The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by pinkynoegg, May 31, 2014.
I gave the sad news to Tex Smith today. I did meet Bill many years ago when Rocky (Mod here on the HAMB) took me to Bills place.
Speedy was an astute businessman who constantly changed with the market rather than doing the same thing year after year and going the way of most of the shops from our youth- into history. What was one constant in his life is he was a racer to the end, one of my favorite photos from the 70's was Bill (in a t-shirt) his pit crew and Jan Opperman after a big win on dirt in the 4X sprint car.
Sad to see yet another great one leave us.
Gods speed Bill!
Posted using Full box of Crayons on the Kitchen Walls App!
R.I.P. Bill,Thank you, for helping me over the years with my race cars and hot rods.
Thank you for showing me engines that I will only see once in my lifetime, and describing all their history and details.
Very sad news, he was a nice guy, always enjoyed seeing him at Hershey. I can't think of Speedy Bill without thinking of the Speed Equipment Collection he put together, nobody had a better one. I always thought it was a fitting place for the D.O.Green engine I once had. I hope there were plans to keep the collection intact, a visit to it has been on my "Bucket List" for many years. I hope someone that knew Bill will tell us how he came to wear his signature hat. RIP Bill, thank you for all you did for our hobby. Bob
RIP Mr. Smith,
We had the pleasure of meeting "Speedy" Bill last year when visiting Speedway Motors, one of the true legends.
RIP my old friend I'll sure miss you!
Met at a Hot Rod Reunion 4 or 5 years ago at the museum. A class act, He will be missed,
RIP Bill. I got a chance to meet him at I-80 years ago. Went to watch World of Outlaws race and I noticed Bill by his hat and just went to say hi, next thing he invites us to sit down. We listened to stories by Bill and some Indy 500 drivers that were sitting there also, never saw one lap of the race. We were on national television that night while we listened to the guys and didn't know till the next day when I got home and watched the race finally and saw my ugly mug. Bill wouldn't let us pay for our beer either, he had someone deliver the beer to us also cause he didn't want us to miss any of the stories. What a great memory I can still see us all sitting there like little kids in awe.
He was a drag racing and industry friend over a 3-decade period. A man to be respected. His Speedway Motors catlog was the first out of which one could build a street rod, gasser, dragster, modified or sprint car from one source. If you consider yourself a "car guy", put a visit to the American Museum of Speed, Lincoln, NE, on your Bucket List.
May his spirit forever soar with the angels!
He will be missed so much, by so many. Hotrodders truly mourn the loss of their icons, mentors and friends. Speedy was all of these and more. Those we hold dear to our hearts live on in the kindness that they showed us. Speedy Bill will live on in my heart forever. I need to go fire up a hotrod that has some of those Speedway parts; parts that helped to create my american folk art, and take a ride in something that will shake the sorrow off... shake, rattle and roll!
R.I P. Speedy Bill.
I think that a Speedway Catalog was the first hot rod parts catalog I ever sent off for back when you stuck some change in an envelope and sent it off and waited for the catalog to show up. I'm not sure i even had a car to put parts on then but I wore the catalog out looking though it and dreaming.
I'd told my wife a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to take a little side trip on our way to Wichita next month to spend most of a day at Speedy's museum and now think that is a must do thing.
Thanks Doug for sharing those photos, and the stories that go with them and thanks to the others who shared photos and stories for those of us who never had the privilege of meeting Speedy Bill or hearing his stories first hand.
Sad music and slow walkin'---RIP Speedy. Spent a lot of hours in his museum once.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Bill but he had a profound impact on me with the offerings of parts to help me build hot rods from the early seventy's to today.
Sad day indeed,,God Speed,,Speedy Bill. HRP
About thirty years ago(before computers,social media, cellphones) the only way to "find" stuff was thru Hemmings Motor News or swap meets. I had amassed some awesome flathead speed equipment and speedy bill was the second caller for the items and became very upset when I told him the items were already sold. I had to tell him that caller number one had 3-4 days to pay by check and if the deal fell through,he was next in line. He gave me a good tongue lashing that he could pay immediately and I shouldn't have to wait for caller number one's check to arrive.He was not congenial that day,but I am sure he made up for it by helping or being friendly with others; my point being he was not a "saint" that day and it left a bad taste in my mouth for many years.
His sons run it a very nice peopel
R. I. P. Speedy Bill. A very sad day for sure. Peggy & I wish to express our condolences to his family.
We met Bill & Joyce several times while in Lincoln. Both were the most friendly generous people you could ever want to meet. They both always made you welcome & took the time from their busy schedules to talk with you & answer any question you might have.
Much respect. R.I.P Bill
Met Bill and his wife 3 years ago peddling their wares at the vintage dirt track races in Kansas...both were the real deal ..he knew what it took to be genuine.
Nebraska lost one of it's best with his passing....RIP Bill
I never met Speedy Bill, which is not to say I didn't respect him. Back in the early Eighties a fellow in Tupelo, Mississippi gave me a catalog and said, "You can buy anything you want for hot rods from these people." And, being like a cowboy with an oatmeal box I read everything in it. And bought parts. And when people asked me where I got them from, I'd say from 'The Little Man in the Hat'. Of course, I knew he was a flesh and blood person, and something about his business. I too, will miss him. Godspeed Mr. Bill Smith.
I never got to meet the man himself, but I was fortunate enough to tour his amazing museum back in '05. Even then the fellow who guided our tour remarked that whenever possible he would follow Bill with a tape recorder in hopes of preserving just some of his vast knowledge. Truly a pioneer, and no matter what someone may say about the business I can damn near guarantee about 99% of the hot rods on the road today wouldn't be there without at least a little assistance from Speedy Bill. Like Fred I was unfortunately expecting this after the passing of his wife, as so many older couples with such history together seem to go. Their hearts are together now and always. Thank you Bill, and godspeed. RIP...
God Speed Bill, you left a lasting impression on car guys all over
We should all be so lucky to leave such a positive mark on our hobby! RIP SPEEDY BILL your shoes are impossible to fill!
Very sad to hear the news. He was always very friendly and personable whenever I ran into him at events. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and employees.
RIP Speedy Bill. Thanks for all your help.
Rip Bill, I never met you but without your company I wouldn't be building the two cars I have today.
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