Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lil' Miss Dodge, not a rapper, a hip hop dancer, or beauty pageant winner in Dodge City... It's Betty Skelton! In 1955 flying over a Custom Royal Lancer at Florida's Cypress Gardens

She was the first female test driver in the auto industry in 1954 with Chrysler's Dodge division

Not only did she drive the pace car at Daytona, she also set a stock car record in a 1954 Dodge Red Ram V8 on the beach.

As auto industry’s first female test driver, she guided “L’il Miss Dodge,” a jump boat, over a 1955 Custom Royal Lancer on a ramp at Florida’s Cypress Gardens and she was part of a team that drove a 1955 Dodge to 395 new records at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

And in 1956, she broke Cannonball Baker's 40-year record for the Transcontinental Auto Race from New York to Los Angeles

why they figured this was a good marketing idea is anyone's guess. Seriously, flying speedboats? I would guess this was when Betty decided to go work for GM... safer, less ridiculous marketing stunts



  1. She was also an accomplished aircraft pilot. She had a stunt biplane .

    1. Yes, indeed. I posted about her 7 years ago, you must have missed it, http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2011/05/betty-skelton-duntovs-test-driver.html has a fairly good bio and list of accomplishments, but when I come across something new like this, and learn new stuff, I make a new post and don't rehash everything I've done before, as that would bore long time readers. Nor do I put in a link to everything I've done about a topic or person before, I figure that 10 years into blogs being common on the internet, most people looking at mine, by now, would know about the tags, and if you or anyone else wants to see everything I've posted on a topic, they, or you, can click on the tag and read up on that.
      She was a very incredible person who had to fight the sexist culture, but, because of her indomitable spirit found friends everywhere to help her cut through the macho chauvinism, and attain a life most people only dream of with racing, flying, and mixing with the very legends of the auto business of her day.