the Darryl Starbird Hall of Fame, both of which are huge honors for top builders. This man is definitely one of the top custom builders to come out of hot rod culture.
Hang in for the next edition of Ridler Award Winners Through the Ages when we revisit the Alexander brothers and Larry Alexander’s “Top Banana” Ford Model T Roadster.