Miller-Meteor is really the story of three companies - the A.J. Miller Company, the Meteor Motor Car Company, and Wayne Works. The only definitive book ever published on Miller-Meteor and its illustrious corporate predecessors, this tome is a multi-faceted history of three fiercely independent, yet interwoven, companies, the unique segment of the motor industry in which they were involved, their charismatic leaders and, most of all, their unique products. This volume showcases hundreds of never-before published original factory photographs.
Book DescriptionIn 1957, two of the oldest and most illustrious names in the North American funeral car and ambulance industry merged to form a professional car manufacturing powerhouse. Right out of the gate, Wayne Corporation?s Miller-Meteor Division charged into the front rank of this specialized, highly competitive niche industry. The Miller-Meteor chronicle is a most compelling one but, Miller-Meteor is really the story of three companies - one of which could trace its roots back to the days of the horse-drawn hearse the other to the dawn of America?s motor age.Founded by Amos Miller in 1853, the A.J. Miller Company started out making a wide range of hand-crafted, buggies, surreys, wagons, hearses and other horse-drawn vehicles, eventually became an automotive body builder and then evolved into one of the most prolific manufacturers of funeral cars and ambulances in the country. Miller was a styling leader, an innovator and a respected name in this highly competitive segment of the American automotive industry. Through the years, Miller-Built funeral coach and ambulance bodies graced the chassis of some of America?s most famous brands including Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, LaSalle, Nash, Oldsmobile, Packard, Pierce-Arrow and Studebaker. Inspired styling and mass-production techniques made Miller funeral cars and ambulances among the most popular in the country.Established in Piqua, Ohio in 1913, the Meteor Motor Car Company was founded by a dynamic individual who had become involved in the development of the automobile at an early age. Employing unorthodox marketing, production and sales techniques and turning out high-quality, well-priced equipment, Meteor dominated the American professional car market for over a decade and quickly became the world?s largest manufacturer of ambulances and funeral cars ? at the same time dabbling in such diverse products as phonographs and sleek, wooden speedboats! Like Miller, over the years, Meteor?s coachwork could be found on the chassis of some of America?s most prestigious marques.Acquired by industrial conglomerate the Wayne Works of Richmond, Indiana in the early 1950s, A.J. Miller and Meteor were soon forged into a single, powerful entity that would brazenly challenge rival professional car manufacturers for industry dominance over more than two decades. Miller-Meteor rocketed into the front ranks of the highly competitive professional car marketplace of the late 1950s and on to a leadership position by the end of the 1960s by employing innovative engineering, quality craftsmanship and advanced styling elements combined with intelligent marketing and pricing policies.