Columbia Cup Memories – The Miller American – One Beautiful Boat!
We all know of Miller Brewing Co's involvement with NASCAR. For decades, they sponsored Rusty Wallace in the famous Blue Deuce (#2) car, and won dozens of races. Brad Kezolowski on a Cup title a couple of years ago in the car, and both men drove for Roger Penske.
But you may have forgotten the mid 1980's when the striking red and white Miller American hydroplane cruised to victories on the Columbia River.
After taking over for the legendary Bill Muncy in the Atlas Van Lines, talented driver Chip Hanauer became the driver of the Miller American. They took over sponsorship for Chip after Atlas left the sport.
Hanauer won not only the Gold Cup, but the National Points championship as well in the boat. He proved to be a "friendly" thorn in the side of Bernie Little and Budweiser, who didn't enjoy watching a rival brewing company win races over their own offering.
Here is footage from the 1986 SEAFAIR action in Seattle, showing the Miller American in action.