Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What we have to offer

  • Service and repair for street driven Vintage Sportscars and Sedans.

  • Performance upgrades for street or track on engine and suspension.

  • Turnkey Vintage race conversions.

  • Custom roll bar and cage fabrication for any car.

  • Open or enclosed transport available.

  • We do not do paint nor body work but have reliable sources if

Monday, May 5, 2008

Our specialized services

At the Roadspeed Garage you can expect to receive personalized services for your vintage sports cars. Bart Miller is the technician who has had over 35 years of experience in the field of repairing and restoring vintage sports cars of all makes and models. He approaches each repair as if he was working on his own cars. Bart is frequently able to diagnose problems just by listening to or driving the vehicle. He is always willing to show his customers areas of concern, parts which need replacing and advice on what would work best for their car. If you are in need of a part which is no longer available, Bart is usually able to fabricate it for you. If you want to make your vintage sports car handle better, accelerate faster, run smoother, or last a little longer, then Bart is the man to see.

If you would like your car to look better, Bart's wife, Carolyn, is able to strip down your old seats, refurbish the frame, install new diaphragms and straps, new foam, and seat cover kits. Carolyn also strips out old carpeting, cleans off the underlying metal and installs new carpet kits with glue and/or snaps. She also disassembles convertible tops, refurbishes the frame (painting when requested), and installs new convertible tops. She also installs tonneaus. If you need a new dash cover, Carolyn will remove the old one, clean off the existing metal surface and then install a new dash cover kit. Before replacing the dash, she will clean the glass and frames of your gauges. With Carolyn's woodworking skills, she is able to use your original wooden dash to fabricate a new blank to cover in veneer, vinyl or leather.

Bart and Carolyn really enjoy seeing these beautiful vintage sports cars looking like new and running better than ever.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Contact Us

The Roadspeed Garage
127 Warehouse Drive
Cleveland, Georgia 30528-4458

Bart & Carolyn Miller

706-348-6364 *** Fax 706-219-4327

Google Maps

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

About Bart Miller

Bart Miller has loved sports cars since he was a little boy growing up in Virginia Beach, VA. He was thrilled to see so many service men from Norfolk driving in the area in Jaguars, MGs and Triumphs. After High School, Bart worked at a garage in Norfolk that catered to those British sports cars, and his experience and love of cars expanded even more. His younger sister, Anne, bought a 1951 Jag 120 which Bart kept running. He has transported it through many states since 1966. Today it sits at his shop waiting for Bart to turn it into yet another vintage race car which he will drive to shows and events along with his 1959 Bugeye and his 1971 MGB GT. These cars are not just for show. They are driven on the streets a good deal.

Bart graduated from High School and moved on to college. His folks always wanted him to be a Doctor, but that didn't work out. He transferred to a small college in Nebraska where he earned a BA in English. While at college, Bart met two "car crazy" guys, one from New York, the other from North Carolina. When they graduated, they all went home to decide what to do next. A few months later, the buddy from NY called Bart to tell him about a fabulous place to work - Herrington Motors in Montgomery, NY. The place was packed full of sports cars! This sounded great to Bart, so it was off to NY. That was in 1972. Unfortunately, that didn't last. Then came the idea to start their own car repair shop. The guy from North Carolina had earned a degree in accounting - perfect! A technician, an accountant, and a PR man! Let's go! That's how Elf Motor Works was born. Pretty soon, they were working on VWs, Jags, MGs, and anything old and foreign that came their way.

This is Bart with his sister Anne and partner John at one of Elf Motor Works' locations in Orange County, NY.

After a year or so, Bart was the only one left at Elf Motor Works. After having several locations around the county, he decided in 1984 he'd had enough. The hours were long, the pay was never going to make him a millionaire, and he needed more time for himself. Bart decided to take a job at a BMW dealership and became a certified technician. By the time he retired in 1997, he was a certified, master technician of BMW, Alfa Romeo, and Volvo.

Of course while he worked for others, his previous customers kept insisting that no one else could take care of their sports cars so he took work in at home. He just couldn't keep his hands off of those vintage sports cars. Bart did take every opportunity to go auto crossing, drive in time trials, and plan and run road rallies.

Bart enhanced a 2002 with Weber side drafts, 5 speed tranny, Bilestein suspension, 14" wheels, etc. He and Carolyn both ran it at time trials and auto crosses.

The little time he had left, he got involved in helping friends build race cars to run in SCCA events.

A spectator at one of the races requisitioned Bart to convert his BMW 2002 into a race car. When the car was completed, Bart of course was the crew chief at the races.

This brought to the foreground another dream! Bart wanted to vintage race his 1959 Austin Healey Bugeye! He finally decided that it was time to work on his dream, so he dropped most of his other "patients" and started working on the Bugeye. By 1996, it was ready to race - thus the # 96.

With all of this, did he have time for himself? Very little, but every spare minute he had was spent reading everything he could get his hands on about his first love - vintage sports cars!

