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Smokey Drolet


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#1 Autofair

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 00:56

Hello,

Does anyone have any information on a woman SCCA racer, Smokey Drolet?

Autofair

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#2 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 06:32

Apparently from Florida (Miami? Jacksonville?)...drove a variety of cars at Daytona and Sebring between 1966 and 1971 (and 1959 Sebring). Photos here, the first one co-driven to 16th oa, 1st in class, 1969 Daytona...the second, Daytona 1970:

http://www.racingspo...9-02-02-096.jpg

http://www.racingspo...0-02-01-098.jpg

Vince H.

#3 Autofair

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 19:19

raceannouncer2003,

Thanks for your reply...What I am looking for is information on Smoket Drolet and any photos or information about her racing a 1954 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Coupe. Does anyone if Drolet ios still with us?

Autofair

#4 Jerry Entin

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 21:39

Autofair: This is from Willem Oosthoek about Smokey:
Smokey Drolet was a regular at SCCA Regional events in the Southeast in the late 50s. She may have been from Florida originally. The first appearances that I can find are in 1958, when she drove a TR2 entered by and advertised for Garrard Motors in Pensacola, Florida.

By 1959 she had joined J.Frank Harrison's team, which operated out of Chattanooga. Harrison's files indicate he bought a Frazer-Nash [no vintage listed] in March 1960 and that it was raced by Smokey at Courtland on July 4, 1960. He bought the car from Jo Guild and had it maintained by Bill Warren and Bert Kemp. It may have been her only ride in the Frazer-Nash. Soon she would do the SW regionals with a Lotus and a Lola FJ, also owned by Harrison, who picked up FJ racing himself in May 1961.

#5 Jerry Entin

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 22:00

smokey600x402xv1_zps7aclrlbq.jpg

Smokey Drolet seen here in Birdcage Maserati.

 

photo lent site Willem Oosthoek collection.


Edited by Jerry Entin, 13 June 2015 - 00:40.


#6 Autofair

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 22:13

Jerry,

I have just reread your note, who is Willem Oosthoek? Sorry I was so excited that I missed this reference.

Frank Allocca
Autofair

#7 Keith Bradshaw

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 01:52

Smokey hired me to do office help at Gene Nearburg's Tricor Developement Corp. in june 1968.
Ed Hugus came by occsionally. Smokey was apparently out there just to help setup the company.
This was in Dallas Texas on Levee St.
John Miller was mechanic/designer there.

Keith Bradshaw

#8 Jerry Entin

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 02:06

Posted Image
The great John Miller overseeing the testing of the Tricor Porsche, Ed Hugus doing the test driving.
photo lent site Richard Macon collection.

#9 Lotus23

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 02:45

I met Smokey briefly at a couple of the Chimney Rock (NC) hillclimbs in the 63-66 timeframe. She was associated with Frank Harrison at the time; istr she ran a Formula Junior of some sort (the Lola?). I have a 35mm slide or two of her, but no idea how to post same.

My impression was that she was a pretty tough cookie who didn't put up with any flak from anyone. My guess is that, if she's still with us, she'd be well into her seventies by now.

#10 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 03:51

Originally posted by Jerry Entin
Posted Image
Smokey Drolet seen here in Birdcage Maserati.
photo lent site Willem Oosthoek collection.


That Maser is gorgeous. It looks to be brand new in the photo.

Jack

#11 Jerry Entin

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 15:19

Jack:
Yes, the Birdcage was brand new when the photo was taken. It is chassis 2467, completed on July 12, 1960. It took a while to arrive in Chattanooga and was first raced by Jim Jeffords and Jim Hall in the September 11, 1960 Road America 500.
all research Willem Oosthoek

