Tony Miller – Class of 2013

Few motorcyclists made a greater mark in their time than Tony Miller, a dominant figure during his racing years and a vital influence on motorcycling long afterward. He was a fierce competitor, a keen enthusiast and a highly skilled technician who later played a key role in training licensed automobile mechanics and was a founding member of the Canadian Motorcycle Association.

A native of Belgium, Tony emigrated to Canada and gained his first public acclaim in 1935 riding a self-tuned 500 cc Ariel Red Hunter in American Motorcycle Association championship races at Keene, N.H., and Langhorne, Pa. In the fall of 1935, and during the next two years, he would either tie or win the British Empire Motor Club’s inaugural races at Wasaga Beach, Ontario.

At the 1938 Daytona 200, Tony was leading the event when disaster struck.  His right elbow suffered major damage as it caught the handlebar of a motorcycle going past.  The injury to the nerves and joint of his right elbow meant that amputation was the only option available. It was a shocking end to his racing career, but this was the launch of Tony’s extraordinary influence on motorcycling.

During the Second World War, Miller was involved with dispatch rider training and was charged with drawing up the specifications for the military model WLC motorcycle, of which 18,000 were supplied to the Canadian armed forces.  When the war ended, Tony, and his wife Marcelle, were among many Canadians who wanted a home-grown organization to co-ordinate motorcycle affairs in place of the AMA. They were instrumental in the formation of the Canadian Motorcycle Association and Tony served as CMA president in 1946-47.  In the mid-1960s he helped the Ontario Motor League design a motorcycle rider training course, preparing a curriculum and instructional materials.

This year, the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame will honour eight legends and champions.  It will also be honouring The Corduroy Enduro™ as it celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2013.

The Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Reunion is the annual signature event of the Canadian International Motorcycle Heritage Museum Foundation, a non-profit association with charitable status.  It is governed by an independent board of volunteer directors located from coast to coast and is sponsored in part by the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC).  Founded by Bar and Hedy Hodgson in 1999, the Canadian International Motorcycle Heritage Museum Foundation preserves and promotes Canadian motorcycle history for the benefit of the motorcycling community and the public.  Since the first induction banquet in Toronto in 2006, almost 100 distinguished motorcyclists have been inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame.