Taking a chance
by Richard Lewis
Rick Miller, PBCA member and owner of a simply gorgeous 1999 Twin-Turbo V-Eight Lotus Esprit with only 17,000 on the clock (see photo), is among the luckiest of men. When his wife, Anita, called an old friend to inquire about the possible sale of the Lotus and received a positive answer, she bought it for him. What a present to come home to!
Both he and she often draw lots of attention when they drive it, and they drive it often. This impeccably kept car only required new tires lately, and that only from age.
Lucky man, yes, and what a lucky couple to have each other. Anita must have had some anxious moments during Rick’s racing career, but she is always supportive of him.
Rick is not only a sports car buff, you see, but he has another love — motorcycles.
His first ride on a powered two-wheeled vehicle was on his cousin’s motor scooter, this before his feet could reach the ground — and when he could, he bought one for himself and started using it in racing events.
Scooters led to mini-bikes, and by 1966, he was racing motorcycles, without much success, he reports. He soon tried car racing on dirt tracks, where he began to rack up the trophies, and even a little cash. Then, about the turn of the century, he started seriously racing motorcycles on minor tracks (maybe minor but still very scary).
Rick may have started small, but let’s let his successes speak for themselves. He now holds the AMRA National Championship and is the National Record Holder. How ’bout them apples?
Yes, such racing does require nerves of steel, and a high tolerance for pain. Rick has had his share of “events,” as he chooses to call them, including a head-on crash, another causing damage to elbows and knees, and, at age 34, a series of compression fractures. He is one tough guy, but one of the most pleasant guys Your Loyal Correspondent (YLC) has ever interviewed. His modesty is refreshing, and YLC had to squeeze out of him some of his accomplishments.
He has led an eventful life and has met it head on. Rick, is it time to slow down some? Remember, that Lotus has a sturdy roof. Recent events
May 12 — Panhandle Cruisers 11th Annual Car Show at 5-Flags Speedway always draws a crowd, including some PBCA members. As always, good work on the part of the Cruisers.
May 22 — PBCA monthly meeting at Sonny’s. As always, business, fun and prizes.
May 25 — Dinner on the Town drew a nice crowd at a great restaurant, the Grand Marlin on Pensacola Beach. Guests included YLC’s daughter, Dr. Catherine Lewis, and almost daughter, Dr. Jennifer Dickey, plus late PBCA member Mickey McNair’s widow, Esper McNair. Great companionship and food.
June 5 — The always well-attended breakfast at the Grand drew a festive crowd of about twenty to enjoy companionship and good food.
June 13 — PBCA Executive Board meeting at the Grand at noon. All were invited to help plan club events.
June 16 — Garage Tour of Mike Darby’s Garage. Mike is the go-to guy for repairs and restorations and a welcoming host. Hope you got yourself there.
June 18 — Monthly PBCA meeting at Sonny’s at 7 p.m. for planning, business and fun. Till next time, don’t stand in the rain with your hands on the battery terminals.
1999 Lotus Esprit, 17K miles.
Yes, motorcycle racing is scary — Rick being chased by a mysterious force!
Rick is an AMRA National Champion and record holder.
One of our most popular dining events, ‘Fancy Friday on the Town’. We had 17 happy diners at May’s FF