Bill Miller, Jr. and Chip Miller
Founders of Carlisle Events to be honored at
AACA Museum, Inc. Night at the Museum Event on October 9, 2019
Hershey, PA (July 9, 2019) – Night at the Museum is an annual fundraising event for the AACA Museum, Inc. and provides the perfect platform to honor and give recognition to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the automotive hobby. This year the AACA Museum Automotive Heritage Award honorees are Bill Miller, Jr. and the late Elliot “Chip” Miller founders of Carlisle Events, the worldwide leader in classic and collector car entertainment. This annual event will take place the evening of Wednesday, October 9 at the AACA Museum, Inc., located in Hershey, PA. This date marks the start of the annual AACA Hershey Fall Meet Week festivities in Hershey that attract automotive enthusiasts from around the globe.
Night at the Museum Details:
- The AACA Museum, Inc.’s Night at the Museum event will be held from 6:00 -10:00 PM on Wednesday, October 9 and includes a cocktail reception, entertainment, silent auction, and full dinner. This year we are pleased to announce a new and exciting program that brings the Museum to life through the characters associated with some of the iconic vehicles in our collection. Professional interpretive actors will be matched with vehicles such as the “Forest Gump Bus,” Whitney Houston’s limousine and a DeLorean DMC-12 (Back to the Future). This is our signature fundraising event, and we want to fill the Museum with people. To that end, we’ve reduced the price and made the program much less formal; people are encouraged to come as they are, straight from the Hershey fall meet fields if desired.
- Throughout the event, visitors will have the opportunity to tour the Museum’s current featured exhibits including Studebaker Cool: 114 Years of Innovation showcasing the evolution of Studebaker with more than 50 vehicles on view; Harley-Davidson: The History, Mythology and Perceptions of America’s Motorcycle; a Raymond Loewy Retrospective and a Pontiac-Oakland exhibit gallery. The AACA Museum, Inc. is also home to the Cammack Tucker Collection, and the Tucker Automobile Club of America showcasing the largest display of Tucker automobiles and artifacts anywhere in the World.
- A silent auction with many exciting items up for bid will be available to all attendees.
- Tickets are $100, or for a $50 upgrade you can enjoy an exclusive VIP reception with Bill Miller Jr., and Lance Miller (Chip Miller’s son.) This is a fundraising event with proceeds benefitting the AACA Museum, Inc., which is dedicated to the presentation and preservation of the automotive hobby for current and future generations.
- To order tickets, please visit our website NightAtTheMuseum.org or call 717-566-7100.
- Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available at a variety of levels for organizations or individuals. If you would like to pay tribute to Bill Miller and Chip Miller, or are interested in helping to preserve and promote the motoring hobby, contact us. For more information and personal assistance, please contact Jeffrey Bliemeister at 717-566-7100 ext. 102 or JBliemeister@AACAMuseum.org
Join us for a fun-filled night of friends and fellowship as we celebrate the motoring hobby.
Carlisle Events, How it all Began
For honorees Bill Miller, Jr., and Chip Miller, their story began at the annual Hershey Fall Meet in 1973. As avid automotive enthusiasts, Bill and Chip faithfully attended the AACA Hershey Fall Meet in October each year and would get up early to spend as much time as possible combing every booth on the field.
What was different in the fall of 1973? They had been asked by the newly formed Milestone Car Society, created by well-known author and historian Richard Langworth, to display a “special” car in Milestone’s booth as a way to attract attention and draw people into the booth. Chip had a 1954 Corvette that he wanted to sell, so it seemed like the perfect way to garner attention for both the sale of the car and the car society. The Corvette was placed in the booth on the first day of the show along with a business card stating “1954 Corvette $6,500, will return every hour on the hour to talk with interested buyers” (this was before the days of cell phones.) After an hour, they returned to the car and found the business card on the floor of the vehicle. Puzzled, they figured someone was seriously interested in purchasing the car and pulled the business card off view. A short time later, an official for the fall meet arrived at the booth stating that they were not able to sell the car on-site as it wasn’t 35 years of age or older. They then learned that it was the car show official who had removed the business card, not a prospective buyer.
