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Long Time Bay Area pioneer McLennan passes away

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by NITROFC, Feb 22, 2007.

    Joined: Apr 17, 2001
    Posts: 6,177


    Northern California drag racing pioneer Jim McLennan died Feb. 9 at California’s San Francisco General Hospital. He was 74. McLennan, who founded Champion Speed Shop in 1957 and raced the popular Champion Speed Shop Top Fuel dragster from 1958 to 1963, reportedly was one of the first drivers to wear a firesuit, and he developed one of the first cars to use a braking parachute.

    Jim was responsible for the opening of Half Moon Bay Dragstrip and Cotati Raceway and was once the owner of Fremont Drag Strip. McLennan and his sons Bob and Michael were instrumental in resurrecting the nostalgia drag racing scene in the mid-1980s, and with the help of Roy Brizio, they recreated two popular Champion Speed Shop cars.

    RIP ..................


    Jim McLennan -- pioneer drag-strip promoter
    Jim McLennan in his "Top Fuel" drag racer at the Half Moon Bay drag strip about 1960 when the car had a top speed of 176 mph. Photo courtesy of the McLennan family
  2. Stoner
    Joined: Nov 3, 2001
    Posts: 491


    Jim took his last ride in fine style: a bright red, pinstriped casket with "Champion Speed Shop" lettered down the side and some of his closest friends in attendance. Roy was a pallbearer and Andy was there, too – among other Bay area racing greats.

    I didn't get a great pic of his p/u that made the final trip, but here it is in the bright San Francisco sunshine waiting patiently outside the funeral home.

    We'll miss him...


    Attached Files:

  3. Didn't remember the name but recall the Champion Speed Shop logo.A sad day indeed.Days like this make us remember our own mortality.Rest in peace Jim.
  4. Another great one, gone to the top end.

    RIP, Jim McLennan… GodSpeed

  5. Very well put.
  6. hollenbeck32
    Joined: Feb 28, 2004
    Posts: 44


    Jim was a life long part of the Brizio family, I was honered to paint the bright red & black casket for the family.

    Darryl Hollenbeck

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