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Old 05-01-2009, 09:25 AM   #1
Jerry Lee
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Default DON WILSON - The Two Minute Interview

This segment of the Two Minute Interview features the "King of Lakeside" Don Wilson. Although a multi-champion in Modified coupes, Don was also a legend in Colorado Late Model circles.

Here's a few clips of the champ from an old video interview I did at his house in 1992. He even broke out the scrap books and some lemonade!

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JL: "Those old coupe stockers you started out in weren't very safe then."

DW: "In those days it was really nothing to destroy a car because they weren't very well built. Plus, we didn't have any finesse. It was run into this and run into that."

JL: "And just about everything was homemade."

DW: "We'd take a 35 gallon grease drum and shape it for a seat. Oh yeah, that was a trick race seat in them days! (laughs)"

JL: "How did you get started in Late Model racing in the '60's?"

DW: "We started running the Saturday night show with the Late Models when they started at Englewood in '67. At the time, my brother Fritz and I were also running them at Lakeside and on the dirt at Erie."

JL: "The Late Models were also known as Super Stocks at that time, where as now they are two different divisions."

DW: "The Late Model division would be the same as the Super Stock division right now at the local tracks, in other words, they were 'stock' cars. We used to run those ol' '55 Chevys. That was your basic 'stock' car."

JL: "How did the Late Models that you drove in the '60's evolve through the '70's?"

DW: "It got to the point that a lot of guys bought factory cars. I think it was my brother Fritz, he came out with a Howe factory race car while we were all building our own stuff in those days. He kind of showed us the way."

JL: "Do you remember the short lived Metropolitan Racing Championship series from the early to mid-'60's? It's where all the top Modified guys around ran at each others tracks."

DW: "Yeah, we had a meeting one night with some of the drivers and owners and decided that maybe we could get together and make a tour out of it. The problem was that both Englewood and Lakeside ran on Sunday nights. So we added a couple of Saturday nights at each track and it worked."

JL: "How did you do in them?"

DW: "I don't remember. I think Pete Stringer won a couple of them."**

JL: "Did you ever have any real rivals in your career?"

DW: "You meet a lot of people who are interesting, and you meet some that today you don't like, and tomorrow you like. Some guys you fist fight one week, and they're borrowing your parts the next. It's just auto racing."

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**NOTE: I've recently uncovered that Don Wilson DID win one of the Metropolitian
Racing Championships. I guess when you have won as many championships as Don has, you're bound to forget one!

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 05-19-2009 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:21 PM   #2
VintageBuzz
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Default Re: DON WILSON - The Two Minute Interview

Hey Jerry! Your Two Minute Interviews are way cool. I hope that you have many more to share with us! ~VB
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:21 AM   #3
Mitch G.
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Default Re: DON WILSON - The Two Minute Interview

Don Wilson is a Colorado legend, check out the midget forum and see Don's adventures in midget racing!
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:11 PM   #4
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: DON WILSON - The Two Minute Interview


The “King of Lakeside” Don Wilson picks up another trophy in John Pachello’s famous #19 Modified in 1966.
(Irwin Fogel collection)



Don Wilson picks up some more hardware, this time in a Late Model in 1967 at Englewood Speedway.
Dig the old concrete flag barrier that used to be in the infield there.(Irwin Fogel collection)



Here’s Don in another Late Model from 1969. Can anyone give some info. on this Bill Crouch
Chrysler/Plymouth sponsored car that Don raced?(Irwin Fogel collection)

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 07-06-2009 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: DON WILSON - The Two Minute Interview

Thanks for sharing this true legend interview JL..... Years ago I saw Don at Roseville (CA) running a Southwest Tour #1 Jolly Rancher car. We talked and had a great few minutes after the race. Years later I ran into Don in Las Vegas, he was a spectator for the first race at the new track. We happened to sit two seats apart and again enjoyed catching up a little.

I guess you you could do a two hour interview and never be bored. Great part of Colo racing.

Chuck
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:57 PM   #6
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: DON WILSON - The Two Minute Interview

Racefan2 informs me that the #90 Late Model was owned by Dean Gates. Thanks for the photos Irwin! --J.L.
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