Jump to content


Photo

RIP Parnelli Jones 1933-2024 (merged)


  • Please log in to reply
66 replies to this topic

#1 Nigel Beresford

Nigel Beresford
  • Member

  • 1,101 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 04 June 2024 - 22:28

Sadly the day has come. We lost Parnelli Jones, one of America’s greatest of all racers.

https://racer.com/20...ones-1933-2024/

Edited by Nigel Beresford, 04 June 2024 - 22:30.


Advertisement

#2 FLB

FLB
  • Member

  • 31,235 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 04 June 2024 - 22:29

One of the Truly Greats at Indianapolis has passed way: Parnelli Jones, 1933-2024 | RACER

 



#3 Alan Lewis

Alan Lewis
  • Member

  • 1,048 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 04 June 2024 - 22:30


The death notice is sourced to David Malsher at racer.com, and has also been posted on Racing Comments.

Farewell to a legend of US racing...

https://en.wikipedia.../Parnelli_Jones

#4 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 3,052 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 04 June 2024 - 22:42

Parnelli Jones and A.J. Foyt were the first two racers I ever heard of as a  very young  boy.



#5 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 7,508 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 04 June 2024 - 23:42

Family friend Phil Hedback (Bryant Heating and Cooling) presented Parnelli the 150 silver dollars after his 1962 run over 150 mph at the Speedway. He was a long time favorite in my family, also close to Bobby Marshman, and broke my heart when the turbine failed him three laps short in 1967. Thanks for many great memories over a varied racing career.

Edited by B Squared, 04 June 2024 - 23:45.


#6 JacnGille

JacnGille
  • Member

  • 2,834 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 05 June 2024 - 01:41

Sadly the day has come. We lost Parnelli Jones, one of America’s greatest of all racers.

https://racer.com/20...ones-1933-2024/

Sad news.  ):



#7 E1pix

E1pix
  • Member

  • 23,493 posts
  • Joined: January 11

Posted 05 June 2024 - 01:59

Geez Bsquared, we were just wondering how much time Parnelli had left…

Sad news, what a Legend. RIP.

#8 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 3,777 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 05 June 2024 - 06:43

Very sad news. Great in anything he raced. RIP Parnelli

#9 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 13,071 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 05 June 2024 - 07:46

This is indeed a message of which we knew it could arrive any day for quite a while.

 

Such a legend within Indy history, and then to realize that his active career at the speedway lasted only 7 years! 

One of the first drivers who really mastered the tricks of how to make a roadster chassis faster and make it handle through the corners better than the opposition.

 

But let's not forget that he tried F1 too as  team owner. And did so much more other thatn racing at Indy.

 

 

Rest in peace Parnelli, thanks for the efforts & memories



#10 absinthedude

absinthedude
  • Member

  • 5,791 posts
  • Joined: June 18

Posted 05 June 2024 - 08:50

RIP Parnelli.....I first heard of him with his cameo in the original Gone In 60 Seconds, and recalled the name a year or so later when I started devouring the history of motorsport via printed books in the school library. A legend has passed. 



#11 E1pix

E1pix
  • Member

  • 23,493 posts
  • Joined: January 11

Posted 05 June 2024 - 12:38

https://m.youtube.co...gUIUGFybmVsbGk=

#12 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 7,508 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 05 June 2024 - 13:08

Only one problem with that video E1, USAC officials were saying nice things to and about Andy Granatelli, we can't have that around here.

#13 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 13,071 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 05 June 2024 - 13:45

Only one problem with that video E1, USAC officials were saying nice things to and about Andy Granatelli, we can't have that around here.

 

Oh B....

 

 

Andy could be real nice and helpful in his later years. As unlikely as it appeared at the time when I was still working on those Novi books (and who would take a Dutch youngster who did not speak fluent English serious when he said such?), Andy did take me serious, never ducked a question and on occasion also corrected stories from his book to tell me how it had been. And on one occasion when I knew I had asked something that could set him ablaze (My last question at that moment of course) acknowledged that things had been made up that things had been different and since I seem to have worked out some of those details already he filled me in on the rest.

I couldn't believe it. My partner George who was with me and with whom I had worked out this strategy for the interview was also in sheer disbelief how we had got that info from the man himself and how easy, if not actually complimentary he had been on me for having seen through that story.

 

I know there is a lot of nasty talk about Andy and some is justified too as far as I can say. But there was a different Andy Granatelli too. And Lucky me, Lucky me was one of those people who was permitted to know this other Andy.

So I think it is my duty that I have to mention this about Andy. The later years Andy could be a different man.


Edited by Henri Greuter, 05 June 2024 - 13:46.


