The SHELBY AMERICAN
352 Fall 2015
March 7, 2015
When SAAC was started, one of
the first members was Bill Heinson. He
was from Moxie, a small town in east-
ern Washington. We had been worried
that SAAC would become a northeast-
based club but owners and enthusiasts
from all over the country signed up. Bill
maintained his SAAC membership for
the rest of his life.
Always interested in performance
cars, he bought a 289 Cobra (CSX2580) in
1977. The car had been in a serious acci-
dent and within two years he had traded
it for an early ‘65 GT350, #5026. He estab-
lished himself as an authority on Holley
carburetors and wrote a couple of de-
tailed articles about them in
Bill was 67.
May 6, 2015
The grande dame of American
sports car racing has passed away and
there is no replacement waiting in the
wings. When Denise McCluggage grad-
uated from college in the early 1950s
she took her first job working at the
San Francisco Chronicle
. She began
hanging out with sports car enthusi-
asts and in short order was seduced by
a black MG TC, which she described as
a loose roller skate of a car.
” And just
like that she was hooked for life. She
began attending sports car races, got to
know the drivers, bought another MG
TC and then moved to New York to
work at the
New York Herald Tribute
in 1954. With sports car racing in this
country just beginning to take hold, she
got a helmet and went racing in a
Jaguar XK140. Female drivers were
considered charming curiosities at that
time and few were taken seriously. Oc-
casionally they were placed in ladies-
only “powder puff” races. Despite the
condescending treatment given to all
females in the sport, McCluggage en-
joyed racing too much to be dissuaded.
She was eventually recognized, during
this “Golden Age” of racing, as a con-
temporary, both as a driver as well as a
As a writer/driver, McCluggage moved easily around the top drivers in the 1950s.
From left, GP drivers Fangio, Moss, Rodriguez, Ireland and Bucknum.
She raced in some of the most best
known events of the day: Sebring, Nas-
sau, Daytona, the Nurburgring. At Se-
bring in 1962 she won the GT class in a
Ferrari 250. She and co-driver Anne
Hall won their class in the Monte Carlo
Rally in 1964 in a Falcon. She began
at the very begin-
ning and continued to do so until she
passed away. She seemed to know
everyone in the sports car
racing world where she was
admired and respected.
Along the way she also found
time to write several books.
She was inducted into the
Automotive Hall of Fame in
2001 and won both the Ken
Purdy Award for Excellence
in Automotive Journalism
and the Dean Bachelor Life-
time Achievement Award.
Denise was 88.