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Fall 2016 87

Year” in 1998.

Currie also occupied his time

with rock-crawling, drove with his

wife, Evelyn, in “The Great Race”

twenty times, winning overall once.

He always had ‘32 Ford roadsters or

coupes and had a ‘65 GT350 which he

drove in La Carrera Panamericana

three years in a row. He was 87 when

he passed away of natural causes at

home in Yorba Linda .


March 25, 2016

Nelda was the wife of noted Dal-

las, Texas automotive artist Bill

Neale. They had been married for 67

years. Bill was a lifelong friend of

fellow Texan Carroll Shelby but

Nelda actually knew him first; they

both went to Woodrow Wilson High

School in Dallas before she met Bill.

Neale referred to her, fondly, as

“Scrap Iron” and when he did, she

pretended to be irritated but she

was actually beaming. It was an act

the two of them had perfected over

Speech. After getting married and

becoming a parent, she easily moved

from being a teacher to a mother

and homemaker and supported her

husband as his fine art career took


Nelda enjoyed Bill’s involve-

ment in cars as much as he did and

often accompanied him to races, art

shows and SAAC conventions. She

was always gracious, warm and

kindhearted. She will be profoundly

missed by everyone who knew her.

She was 88 and died peacefully with

her family around her.

the years. She graduated from North

Texas State University with both

bachelor’s and master’s degrees in


June 21, 2016

Former Ford Racing Program

Manager Homer Perry was as much

responsible for Ford’s LeMans victo-

ries an anyone else, but he tended to

work in the background. He wasn’t

in the spotlight like a driver and no

magazine articles were written

about him. However he played an

important role and he was what is

known as “a mover and a shaker.”

His job was to make things happen.

Ford’s GT40 program eventually got

funneled through Homer Perry.

He retired in 1985 and moved to

Florida. When his wife Betty passed

away in 2004 he moved back to

Michigan to be near his daughter.

When Ford won LeMans in June he

was with his granddaughter. He was

in and out of consciousness but

when the Ford GTs crossed the fin-

ish line, his granddaughter whis-

pered in his ear, “

Grandpa, they

won! Ford won at LeMans

.” He

smiled and squeezed her hand.

When he passed away from compli-

cations relating to pneumonia a few

days later. He was 96.

working for the company until he re-


Perry was born in 1920 in

Spruce Pine, North Carolina and

when he was five years old his fam-

ily moved to Detroit. His father went

to work at Ford’s Rouge Plant.When

he was nineteen he joined the com-

pany as an apprentice mechanic. He

continued to climb the Ford ladder,

Before Ford began its Total Per-

formance campaign in the early 1960s,

Perry worked at Ford’s proving

grounds, supervising the preparation

of cars in the Mobil Economy Run and

Pure Oil Performance Trials. When

Ford began its racing program, he was

given the responsibility of coordinat-

ing the activities of everyone involved

with the GT40 project – Shelby’s peo-

ple, Holman-Moody’s people, Alan

Mann’s people and Ford designers and

engineers. Everything having any-

thing to do with the tactical end of