'Miller Bike,' Featured on New Episode of American Chopper, Celebrates Welding Leader Miller Electric's 75th Anniversary
- Year-long anniversary celebration, chopper details at MillerWelds.com/75years
APPLETON, Wis., Feb. 3 -- Arc welding, a staple feature of the Discovery Channel series American Chopper because of its eye-catching appeal, becomes the central focus of a two-part episode airing February 9 and 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of welding leader Miller Electric Mfg. Co. ( MillerWelds.com ), Orange County Choppers designed and built the "Miller Bike." The 75th anniversary Miller chopper embodies a patriotic "Welding America" theme. It sports red, white and blue colors and features a welding helmet morphing out of the gas tank, a mirror embedded in a MIG gun, a welding machine towed behind it and many other unique welding-related design elements.
OCC is known for its patriotic bikes, including the Fire Bike, Jet Bike and the POW/MIA Bike. Based in Appleton, Wis., Miller is the only manufacturer that builds all its arc welders and plasma cutters in the United States. An estimated five to seven million Americans weld professionally or as a hobby.
The 2004 season premier of American Chopper was the #1 ranked program on cable among persons 25 to 54 years old and the #6 show on all of television among men 18 to 34. The total audience for the premier was reported at 3.5 million viewers. Hundreds of thousands of fans visit that the show's Web site at discovery.com each week.
"For fans who want more details on the Miller Bike, our 75th anniversary Web site -- MillerWelds.com/75years -- contains pictures and, later in the year, interviews with OCC personalities," says Miller marketing manager Vickie Rhiner. "The site also features customer appreciation activities, including a drawing for 75 welding prizes such as a MIG welder, a Miller logo jacket and OCC autographed T-shirts. Visitors should check back often, because new contests and material will be added on a regular basis."
The Miller 75th anniversary chopper originated because of mutual respect between the companies. OCC owner Paul Teutul Sr. has believed in Miller welders for years. Like many people, OCC chief designer and fabricator Paul Teutul Jr. learned how to weld using a Millermatic(R) all-in-one MIG welder. Miller invented this style of machine in 1971. Due to its affordability, ease of use and arc performance, it has become the most popular type of welder for light fabrication and home/hobby/farm use ... and building motorcycles. Today, the OCC chopper shop exclusively uses Miller brand power sources and welding helmets.
Early in 2003, Miller approached OCC with a modest request: Would OCC develop a 75th anniversary design for a new auto-darkening welding helmet? OCC essentially responded, "Helmet? We want to build a bike. We always wanted to build a welding bike." The full story of the Miller Bike will appear on MillerWelds.com/75years later in 2004.
With headquarters in Appleton, Wis., Miller Electric Mfg. Co. is a leading worldwide manufacturer of Miller and Hobart brand arc welding equipment and related systems for metalworking, construction, maintenance and other applications. Miller Electric Mfg. Co. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW), Glenview, Ill. ITW is a diversified multinational manufacturer of highly engineered components, assemblies and systems.