#12 RA Historian

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 15:10

Yes indeed. The usual drill for running the RA 500 was to make one stop at midway, or if the car could not get 250 miles out of a tank, to do two stops. However, in 1960 Hall and Jeffords adopted a strategy of three stops, roughly at every 125 mile mark. The thinking, of course, was that the car could run lighter and be faster, thus negating the time lost by the extra stop(s). At the start Jeffords drove, and he took off like a scalded cat. By the time he stopped for the first time he had built a lead of almost a lap, with only one other car being on the same lap as he, almost four miles behind. The stop went smoothly, Hall took over, and resumed in the lead. However, Hall was back in the pits just a few laps later, hopped out of the car, leaped over the guard rail, and disappeared in the crowd while looking for the first aid station. Jeffords was still in the pits, so he put his helmet back on, got in the car, and resumed the race. It quickly became clear to Big Jim why Hall made such a hurried departure. As Jeffords said in an article I wrote about him for Vintage Motorsport magazine a decade ago, "Holy ****! There were flames all over my feet!". The exhaust header had broken and the exhaust flames were belching directly on the pedals. Jeffords only did one slow lap before he pitted and looked for some water in which he could put his feet. A pity, as they were walking the race.

As an aside, two years later Jim Hall used that same strategy with co-driver Hap Sharp to easily win the 62 Road America 500 in a Chaparral 1. They ran it as four 125 mile sprint races and won in a walk.

Back to the Maserati. Carroll Shelby drove it in his last two races. He was fifth in the 60 Riverside Times GP, and second on aggregate at the Laguna Seca GP a week later.

The car later was owned by Don Skogmo, who put a Ford V-8 into it. The last I heard of this car it was owned by Tom Mittler. A year or three ago there was a replica advetised for sale with the 2467 engine in it, so the trail gets a bit clouded. Hopefully someone out there knows the current situation.

Tom

#13 Jerry Entin

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 18:16

A bit of Trivia on Smokey is her real name. It is Sierra.

#14 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 01:24

Originally posted by Jerry Entin
A bit of Trivia on Smokey is her real name. It is Sierra.


How did she get her nickname?

Jack

#15 fines

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 10:06

:smoking: ?

#16 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 15:34

"Do you smoke after sex?"

"I don't know....I never looked."


bada-BING! I'm here all week, folks. Prime rib on Thursday night.


Jack

#17 Jerry Entin

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 15:38

Jack: Get me two seats in the front row. One Prime Rib well the other kind of rare.


Edited by Jerry Entin, 11 June 2015 - 07:46.


#18 Lotus23

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 20:52

To this enlightened discussion I can add only that when I met her she smoked cigarettes pretty steadily.

#19 JB Miltonian

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 19:55

I found this picture of Smokey Drolet in C&D, March 1966, after her victory in the Ladies Formula Vee race at Nassau. Photo credit to Peter Borsari.

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#20 barrykm

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 04:22

Originally posted by Jack-the-Lad


That Maser is gorgeous. It looks to be brand new in the photo.

Jack


Agreed, one of the nicest pics of a Birdcage I've seen, just great.

#21 ssperka

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 17:39

I was co-owner of a foreign car parts store in Spartanburg, SC until April of 1984. In the early 80's I dealt occasionally with a foreign car accessory business in Perrine, FL (South Miami) and the person I spoke with there on the phone was Smokey Drolet. I'm sure it was her business, tho I can't remember its name. (later: I found an "Auto Boutique" in Dania, founded in 1979, not currently active - that was probably it). It was Smokey and we spoke of her racing past, usually, and she was very pleasant to chat with. She seemed flattered that I had heard of her, it seemed, some 20+ years after her driving days.

Edited by ssperka, 11 February 2010 - 21:02.


#22 NEDRA WARE

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:54

I was co-owner of a foreign car parts store in Spartanburg, SC until April of 1984. In the early 80's I dealt occasionally with a foreign car accessory business in Perrine, FL (South Miami) and the person I spoke with there on the phone was Smokey Drolet. I'm sure it was her business, tho I can't remember its name. (later: I found an "Auto Boutique" in Dania, founded in 1979, not currently active - that was probably it). It was Smokey and we spoke of her racing past, usually, and she was very pleasant to chat with. She seemed flattered that I had heard of her, it seemed, some 20+ years after her driving days.

smoke has been 1 of my closest friends since we raced together in the 50s i worked for her some in fla. her company was eclipse she got married to walt sizemore yrs ago they moved to texas this yr they moved back to fla.
she's still alive and kicking we had odles of fun together i raced a porsche she was racing a purple tr3 she
worked for bolton datsun a long time then started her own aftermarket business in fla, yt

