Thursday, January 17, 2008

Women In Sports Car Competition

Who knew that way back in 1958 there were enough women racing sports cars that one of their own could write a book about them? According to author and race car driver, Evelyn Mull, sixty-one licensed women competed in SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) events while an equal number participated unofficially.

Apparently, women could race all across this great land of ours except for Indianapolis. I wonder is Danika Patrick ever thinks about that little factoid as she's qualifying for the 500?

From the introduction to the book:
"I race sports cars."

When I made this simple statement recently at a dinner party, there was an uneasy silence, very embarrassing. Then my husband John cleared the air with, "It's true, and she's a good driver."

"But you don't seem like the type," someone else said.

I often hear this remark and resent it furiously! If I played tournament bridge or a good game of tennis, no eyebrows would be raised. But when I say I'm a race driver, it's just as though I'd said, "I eat children."

Pictured above is Suzy Dietrich. All these gals--and yes, since it's 1958 I'll call them gals--had oh-so-groovy names: Beulah Bailey, Doc Hoppe, June Roy, Toni Cappiello, Audrey King, and, my personal favorite Pinkie Windridge. They also had great sunglasses and mod hairdos to match their fabulous monikers.

As a woman of the 2000's, it tickles me how often husbands are mentioned throughout the text. In fact, many of the drivers are simply identified by their married names: Mrs. Bill (Patsy) Randall, Mrs. Paul (Marion) Fisk and Mrs. Ben (Carmela) Martin.

And the drivers refer to their husbands frequently as well. "My husband and I do all our own repair work and a lot of maintenance on other driver's cars." "I did it because my husband raced and was having so much fun." "My husband is a doctor and he thinks one driver in the family is enough."

Of course, you know some of the drivers just had to be lesbians. I think the caption on the above photo is code.
Gal of many interests--mechanic, chemist, marksman, race driver. Started in June 1954. Races an MG. Unmarried.

Drive on over to


Sensei said...

Races an MG. Unmarried.

I think it had more to do with the glasses. What were glasses desogners thinking? "Since the FDA has not approved birth control pills, yet, let's do our part in controlling population growth."

Traci Skene said...

I think Adrienne wore those same glasses in "Rocky" and that didn't stop the Italian Stallion.

Anonymous said...

A friend in Utah has a car (MG) which once belonged to Beulah Bailey and is trying to find more out about her. I've recommended the book. If anyone knows more about her, please post something.