Ask almost any enthusiast about Carlisle, and they’ll likely tell you about one of the ten events that are held there. Or they’ll talk about the hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts who flock to the fairgrounds to attend any one of those events during the summer months.
Events that reside under the Carlisle banner are always exciting, fulfilling and, on many occasions, done on a grand scale. That is due to the myriad of like-minded enthusiasts who work throughout the year to make each event memorable. That has been the successful formula used by the Carlisle staff ever since Chip Miller and Bill Miller, Jr. held the first Carlisle event back in 1974. Since then, the Carlisle name has become synonymous with enthusiasm and has enjoyed renown the world over.
Originating through Chip and Bill’s enthusiasm for cars, Carlisle events have given venue for both men to pursue their passion for cars. Chip Miller set a goal of finding and acquiring the #3 1960 Corvette that raced and won its class in the famous French Le Mans 24-hour race. His dream was to restore it and take it back for its 50-year anniversary to Le Mans in 2010, with John Fitch, one of its original drivers. With the help of friends, he eventually located the car in October of 2000 and had well-known restorer Kevin Mackay painstakingly bring it back to its Le Mans racing attire. Within only a few years of partially completing his dream, Chip Miller died from an extremely rare disease called amyloidosis. His goal was cut short in 2004.
The Quest, a documentary created by producer Michael Brown, tells the heart-warming story about the history of this famed and forgotten Corvette, its journey into obscurity and eventually back to the hallowed French landscape, where it made history a half century ago. Never-before-seen footage, photos and interviews help to bring this amazing story to life on the big screen. The documentary features 93-year-old racing legend John Fitch, Corvette restoration specialist Kevin Mackay, the late Carlisle Events co-owner and founder Chip Miller, as well as his son and current co-owner Lance Miller.
To begin the process of telling this amazing story, a world premiere showing of The Quest was held on May 6, 2011, and more than 500 people packed into the Carlisle Theatre, located directly downtown. Many personalities highlighted in the movie were in attendance and milling around among the attendees as well as the now-famous #3 1960 Le Mans-winning Corvette in race-ready garb.
Just after 7:30 p.m., the hearts and minds of those in attendance focused on the big screen for the next 84 minutes as this amazing story of one car’s struggle to win and a son’s struggle to fulfill his father’s dream unfolded before them. At the conclusion of the film, as tissue boxes were distributed among many, the crowd roared into a standing ovation, showing their approval of the work and the sincere regard that they all had for the late Chip Miller.
With an amazing response from those in attendance and a slew of e-mails demanding another showing, discussions are underway for an encore presentation.
Details on the encore will be posted at www.questdocumentary.com as they become available. Finally, all proceeds from the premiere were generously donated by Michael Brown directly to the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation, making a truly moving night that much more special.
The Chip Miller Charitable Foundation was formed shortly after Chip’s passing to help spread awareness of this disease and raise money for educational and research purposes. The foundation is working diligently to increase education about amyloidosis for earlier diagnosis to affect better treatment outcomes. If Chip Miller and his doctors were aware of the symptoms of amyloidosis when they were first presented, he may still be with us today.