#23 NEDRA WARE

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:29

:clap: :clap:

smoke has been 1 of my closest friends since we raced together in the 50s i worked for her some in fla. her company was eclipse she got married to walt sizemore yrs ago they moved to texas this yr they moved back to fla.
she's still alive and kicking we had odles of fun together i raced a porsche she was racing a purple tr3 she
worked for bolton datsun a long time then started her own aftermarket business in fla, yt


funny story was in the miami herald yrs ago, smokes business was out in the boondocks a guy walked in to rob her she told him in order to get her money back he would have to sign a receipt, well he was caught off guard and signed his real name somehow the police caught him.

#24 oldtransamdriver

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:29

Smokey and co-driver Rosemary Smith finished one lap behind us (Barg/Stevens camaro) at the 1969 Sebring 12 hr. They were driving a BMW 2002 entered by Elsco Corporation - 26th o/a.

Robert Barg

#25 NEDRA WARE

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 03:36

Hello,

Does anyone have any information on a woman SCCA racer, Smokey Drolet?

Autofairsmokey drolet is alive and kicking back in fla from texas(which she hated)shes been my
best friend since we started racing togethrt in the 50s' we were the only 2 women that raced with the men usually in fla, ala, ga, she raced a tr3 and i drove a porsche, she married another racer waltsizemore,

she's retired now ,

#26 Autofair

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 02:31

:clap: :clap:
funny story was in the miami herald yrs ago, smokes bussiness was out in the boondocks a guy walked
in to rob her she told him in order to grt her money bnack he would have to sign a receipt, well he
was caught off guard and signed his real name somehow the police caught him,

Dear Ms. Ware, Would you have a contact address or phone number for Sierra ( Smokie) Drolet... I still have the Frazer Nash she raced for Frank Harrison, and i would love to chat with her.. Thank you, Frank Allocca

#27 Autofair

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 19:33

Jack: Get me two seats in the front row. One Prime rib well the other kind of rare.

Jerry, Thank you for the contact information..I will give her a call... Happy New Year. Frank Allocca

#28 275 GTB-4

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 21:16

Jerry, Thank you for the contact information..I will give her a call... Happy New Year. Frank Allocca


All's well that ends well....please update us Autofair :)

#29 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 16:44

I was co-owner of a foreign car parts store in Spartanburg, SC until April of 1984. In the early 80's I dealt occasionally with a foreign car accessory business in Perrine, FL (South Miami) and the person I spoke with there on the phone was Smokey Drolet. I'm sure it was her business, tho I can't remember its name. (later: I found an "Auto Boutique" in Dania, founded in 1979, not currently active - that was probably it). It was Smokey and we spoke of her racing past, usually, and she was very pleasant to chat with. She seemed flattered that I had heard of her, it seemed, some 20+ years after her driving days.


I believe Auto Boutique was owned by Lyn St. James.

#30 Jerry Entin

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 06:47

smokeyandwalt_zpspsy5qqwt.jpg
Smokey Drolet and her beloved husbandf Walt Sizemore in much happier times

Smokey Drolet RIP:
I am very sorry to report that Smokey Drolet has passed away. She was very depressed at the loss of her beloved husband Walt Sizemore and decided she couldn't go on any longer without him.

This comes from her dear friend Nedra Ware.
photo: Debbie Hunt collection

#31 Tim Murray

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 07:31

Very sorry to hear this. She was obviously a great character. Sincere condolences to Nedra and all her family and friends.

Here's her bio on the Speedqueens site:

http://speedqueens.b...drolet.html?m=1

#32 ReWind

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 18:16

She passed away on June 2nd. Obituary
 
Less than five weeks after her husband Walt Sizemore who died on April 30th. Obituary


EDITED because the link to the picture has vanished.


Edited by ReWind, 19 June 2015 - 18:44.


#33 LotusElise

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 19:49

That's very sad. RIP Ms Drolet.



#34 Jerry Entin

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 00:47

Bellows20_zpsn6xnlt7z.jpg
Nicknamed the Orchid Lady, Smokey and her lavender Triumph TR3 in action during the 1959 SCCA National at Pensacola.
 