Bart and his wife, Carolyn, retired to Northeast Georgia in 1997. Bart had no intentions of going back into business, he just wanted to go vintage racing and read. After about two months, boredom settled in and he needed to get back to his cars. He took a job at a local shop where they worked on older cars - not all vintage, but that was OK. In 1998 a friend and former employee, Len Norris, moved down looking for work. He convinced Bart that the two of them should open a shop strictly for vintage sports cars. As Bart was already renting a large building for storage and part time work on his cars, they had a perfect spot. That's where it all started again.

Bart had met a "car nut" who needed work done on a Bugeye. As this customer was a member of an Atlanta sports car club, the word soon spread that Bart was the guy to see if you owned any kind of sports car. Today, Bart is considered an expert in his field and draws customers from all over Northeast Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and folks from places like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan who have ties in Georgia.

Bart's shop is a mom and pop business, and he likes it that way. It allows him to offer personalized, precision care for your car. If you are in the market for a car, Bart is always willing to make suggestions as to what to avoid. If it's possible to get the car to the shop, he will inspect it and truthfully tell you if you're getting a good deal. He's also willing to tell you if it is a car he would not be willing to work on. Bart and Carolyn both treat their customers like family and plan to continue to do just that.

Friday, May 2, 2008

About Carolyn Miller

Carolyn Miller was born and raised in Southeast New York State. By the time she met Bart in 1972, she had married, earned a BS in Early Childhood Education, started her teaching career, had two daughters, and gotten divorced.
Carolyn's only contact with vintage sports cars was through a High School friend that owned a Triumph. After she met Bart, her life changed completely. At the time, she was driving a big station wagon (won't mention which domestic brand) which Bart convinced her to sell so she could have a Fiat 124. Not having driven a stick shift before, Bart took her to a nice flat parking lot where she became quite proficient at shifting. Her first attempt at starting in 1st on an uphill was quite a memorable occasion. Noticing that she was holding up traffic, she put the car in neutral, pulled on the emergency brake, got out of the car, approached the guy in the car behind her and informed him that if he ever wanted to go anywhere, he'd have to drive her car to level ground! He agreed and she followed in his car. Needless to stay, the driving lessons took place on hills after that. Since then, Bart has had Carolyn driving XKEs, VWs, Volvos, Mazdas, BMWs, Saabs, and even a Lotus Elan!
Carolyn and Bart spent over 20 years camping and watching races at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. Bart always dreamed that he would one day race, and Carolyn was there ready to help him do just that.

They joined a sports car club and spent summer weekends driving auto crosses, road rallies, and time trials.

In our young and foolish days!

They often planned these events and set up the coarses. Carolyn worked and drove right along with Bart. She even wrote a computer program (when only BASIC was used and everything was stored on cassettes) to score multiple legs of road rallies for an unlimited number of cars.
Carolyn retired in 1997 after 32 years of teaching. She knew Bart had been unhappy living in the cold "north" country for so long, so he was to decide where they would live next. They both wanted to go south, and after some exploration they discovered that Northeast Georgia was just as beautiful as the mountainous area they were leaving behind.Carolyn moved her aging mother to Georgia to live with them. She spent 5 years at home taking care of her mom. After her mom passed away, Carolyn was called upon to help at the shop with the book keeping. Len, the original partner, decided it would be a good time to move on and so he did. Pretty soon Carolyn discovered that she was well able to do the accounting, order parts, develop estimates for repair orders, and write computer programs (surprise, surprise, no more BASIC or cassettes - Easy Cal, etc. are all there now!) to suit the needs of their business.
Carolyn's hobbies of woodworking came in very handy when asked to fabricate a new wooden dash or speaker boxes.

Having learned to reupholster furniture, she found it quite natural to install new seat kits, dash board covers and carpet kits. Of course she's always there to answer the phone, help bleed brakes and clutches, and get her small hands in small spots. Bart often needs that extra set of hands to hold the other end of the bolt he's tightening or push cars around the shop. Bart says that with her background in elementary education, she is very good at communicating with all of these "big boys with their toys"! Carolyn, like Bart, loves to see these vintage cars drive away looking and running like new.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Then and Now

We rented this pole barn in Cleveland, GA in 1997 when we moved from New York. We needed a place to store all of Bart's cars, tools, parts and our furniture while our house was being built.

Our first customer, Gary Thompson, brought us his Morris Minor pickup truck and his Austin Healey Bugeye. That started the ball rolling! Gary is a member of an Atlanta sports car club and soon the word had spread.

We started in this building which had several spot lights, one water spigot, and no heat. Thanks to Bart's 1st partner, Len Norris, we soon had insulation on the walls, a lowered ceiling, and a closed off 2nd floor area for storage.

There was very little to see at the front door then. The dirt road and driveway made for lots of dust.

Throughout the years, we have added on an office, heat, plumbing, new wall coverings, and lots more electric.

This office filled up in a hurry. It also houses a lathe which Bart uses to make parts which are no longer available.

Bart has a passion for posters of cars, motorcycles, races we've attended or participated in. They made a great display of his loves and interests.

We're running out of room for posters. Guess we'll have to add on again!

The 71 year "young" original owner of this 1962 Morgan still races it! It's never been on the street, only on the tracks!