The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by pinkynoegg, May 31, 2014.
As usual HRP says it just the way I'd want to.
Speedy Bill's parts collection and passion for vintage Hot Rods is part of why I'm on the HAMB today.
I never could afford much at his shop...But the catalog & museum are both amazing.
Growing up in Nebraska I always thought Bill was a living legend.
R.I.P. Speedy Bill.
Well, shit! This is the first I've heard of Bill's passing. I've enjoyed his company and his museum on many occasions. I think my favorite memory was at the Lincoln swap meet about 10 years ago. The swap meet comes early in the spring and it can be very cold. One of the bathrooms had frozen over and erupted water all over the ground, making a giant ice flow in the parking lot. Bill was standing at the edge of the "glacier" wanting to cross but he was really hesitant. I gave him my arm and helped him across the ice and he was grateful....great guy. We'll miss him around here for sure.
As I look back, I'm glad we both didn't go down on the ice together!
I would never have met him except you and your brother took me to his shop.
R.I.P. Speedy, you will be missed by all,
Never met the man. But one of my proudest times was when he bought my Plymouth engine for display in his museum. Just one small part of a very large collection, but it still is something that makes me proud.
Years ago I was at Beechcraft in Wichita and had a free weekend. Left early one Saturday and drove to Lincoln. I was the only person there and Bills wife walked in and showed me around. A wonderfull lady she had her arm in a sling from a fall and spent a long time showing me her pedal car collection. She got a call and said "take a look around" So I am wandering around and another fellow walks in and introduces himself. He works there and gives me a tour of some of the back rooms! WOW!
Then Mrs Smith returns and shows me around some more,here is a lady who has probably seen this a couple thousand times and she is tireless!
Thanks to both of them.
When staying in Denver in 2004, en route to B'ville, Gary Vahling made a phone call and arranged for me to see the then under construction Museum. I arrived at Speedway and was shown into an office where I was introduced to Bill, and his wife Joyce. Bill then personally showed me round the Museum as it existed, then on into the storage area where all the display engines awaited their time before being put on display, the under construction Indy brickyard pits, etc. Bill was most animated when showing me the extensive pedal car display, something that obviously meant a lot to him and Joyce. He spent over two hours with a stranger from overseas at a time when he was still very actively involved in running the organisation. That's my memory of a great man, RIP Bill.
Rip Bill, have had stuff shipped to aus from Speedway, never an issue, had the pleasure of touring through the museum whilst in the states last year, Rich took 4 of us on a personal tour of the museum at 8am on our way from nationals to Bonneville. Spent 4 hours in there. Was the highlight of our month long journey. Bills foresight to put together this collection and the way it is presented is incredible. What a man.
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Back with Joyce....
Oh dear another link with the past gone. Seemed like he'd live forever but of course none of us do. I suppose he had a great life and that's what counts, and he certainly left something behind on this planet worthwhile.
Thanks Bill for all you did - you made something great with your life. If life is a test you scored nearly top marks.
great man, built an empire with hot rodding. Built a business with hard work and honesty. RIP Bill
I just spent a few moments and read all your comments of Speedy Bill & Joyce so nice to reflect on my friends and know they had such lasting impressions on so many, one comment Bill he was no saint, this is true Bill was a hard core businessman, racer, historian, worker, and lover of life if he ever offended any one which he did me many a times since I did business with him so often, there was always an old school lesson in there some where for you to really think about!
But when I would loose my head and buy to much stuff at an auction or? and needed to borrow a buck he would always take care of me, but it never came without fatherly advice, like saying "You gotta quit feeding them stray dogs and they'll quite fowling you home!" in his unique voice of worldly wisdom! I still miss both Bill & Joyce and imagine I always will.
Over the years I developed the skill of imitating Speedy's voice, and manarisiums, so I don't mind doing an improve of him at the drop of a Hat in certain crowds it will shock people who knew and herd him before so if for any reason you need a quick, "Hello this is Speedy" "I'm still here in Lincoln, Nebraska with all the farm animals!" "selling fuzzy dice and Lug nuts, trying to pay the bills!" or one of Speedy's other famous one liners, give me a # and I'll give you a call that will sure put a smile on your face. I had the honor of being the last guess speakers (right after Bill Simpson) at Speedy's life celebration in his fabulous museum when I broke out in my best Speedy Bill's voice I had full attention of about 1,000 people that were on hand to celebrate Bills life and they were shocked to here Bill's wisdom one last time as I blurted out many of Speedy's one liners! Many old timers came up to me afterwords with tear in their eyes and other with so many thank you's for making us smile, even some Big names in racing in the frt rows was smiling with some tears. Bill had a tremendous impact on the automotive world but he still lived as a hard working family man that was great-full for his family friends, competitors. No Bill was no saint! he was a hard charging pioneer that made things happen for us all to benefit from! Now Joyce was sure an angel and Bill new that all his life.
Here are just a few more of my favorite pics with Speedy & Joyce, When My wife and I were invited to the ARMO awards banquette at SEMA in 08 we didn't have a table to sit at then out of the corner of my eye I seen a familiar blk Hat and a wave to come sit, My new product the (Roller Hoop rotisserie) was in the running for best new product of the year in the resto catagory, and Speedy & Joyce were there holding us a spot at the table, this was defiantly one of the high points in my life and my Pal was there to share it with us.
Thanks for the insight "SPEEDY" will be missed more than one can count!
Very nice post. I'm sure Speedy was proud to have you as a friend.
Kind of weird.....I just ordered a few items from SM, click over here and this pops up.
Thanks for the insight into an amazing life and an amazing man, Auto Doug. RIP, Speedy Bill
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