#14 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 7,508 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 05 June 2024 - 14:23

Henri, my friend, I was being sarcastic there. We were lucky to spend some time with Mr Granatelli at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg festival one year and he would call my dad on occasion regarding Duesenbergs, as he owned at least a couple over the years. He was always really good to my family and I. I tried to get STP and him to sponsor me in Soap Box Derby before things worked out with Sunoco. He sent me a wonderful gift package as a consolation prize for no sponsorship. It's still 100% intact and it's envelope today.

#15 10kDA

10kDA
  • Member

  • 1,046 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 05 June 2024 - 14:36

Probably the first racer I was aware of, even before hearing the Memorial Day 1963 Indy 500 radio broadcast my friend's dad was listening to as my friend & I re-created D-Day in the back yard with little green Army guys. "What kinda name is 'Parnelli'? That guy must be cool." By the end of 1964, I had an idea how cool he was, winning races from big-bore sports racers to the stock car division at Pike's Peak. A true all-rounder who excelled at everything, then co-founded & ran VPJ, one of the great teams of the 70s. RIP, Parnelli.



#16 sstiel

sstiel
  • New Member

  • 403 posts
  • Joined: June 08

Posted 05 June 2024 - 15:46



#17 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 7,406 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 05 June 2024 - 17:04

I originally posted this a few years ago in a thread over in Racing Comments. It was my one time to see Parnelli race in person:

 

January 1970, Riverside International Raceway, Motor Trend 500 NASCAR race. Parnelli Jones shatters the track record in qualifying. He's on Firestone tires. NASCAR declares that his tires aren't legal because there aren't enough to supply the entire field. They disallow the times of Jones and seven West coast drivers on Firestones. Parnelli disagrees and gets trucks full of tires to arrive to prove he can supply the field. NASCAR refuses to budge (I'm sure their then new deal with Goodyear had no part in it). They move Jones and the seven others to the back of the field. Jones starts 35th in the 44-car field


Race day, Parnelli charges through the field. On lap 43, Jones arrives in turn 9 in the lead. As he crosses the start-finish line in front of the main grandstand, he thrusts his arm out of the window and emphatically lofts a single digit, aimed directly at the press box, where one Bill France is watching. The crowd erupts.

 

Unfortunately, his transmission packed it in and he was a DNF. But, that was my one time seeing Parnelli Jones race in person   :) I believe it was Autoweek that mentioned the incident in a veiled, indirect, humorous manner. Something along the lines of him letting the crowd know exactly what position he was in   :)



#18 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 13,071 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 05 June 2024 - 18:12

Henri, my friend, I was being sarcastic there. We were lucky to spend some time with Mr Granatelli at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg festival one year and he would call my dad on occasion regarding Duesenbergs, as he owned at least a couple over the years. He was always really good to my family and I. I tried to get STP and him to sponsor me in Soap Box Derby before things worked out with Sunoco. He sent me a wonderful gift package as a consolation prize for no sponsorship. It's still 100% intact and it's envelope today.

Oops, Sorry buddy that I seem not to know you well enough yet to realize you were sarcastic.

Sorry mate!



#19 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 7,508 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 05 June 2024 - 20:45

No worries Henri. When I first joined here I posted some personal interaction information about Andy Granatelli and having met him, and you would have thought that I was praising Satan himself. Some here, at least at that time, loathed him and thought that he brought nothing to the racing game. I disagree.

Advertisement

#20 Jack-the-Lad

Jack-the-Lad
  • Member

  • 2,474 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 05 June 2024 - 21:08

Although I didn’t get to see Parnelli race I shared a table with him at Mario’s farewell/retirement dinner in Indianapolis in 1994.  He was quite charming once he got comfortable with you and he and my wife hit it off quite well.  I’m glad to have got to know him even if only for.a few hours. Thanks, Parnelli, for being a gentleman and a great racer.  



#21 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 7,508 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 05 June 2024 - 21:51

That's cool story Jack, Parnelli at 60 must have been great fun. That was the year I was wrapping up my CART experience, no way it seems 30 years ago.

#22 Jack-the-Lad

Jack-the-Lad
  • Member

  • 2,474 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 05 June 2024 - 22:12

No worries Henri. When I first joined here I posted some personal interaction information about Andy Granatelli and having met him, and you would have thought that I was praising Satan himself. Some here, at least at that time, loathed him and thought that he brought nothing to the racing game. I disagree.

When I was beginning my career in banking in the early ‘70s I was assigned a small facet of the STP account as my responsibility. The company had just moved its headquarters to Ft. Lauderdale and Andy had purchase a home in the Bay Colony enclave. I was assigned to take the bank’s Christmas gift to him at his home. He answered the knock personally and couldn’t have been more cordial. I would have loved to have spoken with him at length but it was apparent that he was getting ready to go out.  He reminded me of a combination of Ernest Borgnine and Broderick Crawford…in a good way!



