Racing’s fabled “Pink Lady,” Donna Mae Mims, the first woman to win an SCCA National Championship, has passed away at the age of 82 from complications of a stroke. True to her flamboyant form, and according to her wishes, her body was presented for visitation at the funeral home seated behind the wheel of her pink 1979 Corvette.
Mims began racing in 1958, and won the H Production championship five years later. She then went to work for Chevrolet dealer Don Yenko, and enjoyed various racing successes in Yenko-built machinery, during which time she also forged productive working relationships with GM president Ed Cole and Zora Arkus Duntov, the father of the Corvette.
She was also a participant in Brock Yates’s inaugural Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, where she drove a Cadillac Limo in hopes of evading the local constabularies along the way. Unfortunately, one of her co-drivers crashed the car, but Mims survived with only a broken clavicle. When that event was made into a motion picture, Mims was portrayed by Adrienne Barbeau. In her later years she contributed to her Bridgeville, Pennsylvania community by teaching Sunday school.