Don Hulette -- 1

drove the ex-Pickford Jaguar Special.  This car started life as an XK-120, then was rebuilt into the successful Special in the mid-50's.  With Chevy power, disc brakes from a wrecked XK-150,  and Hulette's skilled driving, the car was a threat in California racing in 1961.

 
Hulette won at Pomona on July 9th, 1961 in a race marred by Bob Drake's crash in Ol' Yaller IV.  This was Hulette's first main event win.
 
New!  Joe Scalzo's article describes Hulette's victory!

A week later, he won at Cotati, defeating Chuck Sargent's Birdcage Maserati.

At Laguna Seca in October, Hulette amazed East Coasters and Europeans by battling Birdcage Maseratis and Scarabs on even terms in this old car.

 
Hulette led at Santa Barbara, even without his front cowl.  He DNF'd. Dave Ridenour and Bob Edmison also dropped out.

Ken Miles outlasted the bigger-engined cars and won in a Porsche RS. Bob Bondurant placed 4th in his "Production" Corvette.

 
At Cotati on November 12, 1961, Hulette finished a close second to Dave MacDonald in his Corvette Special.

Don Hood offers an interesting anecdote about this race.
 

Video!  Hulette drives the Pontiac powered "Townsend Special" at Santa Barbara in May, 1962.

 
(7-16-10)   Mike Savin's Obituary for Don Hulette:

"Donald was a race driver, producer, director, composer and writer -and a talented pianist ( a child prodigy, actually, to begin with). 

I was attending a Santa Barbara road race in 1955 - I would have been 12 at the time - and Don had a connection to dad's team.  I was taking a jr high photography class at the time and took his portrait.  To me, he was an adult, a man - and he towered over me.  (It wasn't until some 40 years later, he told me he was only 19 at the time (he'd lied about his age to get his competition license.) (and, 40 years later, I was taller than he was).  We became instant friends.  He was racing a Triumph at that time.  I learned that he was a talented pianist - and I teased him that he needed to be careful of his hands. 

Some time later, my dad's mechanics were preparing a gorgeous Morgan trike to be entered in a car show.  Don happened to drop in and dad asked him to drive the trike to Hollywood for the show.  I rode passenger - and Don fell in love with the car (I already loved it). 

Don showed up wtih a new Arnolt-Bristol for a race at Paramount Ranch.   He bought the Pickford Jaguar and raced it with a Chevy V8.  He was fairly successful with that car.  The last race meet at Paramount Ranch, he was banging (literally) on Bob Oker's Aston Martin's rearend.  He told me Oker never forgave him for that. 

One of Don's memorable drives was in a Lister-Chevy at Riverside.  He didn't make qualifying - so he was entered in the consolation race - which he won.  (He was quite a sight - I watched him hanging out the rear end going through turn 9.)  Since he won the consolation race, he was moved up into the main event where he slid on some oil, the Lister rolled and burned. 

At some point, Don quit racing and went back to USC, studying film.  He became a successful director/producer of films - and was also known in the industry as a script doctor.  I know from talking with him that one accomplishment he was very proud of was that he supplied  the music for the World Of Harold Lloyd TV series.  He had told me that an aunt, Frances Hulette, was an early silent screen actress. 

I had not seen him in about  40 years, when I decided to look him up.  He was residing in Solvang, California.  My wife Tina and I visited with him and his wife.  Donald and I discussed making a motion picture together about sports car racing in the 50s.   Don was very involved with his church where he played for them every Sunday.  He also had a great number of students who took piano lessons from him.  Don was a licensed pilot and flew frequently.

In doing a Google search on him, I pulled this from a Facebook page dedicated to Donald Hulette:

"As a piano teacher, film director and composer, Donald Hulette
touched the lives of many. Those of us fortunate enough to have known him as a teacher also knew him as a friend and mentor who always supported us in school, music, and most importantly, in life.

He directed, produced and composed the music for the first ever Chuck Norris film shown in the US, Breaker Breaker.

His love of music was integral to his personality - he strove to give
this gift to each and every student he taught. As a teacher, he held the works of Muzio Clementi in especially high regard, often assigning his students pieces from the Gradus ad Parnasium, the Sonatinas, and the Sonata for Two Pianos op 12. A few other composers whose works he taught include: Chopin, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Debussy, Haydn, Satie, Bartok and Rachmaninoff.

In January 2006, Donald Hulette was a recipient of the United States Department of Education's "Teacher of the Year Award" by the recommendation of a student, Steven Wilson. This award speaks for his strong character and influence he left on his students, his friends and his family.

One man truly does make a difference."

  
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