#23 Lemnpiper

Lemnpiper
  • Member

  • 1,040 posts
  • Joined: February 05

Posted 06 June 2024 - 00:29

  Very Very Sad  news indeed   , 

 

    I had been hoping he'd surpass   Louie Meyer's record for longest lived Indy 500  winner  later this year as well. Sadly ended up 146 days short. ( would've been  Oct 29th )

 

    So AJ is now the longest living winner now and if he's passed Rene Thomas in lifespan he would be in3rd all time. 

 

    Looks like only 11 starters from 1960's  Indy 500s  left now   :eek:

 

 

 

    
   Paul



#24 Lee Nicolle

Lee Nicolle
  • Member

  • 11,126 posts
  • Joined: July 08

Posted 06 June 2024 - 06:40

This is indeed a message of which we knew it could arrive any day for quite a while.

 

Such a legend within Indy history, and then to realize that his active career at the speedway lasted only 7 years! 

One of the first drivers who really mastered the tricks of how to make a roadster chassis faster and make it handle through the corners better than the opposition.

 

But let's not forget that he tried F1 too as  team owner. And did so much more other thatn racing at Indy.

 

 

Rest in peace Parnelli, thanks for the efforts & memories

I know more of him in a Blazer offroading.



#25 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 13,071 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 06 June 2024 - 07:11

No worries Henri. When I first joined here I posted some personal interaction information about Andy Granatelli and having met him, and you would have thought that I was praising Satan himself. Some here, at least at that time, loathed him and thought that he brought nothing to the racing game. I disagree.

 

Yes, I know that feeling you describe. Reads familiar. Like you he is one person I will stand up for when I feel it is needed. And I am very sorry I misunderstood your message. I should have known that we are in the same camp in this.

Reason to come back and see that enveloppe eventually?  ;)



#26 WonderWoman61

WonderWoman61
  • Member

  • 1,810 posts
  • Joined: December 21

Posted 06 June 2024 - 09:41

May he Rest in Peace

#27 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 7,406 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 06 June 2024 - 16:43

 

    Looks like only 11 starters from 1960's  Indy 500s  left now   :eek:

Well, it has been 54 and a half years since the 1960s ended, and drivers were quite often in their late 20s/early 30s before they got to the Indy 500 during that era.


Edited by Jim Thurman, 06 June 2024 - 19:19.


#28 Henk Vasmel

Henk Vasmel
  • Member

  • 789 posts
  • Joined: June 01

Posted 06 June 2024 - 18:35

Well, it has been 55 and a half years since the 1960s ended, and drivers were quite often in their late 20s/early 30s before they got to the Indy 500 during that era.

What happened to 1969? was it not part of the 60's?



#29 cpbell

cpbell
  • Member

  • 6,974 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 06 June 2024 - 19:09

Oh no, so sad to read this.



#30 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 7,406 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 06 June 2024 - 19:19

What happened to 1969? was it not part of the 60's?

Henk, that's called a typo made before I'd finished my coffee   ;)  Thanks. Duly noted and original post corrected.



#31 70JesperOH

70JesperOH
  • Member

  • 137 posts
  • Joined: January 21

Posted 06 June 2024 - 19:31

I know the name of Parnelli Jones through SCCA Trans-Am racing; mainly through the 1969-1970-into-1971 years of Ford Mustang Fastbacks with Bud Moore. From period reports, Parnelli seemed to be adequately rough to be successful in those circumstances as well.

 

Jesper



#32 JacnGille

JacnGille
  • Member

  • 2,834 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 06 June 2024 - 21:31

I know more of him in a Blazer offroading.

I remember him in the Ford Bronco.



#33 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 7,508 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 06 June 2024 - 23:10

"Big Oly" as it was known, Olympia beer sponsorship.

#34 10kDA

10kDA
  • Member

  • 1,046 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 06 June 2024 - 23:21

The Blazer appears in my recent post in the Transporters thread.



#35 Henk Vasmel

Henk Vasmel
  • Member

  • 789 posts
  • Joined: June 01

Posted 07 June 2024 - 19:23

Henk, that's called a typo made before I'd finished my coffee   ;)  Thanks. Duly noted and original post corrected.

Sorry. I am an engineer and I have something with numbers. Couldn't stop myself.  :stoned:



#36 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 3,052 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 07 June 2024 - 19:55

"Big Oly" as it was known, Olympia beer sponsorship.

mecum-auctions-announced-that-it-will-of



#37 Hati

Hati
  • Member

  • 7,074 posts
  • Joined: March 16

Posted 08 June 2024 - 11:33

Someone posted this somewhere, apparently mr. Jones did similar overtakes with real cars than lesser people do in videogames.



#38 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 7,508 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 08 June 2024 - 14:43

The Blazer appears in my recent post in the Transporters thread.

