Linda Vaughn. Miss Hurst
Golden Shifter. The First Lady of Drag Racing. Trophy
queen at just about every type of automotive competition
including NASCAR, Indy, Formula One, etc. Linda was the
sweetheart of many a race fan, including yours truly,
from the mid-60's to the early 1980's when she
relinquished her titled as Miss Hurst Golden Shifter.
Along with her new title of Miss Atlanta Raceway (which lasted one year), Linda's job was to visit various race tracks in the south such as Charlotte, Darlington and Daytona in the pace car representing Atlanta Raceway, displaying her anatomical charms amongst her other duties as race queen.
|After her reign as Miss Atlanta Raceway
was up, Linda entered another beauty contest, this time
sponsored by Pure Oil Company. She won that title as well,
and assumed the role of Miss Pure Firebird a position she
retained for 3 1/2 years 'til Pure Oil merged with Union
That merger signaled the end of her career as Miss Firebird and Linda was suddenly out of a job. She thought her career as race queen was over. All was not lost, though. Linda being the automotive oriented gal that she is, opened up an issue of Hot Rod Magazine and noticed an ad from Hurst who were looking for a new Miss Hurst Golden Shifter.
Linda decided to enter and won
the preliminary at Atlanta, then the title overall
amongst 200 other entries. Thus began Linda's long career
as Miss Hurst and her association with Hurst Industries.
In the mid-60's, she along with Don Garlits and Richard Petty, toured military bases in Vietnam, giving our boys moral support and briefly taking their minds off the hell of war.
Towards the late 1960's, Linda's services became in such demand that Hurst had to hire addi- tional blonde beauties - dubbed the Hurstettes, to fill in for Linda at various racing events across the USA.
|At more prestigious events, Linda
alongside the other two or three Hurstettes, made their
appearance. Yes, a sight for sore eyes indeed!
In addition to her duties as Miss Hurst, in the mid-1970's Linda also was the spokesmodel for Gratiot Auto Supply appearing in their ads featured in the many car magazines of the day. She also starred in Gratiot's television commercials, which aired in the Detroit area.
Linda's other TV appearances include a couple of Hollywood films namely, Gumball Rally and Stroker Ace, starring Burt Reynolds. Later, she was the host of The Exciting World of Speed and Beauty, which aired on ESPN in the 1990's.
Not all of Linda's time at the races was spent as a trophy queen but as a competitor, as she got
|behind the wheel and competed (albeit
briefly) in sports car competition after receiving her
competition drivers license from the SCCA after
successfully completing the driving course offered at the
Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving.
After semi-retiring from the
automotive scene during the years of 1983-87, Linda
returned to her first love. She teamed up with Mr. Gasket Performance Group, a conglomerate of automotive
companies, who now owned Hurst Industries, and was
promoted to Vice President, Public Relations.
Presently, Linda is associated with Prolong Super Lubricants in the capacity as consultant and spokesperson.
QuickTime Productions © 1999