July 1925 - December 1970
  Gus Wilson's Model Garage

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1925-1929       1930-1939       1940 - 49       1950 - 59       1960 - 69      1970

  Hall of Fame   Lyle Best   Myron O. Weekley   Don Miller

Edgar Hammerberg   Mary Viramontes   Dave Mantor   Jack


Don Miller - Miller Automotive


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January, 2019

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Don Miller in Peoria, Illinois. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Elaine, his wife of 43 years and his family.  He will be sorely missed.

Don Miller was working on cars "before I was even licensed to drive them." In the early 50's Don became enamored with mechanics and if no car was available he would work on lawnmowers and small engines.  In the mean time he was also a dedicated subscriber to Popular Science and would flip to the Model Garage series and Gus Wilson as soon as it arrived. Don originally hailed from Indianapolis, Indiana eventually landing in Peoria, Illinois.

Through the years his interest in mechanics has taken him from a business in small engine repair through jobs as a line mechanic at Chevrolet, Lincoln/Mercury, and Oldsmobile dealerships.  It was at the Oldsmobile dealership that he also began working on the dealerships other lines of cars (MG, Fiat, and Jaguar).  He began to work more and more on the imports.  In 1982, a tremendously slow time for the service industry, Don opened Miller Automotive in Peoria. To get a better idea of his operation there go to http://arcpress.com/.

On a visit to Peoria Don took me on a tour of his shop and I was fortunate to have lunch with Don and his wife Elaine.  She and Don both share a love of art. She is an accomplished painter and Don is a gifted metal sculptor.  His business, his art, children, step-children, and grandchildren keep him hopping.  I'm amazed that he still has time to create websites and dabble in the "Gus" project.

Don Miller and I became acquainted following a bidding war on e-bay for a Gus Wilson pocketbook.  Don was the first person to put the Model Garage up on the internet. His site was the inspiration for this site and he has helped immeasurably in keeping me "chipping away" at this project.  Don's shop is in Peoria, Illinois where he works on a wide variety of makes and models.  His shop reminds me of how the model garage would've evolved had it made it past 1969.  Thanks Don for all your encouragement and help.