This experience sparked the comment “Isn’t it a shame that the cars we like are not considered antique cars,” from Chip Miller. This was the thought and the moment that started their business venture initially called “Post War Events” later re-named Carlisle Events. Bill Miller and Chip Miller each contributed $500 and developed a hand-written partnership agreement. They shopped around for a venue to hold their events which would focus on post World War II vehicles and considered several locations in central Pennsylvania before settling on the Fairgrounds in Carlisle because it was the least expensive venue to rent. Later they came to understand that Carlisle was the keystone of the Keystone State with the intersection of Routes 81, Route 76 (PA Turnpike), and Route 11. About half the population of America is within 500 miles of Carlisle.
They rented the Carlisle Fairgrounds for just $600 and started to advertise the “Post War ’74” event. They went to every car show and cruise-in that they could find in search of vendors. When they opened the gates, the week before Fall Hershey in 1974, they had filled 600 vendor spaces and had 6,000 attendees for their first event. They charged a $1 entrance fee to help defray costs which was initially frowned upon by their visitors since the Fall Hershey car show was free to attend. However, this was eventually overcome when the visitor’s found an enjoyable event with clean restrooms, good food, no trash, and free parking.
They struggled on a name to call their population of cars since they weren’t “antique” cars and eventually coined the term “collector cars.” This term is now commonly used by many in the hobby. Another turn of phrase was started with Spring Carlisle ’77 using the words “car corral” as a term for an area where cars were available for sale. Again, this term is used at just about every sizeable automotive event today. The “Post War ‘74” name didn’t stick, however, as the show was commonly referred to as just “Carlisle.” So they made the name change official in 1975.
Now forty-six seasons later, Carlisle Events is going strong with multiple shows each year. When Founders, Chip Miller, and Bill Miller together held their first car show at the Carlisle Fairgrounds in 1974, they never could have envisioned the growth and legacy of Carlisle Events. They began to transform the car show landscape creating a series of national-caliber events that touches almost every element of the hobby. Today, Carlisle Events hosts or is part of twelve events and four collector car auctions. Events have evolved from “cars in a field” to destination activities for individuals and families from around the World. In all, more than a half a million guests visit shows promoted by Carlisle Events annually. The spring show is the organization’s biggest draw of the year with nearly 100,000 enthusiasts converging on the region, and the Carlisle‐based events bring in $98 million annually to the local economy in Central Pennsylvania.
AACA Museum Automotive Heritage Award
The AACA Museum, Inc. Automotive Heritage Award is designed to honor and provide public recognition for an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the hobby by preserving antique vehicles, exhibiting their vehicles, promoting the hobby, engaging in sustained, noteworthy activities that have positively impacted the hobby, and using his/her position in the hobby for philanthropy and service to others. This is the 3rd year for the presentation of this award. Prior award recipients include racing icon Bobby Rahal in 2017 and Gale Halderman, designer of the original Mustang in 2018. We are thrilled to honor Bill Miller, Jr. and Chip Miller with this award in 2019. Don’t miss this opportunity to honor Bill Miller and the late Chip Miller by attending this year’s event in support of all they have done for the automotive hobby.
About the AACA Museum, Inc.
The AACA Museum Inc., a Smithsonian Affiliate, displays beautifully restored automobiles, buses, and motorcycles in unique life-like scenes representing the 1890s – 1980s on a cross-country journey from New York to San Francisco. The AACA Museum, Inc. has been and remains an independent 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, not affiliated with The Antique Automobile Club of America. As one of the largest automotive museums in the country, AACA Museum, Inc. features special exhibits that change several times a year and focus on a variety of eras and types of vehicles – automobiles, buses, trucks, motorcycles and more.
The AACA Museum, Inc. is home to the Cammack Tucker Collection; along with being the home of the Tucker Automobile Club of America. The Museum holds the World’s largest and most prestigious permanent collection of Tucker Automobiles and related artifacts. We’re proud to have been recently recognized by Road & Track and AutoClassics as one of the top automobile museums in the country. The Museum is in South Hanover Township, located just off Route 39, one mile west of Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Regular admission $12.50, seniors age 61 and older $11.50, juniors age 4-12 $9.50, children age 3 and under, AACA Museum, Inc. Members and AACA Members are FREE. The Museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The AACA Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For further information, please call 717-566-7100 or visit www.AACAMuseum.org.