When there is a gap in the market, a smart entrepreneur fills it. Such was the case for Harold Miller, founder of Dynamic Racing Transmissions, when he realized the opportunity to go into the performance transmission business.
Harold started his career in the automotive industry in the 1950s when he took an apprenticeship at a Rambler dealership. “He had his own body shop at one time, and in the early ‘70s, he started getting interested in the transmission side of things,” explained Harold’s son, JR Miller. “At the time, there wasn’t nearly as much development as there is now. There were no readymade kits available, so if you wanted a race converter, you bought a stock converter and had to machine every piece or get parts from the scrap yard.”
With so much hands-on modification necessary, Harold found his burgeoning garage-based business booming. “He was also managing an AAMCO shop at the same time. He is an old-school hard worker,” JR continued of his father — who is now retired — and his strong work ethic. Eventually, Harold was inspired to make his side gig a full-time operation and joined forces with a partner and start his own business.
The doors to Dynamic Racing Transmissions officially opened in 1985, and Harold relocated his family from upstate New York to New Haven, Connecticut where tracks were plentiful and the racing industry was thriving.
Word quickly spread of DRT’s quality, and the shop got busy working on automatic transmissions and torque converters. Once the tough task of establishing a solid reputation had been accomplished, Harold turned his focus to the Ford C4 transmission in the mid-‘90s and developed DRT’s Mighty Mite C4 thanks in part to the Briante racing family. “It took a lot of really intense research and development and a lot of late-night testing, but it was the beginning of our most well-known product,” JR added.
In ’00, DRT moved to its current 3,000 square-foot building in North Branford, Connecticut, and was a major player in the Renegade class in the newly created NMRA. “It was really intense. We went from having cars running mid-nines to well into the eights, and we had to constantly be on our game to develop and improve,” JR remembered of the prime racing days. Early on, big names like Derrick Smith, Manny Buginga, Chris Escobar, Bob Kurgan, Mike Post, and others, all helped play a role in DRT’s development.
Soon, Dynamic Racing Transmissions branched out into other gearboxes, including the AOD and 4L80E, as well as their Pro-Tree II Glide and others, to add diversity and stability to the product line. DRT also developed their exclusive TCT torque converters which individual spec’ed and offer high quality at budget-friendly prices.
With a modest team of four managing current operations, Dynamic Racing Transmissions is still family owned but has grown to offer international shipment as well as specialty component parts sales for racers who want to either build their own transmissions or have them assembled locally. Their high-performance automatic transmissions and torque converters can be found in various forms of motorsports, including drag racing, off-road, street use, and more. In-house design, meticulous assembly, unsurpassed performance and longevity, and great warranties have all resulted in Dynamic Racing Transmissions having a successful business spanning not only decades, but generations.