LOVING THE WORK: Miller Mountain High Performance looks to build on a legacy | Business


POTTSTOWN — Art Miller has always loved working on cars. Now, he has turned that lifetime passion into a business — Miller Mountain High Performance, 323 East High St. in Pottstown.

Miller started working on cars when he was 16 — his own hot rods and souped up cars. He said working on cars was a “side gig” while he did other things. He has held a variety of other jobs and has owned a couple of businesses over the years, including the U.S. Air Force, trucking, party supply rental and 20 years in the network construction side of telecom.

“Throughout all of those different careers, I always still had the love of cars and have done car maintenance and I have done my own hot car builds. I have always been doing it and now it’s official,” he said.

In February, Miller, who is 54, finalized a deal to purchase the former Performance Specialties, which has been in operation at its current location since 1994. He changed the name, set up a new website and transitioned the business over.

Miller said about ⅓ of the space is retail and customer space, and the rest is garage space — including three lifts as well as a Dynamometer bay (Dyno for short), for tuning vehicles.

“We can drive the car sitting still at 120 mph and tune it while it’s driving. A lot of our business is live tuning of vehicles.”

The staff can work on four cars at one time, according to Miller, providing general maintenance, tuning and specialty services for all kinds of vehicles — from family cars to high performance vehicles.

“The perfect customer is anyone who wants to improve the performance of their car from ordinary into extraordinary — to make it faster or handle better,” Miller said.

Some of the high performance services provided include: supercharger, blowers, custom stainless exhaust, rear gear install, customer turbo design and install and roll cages.

In addition to tuning and general repairs, Miller Mountain High Performance performs transmission and engine builds and rebuilds.

Charlie Zothner is the company’s transmission and engine specialist, and is ASE Master Level L1 certified.

Miller, who is a graduate of Pottsgrove High School and lives in the Boyertown-area, was very familiar with Performance Specialties from the time he was a teenager.

“The original owner Ray, I was a customer of his. He was a real good guy — he knew his stuff,” Miller said, referring to Ray Mayer Jr., the original owner of Performance Specialties. Mayer passed away in 2017.

“He was an outstanding individual and mechanic. Our goal is to do business the way he did business. He had a good following and treated people right. We’re trying to honor his legacy as well. This is his baby — it wouldn’t be here is he didn’t do everything he did,” he added.

Miller said he remained a customer when new owners took over, and helped out along the way with some telecom assistance.

“I wanted to see the place survive,” Miller said, adding he also obtained his inspection mechanic certificates, and had helped out as an inspection mechanic.

In the fall, the owners reached out to Miller to see if he was interested in taking the business over.


Miller said a love of cars is a family affair. Miller’s son Logan, 21 developed a love of cars when he was 12, and at 16, worked at Performance Specialties after Mayer passed away.

“He decided when he got out of high school he wanted to do the car thing, so we sent him to ATC (Automotive Training Center) in Exton,” Miller said. Logan graduated from ATC in February 2020.

He now works at Miller High Performance Specialties alongside his father Art, and Zothner.

“We’re a combination of old meets new,” Miller said, a quality that distinguishes the business from others.

Zothner has been in the industry for more than 35 years, and “has old school, real world training,” working at dealerships and transmission shops. Miller said he is a blend of “old and new,” while Logan “is all about the high tech ways of doing things along with old school influence.

“He has been in the garage since he was 12 years old and was taught the way I do things. He’s also learned the high tech new stuff,” he added.

Miller said one of the first things he did was completely revamp the customer and retail area, moving most of the inventory into a storage area, and making the space more “customer friendly.”

“We have some things for sale in the retail area — more of the high-end stuff — collectibles and aficionado stuff,” he said.

Miller acknowledged that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic had an influence on his decision about moving forward and that he had some reservations.

“But at the same time I was thinking it can’t last forever,” he said.

Things are going well so far he said.

“We have had a decent amount of work coming through. We’re just busy enough, with the anticipation of getting busier as we go along,” he said.

For more information visit https://millermountainhp.com/ or call 610-326-7000.

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