Obit: Donna Mae Mims

Obit Mims
Donna Mae Mims loved pink, especially if racing for them- pink slips that is. She was also the first woman to win the SCCA national championship and ran in original Cannonball Run race.
Mims died last week, and, as was her wish, was positioned behind the wheel of a pink 1979 Corvette for the public viewing. She was a true hoon and, having lived to the ripe old age of 82, a successful one to boot. We should all be so lucky.
Part of her success derived from turning off the nice part of her brain before every race, as she related to Los Angeles Times columnist Jack Smith in 1969:

I psych myself. I remove all my makeup. I think stern. I bristle. I don’t talk to anybody. You cannot think nice,” she said. “Chivalry is dead on the racetrack. You’re out there only for one thing. To win. Nobody remembers second place.

Most of us would be lucky to even see second place, so it probably would have been best to move right when seeing the Pink Lady in your rearview mirror. One last item- can you tell the make of that car in the photo?
Source [Los Angeles Times]


  1. Farewell to a lady racer. Sometimes I wonder what the state of racing would be like if there were more women involved.
    Also, isn't that her Bugeye Sprite?

      1. Does it help that I cheated? Well, I guess I didn’t really cheat, but I saw the obit yesterday on another blog and wondered what she was driving, so I looked it up.

  2. In addition to her racing career, Donna Mae was the Hi Performance Manager for Yenko Sportscars in Cannonsburg, PA. Every customer order for a Yenko Stinger (Corvair and Vega versions), Camaro, Chevelle and Nova passed over her desk. Quite a legacy, if you ask me.

    1. Y’know, I never knew that A) she worked for Yenko or B) they worked their magic on Corvairs & Vegas.
      Thank you, Mr. Scroggs, for sending another afternoon of productivity swirling down the drain!

  3. It’s been a lousy year for club racers. A well-known RX-7 driver died in a one-car accident at the June Sprints. In August, a GT2 racer died from burns sustained when his car caught fire on the Daytona road course. Just a couple weeks ago an entrant at a hill-climb event died when his Camaro went off-course partway up the mountain. In light of all that, it’s almost a relief that Donna Mae didn’t die behind the wheel, but given the legacy she’d put together over the years, I bet that she would have rather gone out in a cloud of tire smoke.
    Farewell to a hell of a lady!

    1. Not what I was trying for, but it works. If anybody wants to point a n00b to some easy to understand HTML tutorials, the n00b would appreciate it mightily.

  4. She hangs on my office wall. She’s always been one of my idols. And she may not have died on the track, but I be she was there in her mind at the end.
    Rest in peace, Donna, you truly were Amazing!

  5. Now there’s someone to put in the automotive hall of fame.
    (P.S. Graverobber I sent you a couple of e-mails)

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