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Louisiana Lumberman Bill Fuller RIP


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#1 Jerry Entin

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 00:35

Bill-jag-1.jpg

 

Bill Fuller on his way to victory during the Louisiana Hilltop Races at Bossier City in September 1960. His car was the Rebel Special, a Chevy-powered Jaguar D-type, chassis 560. It was his third overall victory in as many races at Hilltop that year, earning him the nickname King of The Hill.

 

 

 

We just heard the sad news that Bill died on January 15 this year, at the age of 94. From 1956 on he was a well-known participant in races around the South: Mansfield, Hammond, Eagle Mountain, Galveston, Pensacola, Stuttgart, San Marcos, Hilltop, Opelousas, Sebring, Daytona and Baton Rouge.

 

Bill started out with a Corvette in 1956, upgrading in 1958 to the D-type in which Jack Ensley had previously mounted a Chevy V8. The D-type was raced by Fuller until early 1966.

 

Photo credit: Bob Jackson [from Sports Car Racing in the South, Volume 2]

all research Willem Oosthoek


Edited by Jerry Entin, 15 February 2020 - 01:16.


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#2 Jerry Entin

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 01:22

Bill-Mansfield-Sep59.jpg

Mansfield, September 1959. The 4.9-liter Rebel Special being chased by Ronnie Hissom in his new 4.7-liter Lister/Chevy. In the prelim Fuller finished 2nd ahead of Hissom. In the feature Fuller retired and Hissom finished 2nd overall.

 

Photo credit: Bob Jackson [from Sports Car Racing in the South, Volume 2].

all research Willem Oosthoek


Edited by Jerry Entin, 15 February 2020 - 01:26.


#3 JacnGille

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 03:29

Sad news



#4 RA Historian

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 16:56

Bill Fuller had one National win. He won the SCCA National at Corpus Christi in 1960. I think that it was an airport race, run at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station. It may have been a National, but it was very poorly attended. A number of his 'regional' wins were actually over stronger fields than his one National win.

 

Tom



#5 Jerry Entin

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 09:37

]Bill-Hilltop760-1.jpg

Hilltop, July 1960. With his D-type in the shop, Bill Fuller borrowed Harry Washburn’s Chevy-engined Ferrari Monza, chassis 0502. He never even sat in the car before, but in spite of the Monza’s marginal brakes, its heavy understeer and a tendency to jump out of fourth gear, Bill took it to victory in the feature. The fact that the leading Monsterati Special of Bill Janowski threw a rod three laps before the finish certainly helped.

 

Tom is right.

Bill Fuller won the SCCA National at Corpus Christi, Texas, in October 1960. The competition wasn’t too strong: Hap Sharp’s Maserati-engined Cooper Monaco, Mason O’Keiff’s Kurtis SX-2/Chevy, Enus Wilson’s Chevy-engined Maserati 300S and Bill Steele in Tom Binford’s Ferrari Monza-engined Maserati 200SI. Only five car started the feature, and fastest qualifier Sharp lasted only 50 yards, blowing a plug at the starting line. After Wilson retired as well after 3 laps, the end result became: Fuller followed by O’Keiff and Extell Bell in an EM class Triumph Special.

 

All research: Willem Oosthoek

 

Photo credit: Bob Jackson [from Sports Car Racing in the South, Volume 2]


Edited by Jerry Entin, 16 February 2020 - 10:16.


#6 Jerry Entin

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 09:59

71-Mansfield-9-61-Bill-Fuller-423.jpg

Mansfield, September 1961. In addition to his D-type /Chevy, Bill Fuller ran this Ford-powered Merlyn Formula Junior.

 

Bill’s parents came down to Louisiana from Indiana in 1919 to work in the local hardwood industry. Bill, who pioneered the state’s reforestation program, eventually took over the Fuller Forest Products operations in Oakdale. His sawmill used 80-plus vehicles and employed four mechanics. Shop foreman Jack McDaniel did the work on Bill’s competition cars, but never went to the races. That was a job for mechanic John Faiszt and a few others.

 

Photo credit: Bob Jackson [from Sports Car Racing in the South, Volume 3]


Edited by Jerry Entin, 16 February 2020 - 10:01.


#7 Jerry Entin

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 10:04

77-Mansfield-9-61-Sharp-leads-Fuller-418

Mansfield, September 1961 again. In the feature Fuller raced his much lightened D-type/Chevy, seen here in a battle with Hap Sharp’s Ford-powered Cooper Formula Libre.

 

Photo credit: Bob Jackson [from Sports Car Racing in the South, Volume 3]


Edited by Jerry Entin, 16 February 2020 - 10:08.


#8 Jerry Entin

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 10:10

74-Mansfield-Bill-Fuller-9-61-471.jpg

 

Another Mansfield shot of Bill Fuller in his Ford-engined Merlyn Formula Junior. The car was fast but not too reliable.

 

Photo credit: Bob Jackson [from Sports Car Racing in the South, Volume 3]


Edited by Jerry Entin, 16 February 2020 - 10:13.


#9 Jerry Entin

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 17:59

https://www.legacy.c...x?pid=195065598

 

Here is the Obituary for Bill porter Fuller.



#10 lcbulldog

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 15:03

Sad news.  Thanks Jerry for this information.  I saw Bill Fuller race twice.  The first time was 1963 at Midland, TX Airpark driving a DevinSS Chevy that, if memory serves me correctly, was also called the Rebel Special (like the D-Jag Chevy).  The second and last time was at Texas World Speedway in the late '70s in a Lola T70.  

 

Mark



#11 E1pix

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 17:27

Thanks for honoring a lost comrade, Jerry.

RIP.