Smokey was born near Pittsburgh, PA, and began her racing career in stock cars, until she moved to sports cars racing in 1957 with a Triumph TR2.
 
Photo: Bob Bellows [from Sports Car Racing in the South, Volume 3]

Edited by Jerry Entin, 12 June 2015 - 01:00.


#35 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 06:25

How sad. I always have some trepidation when I open these old threads.

Sincere condolences to her friends who have posted here. May she rest in peace.

Jack

#36 TIPO61

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 20:40

If you ever saw her smoking a cigarette (and conversly if you ever saw her smoking then you saw her) she had a 'way with the evil weed' that cracked me up every time I saw her do it. She could roll the 'ciggy' from one side of her mouth to the other and back again, over'n over. Doesn't matter, she's gone and it's right to mourn her. Aloha Smokey. RIP.


Edited by TIPO61, 12 June 2015 - 20:41.


#37 Jerry Entin

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 00:10

dinner%20smokey_zpsdu8xjuo0.jpg
Award dinner after the 1967 Daytona 24 Hours. Smokey Drolet delivers her acceptance speech for winning the Nisonger-KLG Trophy [plus $250], after having being introduced by Pedro Rodriguez. Co-driver Anita Taylor from London is on the left.
 
 
The all-girl team of Drolet, Taylor and Janet Guthrie drove a MacMillan Ring Free Mustang to 20th overall.
 
 
Photo: Willem Oosthoek Collection

Edited by Jerry Entin, 13 June 2015 - 00:20.


#38 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 04:14

smokey600x402xv1_zps7aclrlbq.jpg
Smokey Drolet seen here in Birdcage Maserati.
 
photo lent site Willem Oosthoek collection.


Thanks for putting that great photo back up, Jerry.

#39 Jerry Entin

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 23:09

nassau%2060%20bird_zpsky7t5hbq.jpg
Nassau, December 1960. Smokey and the entire Harrison team with the same red Birdcage [chassis 2467]. From the right: Smokey, car owner J. Frank Harrison, Bert Kemp, two unidentified mechanics, Ernie Gregory, Bill Warren and driver Jim Jeffords.
 
 
Jeffords was scheduled to drive the red Birdcage in the Nassau Trophy, with Smokey assigned to the former CAMORADI Tipo 61 Streamliner. When George Constantine took out Jeffords while they battled for the lead in the Governor's Trophy, the stricken Birdcage was then T-boned by Pedro Rodriguez. Jeffords got the ride in the Streamliner on Sunday and Smokey lost her one chance to race a Birdcage.
 
Photo: Willem Oosthoek Collection

Edited by Jerry Entin, 13 June 2015 - 23:15.


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#40 Jerry Entin

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 19:48

smokey%20coca_zpssof4zitb.jpg
It was hard to miss Smokey's lavender-colored Triumph TR3 #54 among the competition, like here at Cocoa-Titusville on February 14-15, 1959.
 
Bill Dunn is in the #57 AC/Bristol, Henry "Nim" York in the #96 Lancia convertible, while the #127 AC/Bristol did not show in the entry list due to a late arrival. It may have been Ron Ambuehl.
 
The Cocoa event was completely ignored by the SCCA magazine and the national press. The only report ever to surface came from the Miami News, which was very brief. It only mentioned the winners of the two feature races: Johnny Cuevas and Joe Sheppard. The results of the supporting races are still a mystery.
 
 
Photo: Bob Bellows [Willem Oosthoek Collection]

Edited by Jerry Entin, 14 June 2015 - 19:54.


#41 Jerry Entin

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 22:36

Smokey3_zpshn5acvq5.jpg
Gainesville, Georgia, June 1959. During the 5th edition of the Enoche Smokey had a fierce battle with Ray Stoutenburg's Alfa Romeo Veloce.
 
Enoche was the Cherokee word for Race. The event was held at Gainesville Municipal Airport.
 
Photo: Bob Bellows [Willem Oosthoek Collection]

Edited by Jerry Entin, 16 June 2015 - 01:00.