Tue | Dec 1, 2020

Dean Miller’s Bug, a head turner in the East

Published:Sunday | November 3, 2019 | 12:00 AMMickella Anderson - Automotives Writer
The bug being restored - Before it became the flashy, purple eye candy of the East. Dean Miller said he acquired ‘four wheels and a shell’.
Meet Dean Miller and his bug.
Recording artiste, Neeqah, Dean Miller’s daughter, strikes a pose on her dad’s Volkswagen bug, during the shoot of her music video for ‘Link Up’. The bug was featured in the video.

The “four wheels and a shell’ Dean Christopher Miller acquired just over a year ago is today one of the hottest and most talked, about rides in all of eastern Jamaica, so much so that in telling onlookers that his Volkswagen bug is actually a 1963 model, he has to present paperwork as the assumption is that the vehicle is a 2019 or younger.

“That car gets so much attention, you wouldn’t believe!” he told Automotives.

“When I stop somewhere, people ask a million questions, and the funniest thing is, when I tell them the year of the car, they don’t believe it. They ask if I just shipped it down from England or something.”

Miller is a native of Danvers Pen in St Thomas, where he owns and operates several businesses, including a superette, a restaurant, and a haulage service. With limited time on his hands, the modifications on his now flashy purple bug are handled by his brother, Earl Miller, also from the parish. Together, they have spent over four months restoring and reconstructing the vehicle to what it is today.

“We stripped it all the way down and then brought it back up to my style,” he said.

“I just tell him what I want it to look like, and he will execute. We work together very well,” Miller said of his brother.

The well-known businessman said he bought the car from a car racer in Kingston after pursuing it for about two years.

“When I got the car, it was in red, but on the paperwork, it said purple,” Miller recalled. “The guy said he never got a chance to change over the title, so I said, ‘Okay, I think it’s in the colour I really want it in, so I will just leave the title as is’, and I went for the purple.”

Eventually, it was at a paint shop in Spanish Town that he had the colour mixed and then tested by his brother – it was the perfect match.

Music video star

A search on You tube for Link Up by young recording artiste Neeqah will reveal that Miller’s bug isn’t just his weekend joy ride, it is also a music video star, cruising along the shores of Lyssons Beach in St Thomas for its debut.

Interestingly, the other star of the video, Neeqah (known most for her collaboration with Charly Black on Melanin), is Miller’s daughter.

“My kids love these cars so much,” said Miller, who has four other children. “She (Neeqah) stared to post the pictures even before I finished the car, and a few artistes saw it and started to request it.”

Laughing, he said, “She told them they can’t get it before her, so we did that video.

“Right now, she plans to do a video with Chronic Law (also a St Thomas native), and they have requested the bug.”

Plans for the future

Miller says he is willing to use the bug for more music videos soon. But in terms of modifications: “I want to build over the covering for it,” he said. “The cover is just for when it rains; the car doesn’t come with a door, and you have to jump over in it, so you have to build a cover.”

And because his passion for cars is so great, he recently acquired a 1998 Mercedes Benz, which he considers a classic.

Miller says, “I don’t think I will ever sell these cars.”

Of his bug, he says: “I like the comfortable ride; I don’t go too fast, I just cruise. Any opportunity I have to drive it, I make use of it because it’s just a fun car.”