2009-10-15 / Local & State

Champion Driver Donna Mae Mims From Pa. Dies

BRIDGEVILLE, Pa. (AP) – Donna Mae Mims, the first woman to win a Sports Car Club of America national championship in 1963, has died. She was 82.

Mims died Tuesday of complications following a stroke, said Aaron Beinhauer, director of Beinhauer Family Services, which is handling the arrangements.

Per her wishes, Mims’ body was seated behind the steering wheel of a 1979 pink Corvette for visitation hours at the funeral home in McMurray, Pa., Beinhauer said Sunday.

Known as the “Pink Lady’’ because of her preferred color for cars, Mims worked for Yenko Chevrolet and the company’s sports car division and started racing in 1958, according to Beinhauer Family Services. Mims’ association with the car company led her to race cars, including the Camaro, Austin Healey, MG, Corvette and Corvairs.

Mims participated in the original Cannonball Run, where her 1968 Cadillac limousine was wrecked with her teammate behind the wheel. She also became known as “Think Pink,’’ “Donna Amazing’’ and “Free Maui.’’

“On the back of most of my cars I had ‘THINK PINK,’’’ Mims, of Bridgeville, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette earlier this year. “I liked pink ever since I was a little girl.’’

A procession of more than 60 Corvettes is expected for Mims’ funeral service Monday, Beinhauer said.

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