Eddie Miller, Jr. Lakester Speeds into UMFA Exhibition
Salt Lake City - The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) at the University of Utah is pleased to announce the addition of the 1950 Eddie Miller, Jr. Lakester to the special exhibition, Speed: The Art of the Performance Automobile, on view through September 16. The Lakester will be on view to the public at the UMFA beginning Tuesday, July 17. It will replace the 1935 Duesenberg SJ "Mormon Meteor I" as the meteor prepares for the prestigious Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles event this fall.
"We are thrilled to bring the Eddie Miller Lakester to the UMFA," says Gretchen Dietrich, executive director of the UMFA. "It was incredible to have the `Mormon Meteor I´ in our galleries, and we are equally excited about sharing the historic Eddie Miller racer with our car-loving and art-loving community. It gives previous Speed visitors a great reason to come back."
The award-winning Lakester´s sleek design was originally sketched by Eddie Miller, Sr. in the mid-1930s as a challenge to Ab Jenkins´ "Mormon Meteor I" racer. While Miller never built the car, his dream was realized by his son Eddie Miller, Jr. in 1950. A gifted mechanic, Eddie Miller, Jr. spent three years creating the bronze Lakester from various recycled car parts. He handmade a tubular steel chassis, drilled it for lightness, and wrapped it in a sleek aluminum body of his own design.
The Eddie Miller, Jr. Lakester raced for the first time on the dry lakes of Los Angeles in 1950 and turned an impressive 139 mph, landing it in the August issue of Hot Rod Magazine that year. Two years later the Lakester reached 156 mph at Bonneville for a solid fourth-place finish in its class.
After a series of ownership changes, Don Ferguson, Sr. purchased the Miller Lakester. The legendary Bonneville racecar was restored in 2010 by his son Don Ferguson, Jr. and won first place in the Historic Hot Rod class at the Pebble Beach Concours d´Elegance.
The 1935 Duesenberg SJ "Mormon Meteor I" will leave Speed: The Art of the Performance Automobile in preparation for the Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles, a major automotive event held near Canton, Ohio in mid September (www.glenmoorgathering.com). Ab Jenkins´ famous 1938 "Mormon Meteor III" will remain on display in the Speed exhibition.
About Speed: The Art of the Performance Automobile
The UMFA's special exhibition, Speed: The Art of the Performance Automobile, features 19 of the world's fastest and finest automobiles. Organized by Ken Gross, the exhibition is on view through September 16, 2012 and features a century of legends on wheels. The cars exemplify premier aerodynamics, engineering, and design of their era, ranging from Steve McQueen's 1957 Jaguar XK-SS Roadster to the 1938 "Mormon Meteor III"-the famous Bonneville racer that holds more long distance speed records than any other automobile in history. Tickets are sold in time slots, and are $18 for adults, $13 for youth (ages 14-17) and seniors (ages 65+), $3 for children (ages 3-13), and free for infants (0-2). General admission included. Museum hours are Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wednesdays: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Weekends: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Mondays and holidays. Information available at www.speedumfa.com.
About the UMFA
As Utah's official state art museum, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) has long served as a bridge from the University of Utah campus to the broader community. The UMFA's mission is to engage visitors in making meaningful connections with the world of art. The museum's permanent collection spans more than 5,000 years of human creativity and features over 19,000 works from around the globe. Special exhibitions make each visit a new experience, and a variety of public programs are scheduled year-round to encourage dialogue and discovery. The UMFA is located in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building at 410 Campus Center Drive. Museum hours are Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wednesdays: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Weekends: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Mondays and holidays. Info at (801) 581-7332 or visit www.umfa.utah.edu.