Category Archives: BASH 2012

Recap of BASH 2012

Merlin Miller’s mothers’ race car

Merlin Miller’s mothers’ race car

37th Annual BASH
Pagoda Hillclimb,
Reading PA
June 23, 2012

So what does that #O flat-head Ford dirt track jalopy (shown above) have to do with a Sunbeam BASH? A lot !

It’s Merlin Miller’s mothers’ race car, and it was being raced at the Pagoda Hillclimb by a new owner.

Merlin Miller in his Tiger

Merlin Miller in his Tiger

It’s because of the Racing Miller family and Merlin’s mother that Merlin is a skilled racer. The BASH was held at Merlin’s home hill where he is President of the Blue Mountain Region, host the Pagoda 1.4 Mi and Duryea 2.2 Mi Hillclimbs, America’s oldest hillclimbs and first automobile manufacturing test track.

The guest of honor at the 37th annual BASH was Merlin Miller. Merlin has been racing since he was a kid and started racing his street Tiger decades ago. He holds class records with his Tiger, or what’s left of it, in virtually every SCCA sanctioned hillclimb in the Northeast. We say what remains because of accidents and SCCA rule iterations the car has morphed into a tube frame car that mimics the original engine location and wheel base tracking along with some original parts. Merlin is presently in the “Super Production” SPO class. His car and personal story is a subject for another article.

Merlin has been quietly keeping the Tiger spirit alive for years in this area, and doing it with passion. So it was time we Beamers met in his back yard to recognize him. At least that was the plan. Instead it backfired. Merlin recognized and lavished hospitality on us, the Beamers. But that’s what Merlin does and why he is popular at events. Well, OK he is one heck of a driver too and a great ambassador for the Marque. It all started when early BASH arrivals the night before were treated to a lavish drivers picnic style dinner.

Long line of Sunbeams

Long line of Sunbeams

About forty plus Beamers showed up with nineteen Alpines and Tigers. Dave Reina and Donna Koretsky made it in their real classic Talbot Alpine. Mark Petri trailered his Tiger only to realize he left the ignition keys at home. Not one to give up, he did an APB for all Beam ignition keys at the BASH and found a set that worked.

Under the TEAE banner

Under the TEAE banner

It was a gorgeous warm day. BASH headquarters was at the base of the hill adjacent to the start line. It was a place that afforded a shady spot, thanks Merlin, for old and new to meet. A new member, and early arrival, Peter Forte was our welcome ambassador for new arrivals during the morning. The day was filled with shuttle bus service to the Pagoda and pa to hillclimb viewing locations.

The highlight of the day was the parade lap of the Sunbeams up the hill lead by Merlin in his Tiger. A unique sight for sure. It can be viewed on line thanks to Kim and Rob Barnes who took the photo for us because their original 10K mi Tiger sat at the bottom of the hill with little to no gas. For every adversity there is an opportunity. Thanks for video Kim.

Reading PA pagoda

Reading PA pagoda

This BASH holds a unique distinction for the Pagoda Hillclimb. Sunbeam is the first ever featured marque in the Hillclimb’s history. The organizers loved us and are thankful for the money BASH attendees contributed to preserve the Pagoda-Skyline drive.

Watch this video of Merlin running the hill.

Check out the video of the parade run up Duryea Drive

People looking at our cars

People looking at our cars

Check out more pictures of the event here .

Bring A Sunbeam Here | June 24

Where Sunbeams and Friends Meet
37th Annual BASH June 23 ½  – 24, 2012

Alpine at the Pagoda 2007Pagoda Hillclimb
Reading, PA
June 23½-24, 2012

Make plans to come join us on the hill used to test the very first motor car, uhh, horseless carriage, manufactured in America, the Duryea. It is a steep hill with many turns. The first cars that actually made it to the top made news. Then it became a test track for the Duryea and today it is the road to the Pagoda where the visitor has a spectacular 30 mile view and home of the Pennsylvania Hillclimb Association’s Pagoda and Duryea Hillclimbs.

The SUNBEAM will be the featured marque for the Pagoda Hillclimb this year.

And it is about time. Local racer Merlin Miller, who drives a Sunbeam Tiger has been breaking class and hill records for years. The BASH is being held at the Pagoda Hillclimb to honor Merlin’s accomplishments, coerce him to join TEAE and provide the usual BASH family fun experience. BASH headquarters is at the start line. Attendees with Sunbeams will display their vehicles at the Start line both days.

The finish line is just below the Pagoda with the turn around being set up at the Pagoda. Shuttle buses are available on the course which will drop you off at well pruned, safe, and accessible viewing areas (some with bleachers) to improve spectator access and enjoyment.

Did you know factory outlets started in Reading, PA?

Shuttle buses will be available for shopping at the huge Vanity Fair Factory Outlets (VF Outlets) with stores for guys and gals. This is the mother of all outlet malls. Literally. Check out their store directory.

BASH Agenda: June 23½ and 24

Why 23 ½ ?? It has been a tradition for the BASH to have an evening activity for overnight guests. Come early and visit the VF outlets, the Hillclimb, attend the Drivers/Workers dinner and socialize with Merlin and other driver/workers. We’ll be here for you.

Both Days

  • VF Outlets
  • Visit Pagoda
  • Shuttle buses
  • Food/drink available at Start line and VF Outlets

Saturday, June 23

Visit Hillclimb or VF Outlets at your leisure
6 pm  • Driver/Workers Dinner party at William Penn Memorial Fire Tower

Sunday, June 24

8 am • Hillclimb Starts
8 am to mid-afternoon • Beam car show at Start line
11 am-ish to noon • BASH attendees meet at start line BASH headquarters
Noonish • Sunbeam parade lap up hill to Pagoda

BASH fees

  • $10 per person • Saturday Driver/Worker dinner
  • $5 per person per day • if using shuttle bus during Hillclimb
  • $10 per vehicle • Sunday BASH Parade lap donation

Yes, it’s a bit confusing. Download a form here.

Please make check payable to “Tiger Tom’s”
Send to him at 1924 Blacks Bridge Road Annville, PA 17003


Racers motel: Comfort Inn – Reading, PA

2200 Stacy Dr. 5th St. Hwy. (includes route to base of the hill climb)
Reading, PA, 19605
(610) 371-0500

A newer option: Holiday Inn Express

2389 Bernville Road (includes route to base of the hill climb)
Reading, PA 19605
(610) 372-0700

Explore for more info explore

Vanity Fair Outlet Center (VF Outlets)
Pagoda-Skyline info
Merlin’s Duryea win
Merlin’s run to the Pagoda (YouTube video)
About Duryea and Pagoda Hillclimbs

All the BASH information:

Tom Ehrhart  (717) 832-1116