The week began with a gathering of racing's elite at the spectacular Arizona Biltmore for a special viewing of "The Quest," a documentary by Director Michael Brown. In attendance were such racing dignitaries as Bob Bondurant and his wife Pat, Lyn St. James, Dick Guldstrand, Arie and Meike Luyendyk, Jim Jeffords, Paul Reinhart and Joe Freitas.
"The Quest" documents the efforts of a son to fulfill his late father's dream to reunite the first Corvette to win its class at Le Mans in 1960 with the world-famous driver (John Fitch & Bob Grossman) - who made it happen - 50 years after the flag dropped. The story tells the heart-warming tale of Chip's "Quest" to find, restore and reunite the first American car to win its class at Le Mans' grueling 24-hour race with its driver 50 years after the fact. Tragically, Chip Miller died in 2004 from amyloidosis, a disease for which there is no current cure. Chip's son Lance picked up the torch to complete his father's vision. This film traces the story from discovery of the Corvette to the triumphant return of John Fitch and the Briggs Cunningham team Corvette to the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 2010.
The event was organized by a local group of volunteers who wanted to support the CMCF and gather together some of the most famous vintage race cars. Enthusiasts came to view an incredible display on the front lawn of the resort featuring the endurance racers of Le Mans, ranging from a C-type Jaguar through notable Ferrari, Maserati, and Porsche racers. Sharing the main lawn display with the famous Cunningham #3 Corvette were the Bondurant/Washburn Corvette, Cunningham C4R, and the two 1958 Cunningham Lister Jaguars, reunited for the first time in over fifty years.
"We're happy we could contribute to such an important cause and support the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation," said Scott Dames, vintage Corvette racer/restorer and one of the event organizers. "It was an incredible gathering of people and vehicles joining together to honor Chip and raise money in his name."
On the heels of the Biltmore event was the Barrett-Jackson's 41st Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, AZ on Tuesday, January 17, 2012. For the third year in a row, the auction company generously donated valuable auction time for the CMCF to auction a completely refurbished 1969 Riverside Gold Corvette Stingray coupe as lot #57 (charity lot 3001). The car was bought for $31,000 by a local collector.
"Barrett-Jackson helps us achieve our mission to raise awareness about this disease. If it weren't for their generosity, we wouldn't be able to reach the people in attendance and millions of people through Speed TV. It means a lot to us and we hope to continue to partner with the company long into the future," said CMCF President, Angela Morsa.
Chip Miller was co-founder of Corvettes at Carlisle and Carlisle Events in Pennsylvania. Chip was very well-known and loved in the Corvette community worldwide but in March 2004, he passed away from a little-known disease called Amyloidosis. The Chip Miller Charitable Foundation was formed to help spread awareness of this disease and raise money for educational and research purposes.
The Foundation's goal is for earlier diagnosis to affect better treatment outcomes. If Chip and his doctors were aware of the symptoms of amyloidosis when they first presented, he might still be with us today. The mission of the CMCF is to empower people with the knowledge and understanding of amyloidosis for earlier detection, ensuring a better quality of life for those afflicted with the disease and to help science find the cures.
The 1969 Corvette Stingray in Riverside Gold was generously donated for the third year in a row by San Diego Classic and Muscle Cars of Escondido CA. Other sponsors of the car included Mid America Motorworks, Coker Tires, Reliable Carriers Inc, Trim Parts, Adam's Polishes, Bowling Green Assembly Plant, the National Corvette Museum and Carlisle Events.
"It was an amazing way to start 2012 for the Foundation," said Chip Miller's son Lance. "We're so appreciative of all the support we received from "The Quest" event organizers and Barrett-Jackson. All of the money raised goes to help fight Amyloidosis so that no one else has to lose their Dad the way I did."About the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation:
Information about the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation and to make a donation, visit www.ChipMiller.org.
Journalist note: For high-resolution photography and more information on the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation, please contact Angela Morsa, Foundation President, (215) 885-3351, firstname.lastname@example.org