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Folks Of Interest Bill Snyder, WWII Veteran and Bonneville Record Holder Turns 100 Years Old

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rick S, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Rick S
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 117

    Rick S
    Member

    Bill Snyder June 24-25 2015.JPG Virgil William (Bill) Snyder will be 100 years old on October 22, 2019

    Bill’s a proud WWII U.S. Army Air Force veteran who has lived a pretty exciting life. Not too many of these guys left.

    Bill was born in 1919 and grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. When World War II broke out, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force to become a fighter pilot. After completing his training he instead chose to become a B-17 flight engineer, and a short time later an instructor. Bill logged over 1400 hours of flight time teaching crews of nine how to fly, and most importantly how to land B-17’s.

    After the war, Bill received his degree from the University of Minnesota and began teaching mechanical drafting and auto shop class at the local high school. Bill raced in the summer months and was fourth-ranked nationally on dirt tracks in 1947.

    In 1948, Bill left his teaching position to work for a small manufacturing company in Minneapolis where he eventually rose to position of Executive Vice Precedent of Marketing. Today, that company is known as Thermo King Corporation.

    As VP of marketing, Bill promoted the company through racing and by sponsoring numerous Indy, Can Am, and Sprint cars. Bill also sponsored all of Tyrone Malone’s diesel powered race trucks, including the world famous “Super Boss”.

    While most executives wore a suit and tie and conducted business in corporate board rooms, Bill instead could be found at the Bonneville Salt Flats dressed in his fire suite, helmet and gloves, strapped behind the wheel of a diesel powered vehicle preparing to set yet another land speed record.

    In all Bill Snyder set 6 world and 6 national land speed records (one stood for over 30 years), also won the Bonneville “Person of the Year” award, is a member of the Bonneville 200 MPH Club, and was in the Guinness Book of World Records for driving the fastest diesel powered vehicle in the world. Back in the day, when not setting records, Bill could be found driving his Corvette “Easy Money”, or out on Lake Minnetonka, one of Minnesota’s largest lakes, in one of his many V8 powered ski boats including a custom built Donzi power boat, that he deemed "was a bit too much" even for that lake.

    Bill is enjoying his retirement with his wife, rides his bike everyday and still has a great memory. We should all be so lucky.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  2. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,944

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    too bad that he is married - I have a second cousin that will turn 98 next month that would like to have a boyfriend
     
  3. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 14,336

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Happy Birthday Bill...You truly have and continue to inspire...What an awesome adventure you have been on, Congratulations on your Milestones and Victories and thanks for your service and Good Health and Happiness to you always...;)

    Thanks for sharing this @Rick S
     
  4. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,154

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I wonder I Bill is still with that "honey" he had at Bonneville in the mid and late 70's... Looked like quite a handful at times.. Happy Birthday Bill...
     
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  5. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,040

    WB69
    Member

    Happy Birthday.
     
    Boneyard51, loudbang and Stogy like this.
  6. Congratulations Bill, you've traveled a long and wonderful road, keep going. Happy Birthday!
     
  7. Nicholas Coe
    Joined: Jul 5, 2017
    Posts: 604

    Nicholas Coe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Tontitown

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  8. Rick S
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 117

    Rick S
    Member

    jimmy six, yes he is still with that same honey he had at Bonneville in the mid and late 70's
     
  9. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,154

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good for him....I remember some shouting while waiting in line.. I believe she was driving one of the smaller engine streamliners. I'm guessing they made up later at the hotel that evening. ;)
     
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  10. Rick S
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 117

    Rick S
    Member

    BTTT
     
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  11. Opleezz
    Joined: Jun 23, 2007
    Posts: 1

    Opleezz
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Happy birthday! Great story!
     
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  12. Rick S
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 117

    Rick S
    Member

    BTTT
     
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  13. Rick S
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 117

    Rick S
    Member

    BTTT for those that may have missed this
     
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  14. Born the same year as my father. Amazing how well he is doing.
     
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  15. fauj
    Joined: Jun 25, 2009
    Posts: 701

    fauj
    Member
    1. 57-60 Ford F100s

    All of those things are incredible accomplishments individually, but all three together are phenomenal! 100 years old, WWII Veteran, Bonneville Record holder! Congratulations Sir!
     
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  16. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,349

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Most awesome individual! Those guys rule! I had the privilege of hanging with a bunch of those guy, off of the USS Enterprise! They partied my ass into the ground, back in about 2004, in Springfield, Ill! Greatest Generation.... no shit! Loved those guys!






    Bones
     
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  17. Great Story about a Great Person!
    Congrats Bill on the anniversary of your 100th trip around the sun!


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  18. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,122

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Best whishes Bill and greetings from the old days of IMCA big car racing, SCCA, and my time with you at Thermo King.
    Art Abrahams
     
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  19. part of the greatest generation ! Happy Birthday & Best Wishes … thank you for your service..
     
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  20. olcurmdgeon
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,945

    olcurmdgeon
    Member

    A tip of the cap to you, Bill! You truly are a hero and an inspiration. Happy Birthday, sir, may you have many more.
     
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  21. Happy Birthday and best wishes for many more !
     
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  22. Jack Lysne
    Joined: Oct 29, 2017
    Posts: 1

    Jack Lysne

    Had the pleasure of meeting you once at Thermo King. Fascinating to hear your stories and of your accomplishments. 100 years old is another great milestone. Also thank you for your service to our country. Happy Birthday Mr. Schneider.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  23. Rick S
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 117

    Rick S
    Member

    BTT one last time
     
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  24. Jon SSS
    Joined: Jan 29, 2009
    Posts: 406

    Jon SSS
    Member

    Centurions ROCK!! Happy 100th to you Sir.
     
  25. RidgeRunner
    Joined: Feb 9, 2007
    Posts: 818

    RidgeRunner
    Member
    from Western MA

    CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 100th BILL !

    An achievement number to be as proud of as those you ran on the salt !

    Ed
     
  26. What a wonderful life, and it’s still not done. Congrats to you.!
     
  27. A belated Happy Birthday to you, Mr. Snyder!! Best wishes for many more. You've made an impact on many levels during that span. You are to be congratulated for your many contributions!
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  28. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 393

    badvolvo
    Member

    I have not seen Bill in at least 30 years. I began working in 1979 for the local Thermo King dealer, Bill was still employed at TK corp. The owner of the dealer worked with Bill on several land speed projects after Bandag tires took over the TK machine, the Isuzu c201 powered diesel.
    I had the pleasure of "baby sitting" the Donzi when it was parked in our shop for a few weeks. It was scary pulling that boat in and out of the shop with a fork lift. My boss got a ride in that boat on lake of the ozarks, "I think I left permanent hand prints on that walnut dash". Scared him shitless! If I recall, twin 454's with 871 blowers and injection.
    I am thrilled to hear Bill is still kicking!
     
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  29. Rick S
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 117

    Rick S
    Member

    I talked with Bill on his 100th Birthday...he had just gotten back from renewing his driver's license. He said, "put me in a race car and I'll show you how a 100 year old guy drives". And I believe he would too.
     

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