Icons of Speed & Style

26 September 2009

Lot 235

1967 Ford C-Cab Fire Truck

To be auctioned on Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sold for $90,750

  • Chassis no. 67160


Small-block supercharged Chevrolet V-8, external headers, custom tubular dropped front axle with semi-elliptic transverse leaf spring, solid Ford rear axle, American 12-spoke front and five-spoke rear wheels, no front brakes, rear drums. Wheelbase: 90"

Chuck Miller, the owner of Styline Customs in Detroit, MI, built notable, show-winning custom cars for years. He also created auto show concept cars for American Motors and Hurst Performance, as well as for Plymouth and Dodge. One of his major successes came at the 1968 Detroit Autorama, where he won the Ridler award with his whimsical, C-Cab Fire truck, which was also named one of the “Top 10 Rods” in the country, that year, by Car Craft magazine. The following year, Miller received critical acclaim with a car that was built to match the success of a Monogram model kit -- the Tom Daniel-designed “Red Baron.” Chuck Miller was very well-known for his little “Zingers,” small-bodied show cars built for Promotions, Inc., with radical blown or injected full-sized V8 engines.

The C-Cab Fire truck played off several popular elements from the Vietnam era: every young man’s enthusiasm for fire equipment; the booming T-bucket craze; a recurrent 1960s-to-1970s hot rod show car practice that Street Rodder magazine called “Wacky Show Rods,” and the popularity of the famous C-Cab Mack and Model T trucks. Combining these themes, Miller built a delightfully daring C-cab T, with a single monocle windshield, tiller steering, a muscular blown small-block V-8, competition-themed American 12-spoke and 5-spoke mags, drilled ladder bars and “pie crust” drag slicks.

Elements of this cute trucklet’s widespread, if a bit “tongue in cheek,” appeal included a pair of abbreviated wooden ladders, Fire Engine style gold leaf “Engine #13” lettering on the cab sides, and the absence of front brakes. Other charming features included older-style drum headlights, vintage Model T taillights (painted red, of course), a winged Motometer radiator cap and a roof rack. While the Fire Truck could be driven on the street, it was really designed to win custom cars shows, and it succeeded decisively, taking the coveted Detroit Autorama Ridler Award in 1968.

In his book, the American Custom Car, author and hot rod authority Pat Ganahl wrote a chapter he called, “Silly Show Cars.” These included Steve Scott’s “Uncertain T,” Dan Woods’ “Milk Truck,” Ed Roth’s “Druid Princess,” and Chuck Miller’s “C-Cab Fire Truck” and the “Red Baron.” So Miller’s efforts were in good company. Major show promoters of that era, like Bob Larivee, the head of Group Productions, Inc., would pay handsome appearance fees for unusual cars like these. A successful effort could result in a great deal of publicity, so many custom car builders were delighted to create them.

Today, the Detroit Autorama Ridler award has become the most sought-after and respected prize on the hot rod and custom car show circuit. Unlike the Grand National Roadster Show “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” award, which requires cars to be 1937 or earlier roadsters, the Ridler winner can be any rod or custom that’s exceptionally creative, with technical merit and high crowd appeal. Ridler aspirants today spend literally millions of dollars, just to make the “Great Eight” finalist selection, with no guarantee of winning the top prize. The purchaser of this C-Cab Fire Truck will own a Ridler Award winner for far less than the cost of building one today.

Addendum

Please note that this vehicle is offered on a bill of sale only.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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+1 212 894 1301
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Political Science. ... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Peter Giddings

pgiddings@rmauctions.com

+1 925 831 2048
California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

vmandzak@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more

Jeff Whiteside

jwhiteside@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jeff Whiteside joined RM Auctions as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following almost three decades in a diverse r... read more