Vetterans - Bill Krause

Bill Krause - “Mickey Thompson called me from Detroit and said don’t sign the contract for Shelby. He had these Corvettes he was going to run at Daytona and everywhere else.”

Bill Krause, Corvette Racer

I actually started with open-wheel cars. My dad had some Offenhauser midgets around at Gilmore Stadium and I learned to love the noise. I decided to try racing. I was pretty successful in the beginning and then my mother said one day to my father “you know if he gets upside down one more time, he’s probably not going to walk around on both legs very long.

It just so happened we had a friend who worked for a Jaguar dealer. This dealer had access to a new D-Type Jaguar which had won LeMans five times and was highly thought of. It was one of the first cars, I think, to have successful disc brakes. I ended up winning the race. But I could see that the Chevy V8’s in some of the other cars were stronger than the Jaguar motor and there was not much more we could do to it. So in 1959 I put a Corvette V8 in the D Jaguar and did all the work myself except for the headers. It was lightning fast compared to the D Jag itself.

I drove the first Cobra - I was two days from signing the contract with Carroll and go back to work for him. Mickey Thompson called me from Detroit and said don’t sign the contract for Shelby. He had these Corvettes he was going to run at Daytona and everywhere else. Let me talk to you first. Mickey came out and gave me all these opportunities to go to Indianapolis and everything. I signed with Mickey and I drove the 427 on the high bank, and then a 327. I enjoyed both cars.

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