The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Slim Pickens, Mar 17, 2010.
My all time favorite car guy. Slim
God Bless You for remembering.
R.I.P. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson.
Though his life was cut short, he lived one heck of a ride. Where would we be without all the speed parts that bear the M/T logo?
A long time coming but at least they finally put the scum that had him killed behind bars. May him and Trudy rest in peace.
He was a classy guy. I talked with Ray Higley about photos I had taken at a every 60's winternationals. One picture was of his altered being pushed to the staging lanes. He told me they damaged their motor and Mickey lent them a Pontiac motor so they could run.
Mickey Thompson - Pomona, 1955
Norm Grudem Photo
"Mickey Thompson" - AA/D - Lions, 1959
My old pal Stan Betz ( who had lost the lower part of a leg to childhood polio) told me a story about dragging one of his V8-60 cars to the dry lakes in the late 40's or early 50's. He was having trouble getting it to run and Mickey Thompson walked over and just started wrenching on it with him, helping to get it sorted out.
He said Mickey would do anything for you if he liked you, but if you looked at him crooked he'd fight at the drop of a hat......
"Lions, December, 1960. Mickey Thompson gets ready to make a run in his 4-banger Pontiac-powered machine. (Dragmaster chassis)".
Photo & Commentary by Doyle Hatfield
Mickey Thompson in the seat of his Ivo chassised Pontiac powered dragster circa 1963.
Here's a shot of Mickey Thompson's Pontiac powered fueler at the 2nd March Meet in 1960. He hole shot and beat Garlits/Malone in round 1. The frame from this car later became the semi-streamlined Assault I record setting car. March 1960.
photo & commentary by Doug Peterson
Mickey...hero of mine all my life...
He signed my program to his car show in 1962. It was his birthday, he told me. Just by chance, my wife and I were married on December 7th, too...in 1991.
I took this photo at Lions Drag Strip, where he was the track manager, shortly after he gave me his autograph at the car show...and yeah, he remembered me and said "hey, there's the kid with the camera"...pretty cool for a 12 year old
Thanks Doug, Great stuff.
Found this site.
RIP Mickey, you are a true hero to many, many people. I was thrilled when that dirtbag finally went to prision for his murder.
A great guy, v. much missed...
America Needs more Mickey Thompson's right now. RIP hero!
Mickey was truly an inspiration !
Thanks you guys.
The Challenger I, the streamliner that Mickey Thompson piloted to 406.60 miles per hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1960.
Thompson built cars for the Indianapolis 500. This Indy racer was driven by Dan Gurney in 1962.
The Assault I was built by Thompson in 1959 to compete at Bonneville.
The Assault was packed with innovations for a 1959 dragster. Shown at Pomona, the streamlined body and giant parachute were intended for standing-mile attempts at March Air Force Base that netted three average-speed records, with three different Pontiac engines. Estimated top speed at the mile marker was 235 mph!
I think the last picture is Mickey Thompsons Pumpkinseed.
Mickey was one tuff son of a bitch...and that's what I liked most about him.
One thing that impresses me about MT is that he DID IT ALL. He ran dragstrips, made speed parts, built differing cars in all different types of motorsports, dragsters, funny cars, driving, owning, off roading, indoor racing stadium racing. He appears to have the gift of doing what ever he set his mind to do, and he also had the drive to go out and do it all.
He's up there for living the American dream down right heroically! What a tremendous inspiration and truly a one in a billion man!
a true master wrench and one hell of driver and builder!
NITROFC posted this recently. Thanks Al.
Butch Leal,on the left,was known as "The California Flash" and drove this Super / Stock Ford Mustang Boss 429 for Mickey Thompson in 1969
Just FN sad he went to soon...............
Back in the '60's I had a copy of Mickey's autobiography. I think it was titled "Challenger". I got it from a friend of mine whose father worked for the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis It was a freebee book review copy that they were done with. Read it in one sitting and it was a great book. I left it in the bookcase at my mothers house and my brother threw it out when he cleaned out the place after she died. I think anyone who is a fan of Mickey's would do well to see if the local library or Amazon has a copy; I'm sure you'll enjoy it. It's been almost 50 years but his descriptions of early street racing, running at Bonneville and trying to use (I think) implement tires really stick in my mind.
I just checked the internet and found 12 copies priced anywhere from $109 to $705. Better check the local library while I go choke my brother.
That was co-written by Griff Bprgensen. I lost the dust cover, but not the book. That yellow book followed me for 45 years or more, now.
Yup, "Challenger"...a great book.
The new book out a few years ago is good, too.
Mickey Thompson: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of a Racing Legend by Erik Arneson
A good buy, too at less than $20 new and takes you past his death and the investigation.
"Challenger" was written in the mid 60's, so alot of Mickey hadn't happened yet.
Separate names with a comma.