September 1-4, 2011
1967 Ford C-Cab Fire Truck
Lot No. 4079
Auctioned on Saturday, September 3, 2011
The 1968 Ridler Award Winner built by Chuck Miller
High Bid of $ 80,000
In his book The American Custom Car, noted authority Pat Ganahl wrote a chapter entitled “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 “Red Baron.” Major show promoters of the era, like Bob Larivee, the head of Group Productions, Inc., paid handsome appearance fees for these unusual cars and they provided their creators with a great deal of publicity.
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 V-8 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. Accordingly, the purchaser of this original creation can lay claim to owning an actual Ridler Award winner for far less than the cost of building one today.