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Joe DeHalle, first Western States winner


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#1 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 06:35 PM

A post from many years ago regarding the first Western States being won by Joe DeHalle with a Pittman 196B raised the question of what ever happened to Joe. Here is the answer to that inquiry.

 

Joe was a racer from Phoenix, AZ. His home track was at a Woolco shopping center in west Phoenix owned by Dick Halsey. Halsey's had an American yellow and a black. Joe was one of the many fast racers in the valley but he was one that made the trip to the big race and won. Afterwards Joe stopped racing when his track closed and he married along with entering the workforce as a cabinet maker.

 

Joe and Bonnie DeHalle were out on New Years 1971 and were struck broadside by a train; both died at the scene leaving an infant son behind.

 

Jesse Gonzales

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#2 don.siegel

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 06:18 AM

Thanks for that info Jesse; had always wondered what happened to Joe, since he won that race against some pretty tough competition. 

 

A tragic end, too... sorry to hear that. 

 

Don 



#3 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 01:58 PM

It kind of chafed me that for Joe's big win and being in the Auto World adds for years no one knew what happened to him. His sister and I went to school together so I got to know the family, really nice people. I joined Slotblog just to tell his story.

 

Jesse



#4 Tom Eatherly

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:56 PM

Jesse,

What year did he win The Western States race?
Tom Eatherly

#5 don.siegel

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 05:07 PM

It was in November 1965; there was a big write-up on it in the February 1966 issue of Rod & Custom. Will see if I have some photos of that article in my phototheque...
 
Don

 

Here it is: 

 

WesternModelCarChamps1RC266.jpg

 

WesternModelCarChamps2RC266.jpg

 

WesternModelCarChamps3RC266.jpg

 

WesternStatesraceRCFeb66.jpg


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#6 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 08:01 PM

The Triumph Spitfire he won was the car he and Bonnie were in when they got T-boned by a train. Train/car accidents were pretty common in the Phoenix area in the '50s and '60s. Joe was an outstanding athlete in HS days at Carl Hayden HS in west Phoenix. I forgot Bonnie's maiden name but she was from Chicago.





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