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Linda Vaughn: Miss Hurst, First Lady of Motorsports, #GearHead Extraoirdinaire

Updated on October 22, 2016
Chuck Fasst profile image

Chuck Fasst has been a GearHead for 45 yrs. He was a Speed Shop proprietor and founded the Women of Motorsports modeling Team in the 1980s.

Miss Hurst Golden Shifter

Iconic view of Linda remembered by many
Iconic view of Linda remembered by many | Source

A Tribute To The Contribution of #LindaVaughn to the World of Motorsports

Linda Vaughn is a #GearHead. What? Some may say as they wonder what a GearHead even is. Lets just say that in the world of the automobile, a Gear Head is one who is deep in it. And Linda Vaughn is one who has been after it for a good long time. #GearHeadsWorld

An article about her was recently released and it reminded me that I could probably add more to it. In fact I could begin a Hub Page where stories and pics could be added from other GearHeads throughout time. I will try to keep this page alive for as long as I am alive and keep adding to it.


Linda may very well be on more posters than anyone else
Linda may very well be on more posters than anyone else | Source

To Chuck ~ Linda Vaughn ~ Las Vegas

What's not to like, eh? It is hard to hang onto posters as the years go by. This one survives. I can't remember exactly when I first met Linda - or where. But does it matter? The main thing is that I met her years ago - and its like ... she never forgot me!

Las Vegas SEMA SHOW

During the 80s I was figuring every which way I could to make it down to the SEMA SHOW in Vegas every Fall. Back then, I think it was still called Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association. As the years went on, they replaced Manufacturers with Marketing. It is a trade show that is not open to the general public. And let me tell you, it is a Motorsports extravaganza ~ a GearHead's wet dream! Anything and everything that is new in the racing and custom world is debuted there. From the latest, trickest parts to the bitchinest rides.

I mean I have to say, it is one of the biggest conventions in the Nation. There is simply no way I can describe it here. The times I ventured down there from little ole' Portland, Orygun, I was one gobsmacked GearHead! I could be found running through the miles of aisles, camera in hand, trying to capture the unbelievable sights.

But when it comes to marketing, there was one who stood head and shoulders above the rest. The queen of marketing of the whole show (and I would come to learn: every where else in motorsports) was Linda Vaughn.


Linda did a LOT of marketing for a lot of companies
Linda did a LOT of marketing for a lot of companies | Source

You couldn't miss the line of GearHeads. Mainly because you would end up stopped in your tracks - unable to go anywhere. "What the frick is this?"

"It's Linda Vaughn, dummy!"

"Oh."

Now, any red-blooded Gearhead who lives in America knew of Linda Vaughn. I sure as heck did. Way down the line at the front of the line would be standing Joe Hrudka, a man small of stature but with a big message. And that message would be Linda Vaughn standing at his side, signing autographs. Joe would be standing there beaming like the Cheshire Cat who had just swallowed the juiciest mouse (motor) and spit out gold plated, carbon fiber gaskets. You see, he is the owner of the Mr. Gasket conglomerate. His Motorsports monolith would acquire over time, a long line of Motorsports Aftermarket companies including the Hurst Shifter company.

Linda at work (circa '69) ... yes, it was a good year
Linda at work (circa '69) ... yes, it was a good year | Source

Now, this writer is a Veteran. One thing any Vet will tell you is - we don't like lines! So, as impressive as the long lines were and as valuable as they were to Joe Hrudka and his Mr. Gasket booth, they weren't working for this guy. So, this writer would embark upon a policy to bypass the lines as the years marched on. He would come up with other ways to seek out Linda Vaughn. And as time went on - Linda would come to find ways to do the same.

He Who Perseveres ... Smiles

Lines are for Sheople. If you really want to know Linda, you do it like this
Lines are for Sheople. If you really want to know Linda, you do it like this | Source

The First Lady Never Forgets a Name

Now here's the thing about Linda Vaughn and many GearHeads will back me up on this. She never forgets a name! So here you are some sorry ass, sad sack from Podunk who manages to travel far and make his way down to the big race where all the action is and all the important people are. In among the crowd of industry moguls and famous racers stands Linda.

And Linda is looking over at you.

She is saying your name, "Come join us."

Hahahahaha .... Oh, it has happened.

A Great Video Tribute To The First Lady

Is it possible to just .... reach out and touch her?

Linda Vaughn is a southern belle. The first thing you notice about her is her honeydew voice, melodious and mesmerizing. When she extends her hand to you, you want to grab it and immediately tell her your deepest secrets. Then you realize there are a thousand others around you that are going to want to do the same. You get your autograph and move along. But you can't help but imagine ... maybe some day.

Linda has probably been to more car shows than any woman alive

Spending time with Portland GearHeads during one of her many visits to Oregon
Spending time with Portland GearHeads during one of her many visits to Oregon | Source

Who knows how many stories there are about Linda. I am sure they are spread across this land from one shining sea to another. Those GearHeads who have stories to share, it would be nice if you would drop them into the comments below, for all to see. I just wish I could have gotten around to the interview with her that she had consented to all those years ago. Alas, my traveling days came to an end and the years kind of slipped away.

Linda is still out there and she is still young. She is still criss-crossing the country on her appointed missions. She once told me that she had more air miles than anyone alive. If anyone were to try to verify that, they would undoubtedly come to the conclusion that - Linda Vaughn never tells a lie.

Linda is the one who more or less sits at the top of Motorsports models of our time. Back in the day, this writer had the pleasure of meeting a number of the models. And let me tell you - they were some classy ladies. Many young models of the present day would do well to study or meet these ladies. Trust me on this one. Linda and the others represent a level of classiness that is rapidly slipping away from our society.

Linda is the longest lasting of them all. Without a doubt. this feat will never be topped. She has spent decades just representing Hurst Shifters. Think about it. She has represented many other efforts. She may even rank at the top when in comes to Motorsports ambassadors in this country. Her long list of awards can attest to that.

Industry Heavy Hitters
Industry Heavy Hitters | Source

She Has a Few Rides

Linda is the real deal when I said GearHead. She is a trained racecar driver and she has amassed quite a collection. I will say that she is quite a fan of hot rods. She would announce her adoption of some of the rad rides she worked around. As far as her own personal collection ... I would like to see that one.

I'd doubt there is anybody in here who is male who knows what color her eyes are.

— Corky Coker

Linda was influential in the creation of Women of Motorsports

Lunch with Linda ...... What's not to like?
Lunch with Linda ...... What's not to like? | Source

I consulted with Linda in the late 80s. That led to the founding of the Women of Motorsports modeling team. That led to the opening of a new chapter in Motorsports, at least in the Pacific Northwest. But then, that is another story ...

What would you say is Linda's favorite brand of car

See results

A Roast of Linda Vaughn by Captains of Industry

Join with us and share the wealth

As I have said, the stories are many and they are legion, no doubt. That is, if you share them with us so we will know. I know I will be adding more. Leave a comment below so that you can become a Follower and receive updates. Thanx for hanging out

'nuff said for now

Update

It is now late 2015 and the SEMA Show is approaching. These are the times when Linda Vaughn comes to mind. I saw her more often there than any where and I am quite sure she has made more appearances there than any other woman. What's more. I am finally making my way back to this show. Will she be there? If she is, I will try to query her for something new. But for now I will kick up another pic of her ...

#GearHeads - till we meet again

Covergirl

Anybody know how many covers she has been on?
Anybody know how many covers she has been on? | Source

Another great Linda Vaughn music vid

© 2015 Chuck Fasst

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