Here’s your opportunity to get your wife the ultimate Christmas gift, if she happens to be a serious Corvette enthusiast.
The 1979 Corvette once belonging to one of the female legends of the racing world – Donna Mae Mims, known affectionately as the Pink Lady of Racing – is up for sale in the Pittsburgh area on craigslist.com at the asking price of $99,500.
Before you exclaim that’s about $90,000 more than a ’79 Corvette is actually worth, especially unrestored, listen to the back story.
Mims became a Corvette enthusiast the moment she first saw a 1957 Corvette at Don Yenko Chevrolet. Purchasing that car, she got the racing bug as well and began racing in 1961 which included a win at the B Production National race at Cumberland. She became the first woman to win the SCCA championship in 1963, driving a 1959 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite. Her trademark “Think Pink” was painted on the side of her race cars (and yes, that logo remains on the front fenders of her ’79), and her pink coveralls, pink crash helmet and full pink wig earned her the nickname “The Lady in Pink.”
Like Ricky Bobby, Donna obviously felt that if you’re not first, you’re last. In fact, one of her trademark sayings was: “You’re out there only for one thing. To win. Nobody remembers second place.”
Ironically, one of my favorite actresses growing up was Adrienne Barbeau, who played Donna in the 1981 movie Cannonball Run. Mims and two other women had competed together in the 1972 Cannonball Run in a 1968 Cadillac Limousine, sponsored by “The Right Bra” company, but they ended up as a DNF after they crashed at night near El Paso, Texas and knocked over a porta-toilet, spilling “green stuff” all over the road.
Donna worked as the Manager of Hi-Performance at Yenko Sports Cars by helping other racers with parts and even sponsors. Her company car at the time was a 1969 L88 Corvette. She also freelanced articles for Corvette News, SCCA’s Sports Car and Competition Press. After retiring from racing, she worked at three different Ohio race tracks and was active in three different Corvette clubs, one of which was founded by her, the Three Rivers Corvette Club.
She earned the ultimate recognition in the Corvette world when she was inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame in 2016, along with Bob Bondurant (racing) and Ralph Kramer (GM/Chevrolet).
Mims made headlines one last time when she passed away in 2009 at the age of 82. At the funeral home, her body was displayed sitting behind the wheel of her pink 1979 Corvette – yes, the same one currently up for sale – and more than 40 Corvettes took part in the funeral procession.
SThe car remains “exactly the way it was when she drove it,” the seller posted, noting that the car is part of a private collection now and remains unrestored. The original L82 engine and custom pink paint – including an airbrushed drawing of Donna that covers the hood – appear to be in good condition, though the red leather seats are showing some cracks after 40 years. The seller also has the original title in Mims’ name.
Knowing all this, how do you feel about that $99,500 asking price now?
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