Thanks for posting that photo, I sure don't recall the Blazer but I guess I wasn't following off-road racing that closely. Thanks for the reminder.

#39 10kDA

10kDA
  • Member

  • 1,046 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 08 June 2024 - 16:22

My interest in off-road stuff was not very comprehensive. It got my attention mostly because of Baja Bugs, Parnelli's Bronco, and then Mickey Thompson's Challenger single seat buggy. Parnelli co-drove the Blazer with Roger Mears at some events, I don't remember which ones.

 

Thanks to you and Henri for the mention of Andy Granatelli. Parnelli will forever be linked to Andy Granatelli, as it should be, due to their coming together and nearly pulling off the upset. The '67 Indy 500 was so significant, yet that one race absolutely did not define the competition careers of either man. The power of "What if we tried THIS...?" has pretty much been left in the past in these days of entertainment packages presenting what amounts to traveling shows.



Advertisement

#40 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 13,071 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 08 June 2024 - 17:45

My interest in off-road stuff was not very comprehensive. It got my attention mostly because of Baja Bugs, Parnelli's Bronco, and then Mickey Thompson's Challenger single seat buggy. Parnelli co-drove the Blazer with Roger Mears at some events, I don't remember which ones.

 

Thanks to you and Henri for the mention of Andy Granatelli. Parnelli will forever be linked to Andy Granatelli, as it should be, due to their coming together and nearly pulling off the upset. The '67 Indy 500 was so significant, yet that one race absolutely did not define the competition careers of either man. The power of "What if we tried THIS...?" has pretty much been left in the past in these days of entertainment packages presenting what amounts to traveling shows.

Funny, but if it comes to Parnelli's active career at Indy I first think about JC Agajanian as being his team boss first. Maybe not that funny after all given the fact he drove most of his races at Indy for JC.

 

And if thre was one team owner that in his own right was as colorful as Andy Granatelli, I think JC would be one of the top 3 names to mention.


Edited by Henri Greuter, 08 June 2024 - 17:46.


#41 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 3,052 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 08 June 2024 - 18:29

Thanks for posting that photo, I sure don't recall the Blazer but I guess I wasn't following off-road racing that closely. Thanks for the reminder.

Too lazy to look it up but -- the story goes during one Baja Race Parnelli ran out of gas and bought a bottle of Tequila  (they had gallon jugs down there,  which I know from experience when my dad and I went to buy a bottle)  from a local dude, poured it in the tank and made the next regualar stop.



#42 E1pix

E1pix
  • Member

  • 23,493 posts
  • Joined: January 11

Posted 08 June 2024 - 18:53

I dunno, you’d think the lime would clog the fuel system.

#43 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 3,777 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 08 June 2024 - 19:23

I dunno, you’d think the lime would clog the fuel system.

 

Or the worm  :D



#44 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 7,508 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 08 June 2024 - 21:18

Jagger Jones wins one for his grandfather:

https://racer.com/20...llenge-victory/

#45 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 7,406 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 08 June 2024 - 21:19

Going back to the post by Paul (lemnpiper), it makes me realize that there now might be only two remaining who raced at Long Beach Veterans Memorial Stadium (1952-53, 1955). I had made an effort to get Parnelli's memories of Long Beach, but was unable to. He is supposed to have flipped a jalopy down the backstretch there, and reportedly said it was the scariest crash of his career. I believe he suffered a broken nose.



#46 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 3,052 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 08 June 2024 - 22:58

Or the worm  :D

Worms are only used in Mezcal, I ate a number in my hell raising years.
 



#47 E1pix

E1pix
  • Member

  • 23,493 posts
  • Joined: January 11

Posted 08 June 2024 - 23:28

I’ve been wondering all week how many times I know I saw Parnelli drive.

Seems the only time was the 1970 Trans-Am at Road America, alongside Follmer I think — but being 9 or 10, my prevalent weekend memory is the loss of reporter/driver Jerry Titus.

Racing’s sure hard to love sometimes, though worth it. Like this week with Parnelli, there’s not many Greats left from my first days at the track, mostly since I was two years from Kindergarten still and the youngest driver was two decades ahead.

Race in Peace to Parnelli, and all the Legends when they go.

#48 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 6,798 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 09 June 2024 - 07:03

I only saw Parnelli race once, it was Laguna Seca in 1991, he stepped in to replace PJ in a showroom stock Toyota. He went well.



#49 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 7,508 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 09 June 2024 - 10:41

I only got to see him qualify the STP Paxton turbine in 1967. Going to the race was still a year away from me.

#50 Collombin

Collombin
  • Member

  • 8,859 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 09 June 2024 - 10:55

I only got to see him qualify the STP Paxton turbine in 1967. Going to the race was still a year away from me.


Anyone here witness his 1962 qualifying run? I have questions!