Peri Kalar, daughter of Mastercraft founder, Jack Miller talks about life in the safety lane with her family in Episode 206.


Mastercraft has had some powerful owners, from founder Jack Miller to daughter, Peri Kalar, to ORMHOF inductee Robbie Pierce. Hear about how it began all those years ago and the forces behind it. Peri shares some life-changing experiences with you. Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.


4:16 – he was in the army and became a parachute rigger, that’s where he learned to sew
9:53 – I worked at Mastercraft as the janitor; but my brother fired me a lot.
13:50 – we used to have soda cans taped to the rollbars, and they would have stuck stubs and tickets.
17:43 – we made a PSSS kit – a Personal Sanitation System in a little brown bag
21:19 – that was the worst and best year of my life because I found out I could survive anything
29:57 – Robbie was my supplier forever, so when I wanted to sell the company, it was perfect
38:13 – when dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s he said, I’d like to make a list of things that are important that I want to remember…

Special thanks to 4low Magazine and Maxxis Tires for support and sponsorship of this podcast.

[00:01:40.180] – Big Rich Klein
On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, I have Perry Kalar, the daughter of John Perry Miller, otherwise known as Jack Miller, the founder of Mastercraft Safety, which Perry ran herself for 20 years, to talk about family, business, and off-road. Perry, it is so good to have you on the podcast this morning to talk about your history, your dad’s history, your dad, John Perry Miller. He is known as Jack Miller and was the originator of Mastercraft Safety. We’ll get into all of that. But let’s first… I wanted to say thank you for being here.

[00:02:22.070] – Peri Kalar
Oh, it’s my pleasure. I’m excited to share history of our family and our love of racing.

[00:02:28.260] – Big Rich Klein
Well, let’s jump right in and And start at the very beginning. Where was your dad, born and raised?

[00:02:33.940] – Peri Kalar
He was born in Omaha, but raised in San Diego.

[00:02:38.770] – Big Rich Klein
How did he get from Omaha to San Diego?

[00:02:41.530] – Peri Kalar
He went into the army when he was real young, and he eloped with my mom in San Diego, and then got stationed all over the place.

[00:02:52.960] – Big Rich Klein
So he met her in San Diego while he was in the service?

[00:02:56.700] – Peri Kalar

[00:02:57.340] – Big Rich Klein
Okay. And those early years in Omaha, I guess he stayed there until he went into the service.

[00:03:06.840] – Peri Kalar
I think he was here most of his youth.

[00:03:10.060] – Big Rich Klein
Oh, okay. So he probably moved with his parents then?

[00:03:14.060] – Peri Kalar
Yeah, his mom. Okay.

[00:03:15.020] – Big Rich Klein
And then what do you know about those early years of your dad being in San Diego before, say, the military? What activities did they do?

[00:03:30.530] – Peri Kalar
Well, he did cowboying down in Mission Valley in San Diego before it was a freeway and shopping center. I think he and his buddies got into a little bit of trouble here and there.

[00:03:48.840] – Big Rich Klein
That’s guys with a little too much time on their hands. I understand that.

[00:03:53.090] – Peri Kalar

[00:03:54.660] – Big Rich Klein
And then he decided to go into the military. Do you know if he played in sports or anything like that while he was in school?

[00:04:03.090] – Peri Kalar
I think he used to wrestle, I believe. He used to wrestle.

[00:04:06.970] – Big Rich Klein
Then when he got into the military there in San Diego, that was the Air Force? No, no. That would be- Army.

[00:04:16.970] – Peri Kalar
Yeah. Army. He was in the army and became a parachute rigger, which is where he learned how to sew. He ended up retiring after, is it 20 years, the usual amount, in 1969. He was a soldier. He went to Korea, and he went to Vietnam twice once he was on crutches with a broken leg going back over. He was just a career soldier. Then when he came home, he, for some reason, got this idea to build a Dune Buggy race car. They did that in our garage.  READ MORE

Follow Big Rich

SHare this article

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.