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Murphy: Well, I don't think there will ever be a female AJ Foyt. I just don't think women have the background to have the drive or the natural ability to do it. Look at how women drive on the street: Women don't have the experience, or they're in a van with 3 or 4 kids screaming in the back. It’s never been something that they've been brought up to think racing's really great.

What did you race after rocket car crash?

Murphy: A Honda Civic, not the wooden shoe looking one, but the first one that kind of look like they do now. That was a kick, went all over the United States with that thing. Honda sponsored me with it and we went everywhere.

What class did you run that in?

Murphy: Z stock automatic.

You went form a rocket car to a Z stock automatic?

Murphy: Yeah, yeah isn't that fun? Oh I know, every time I thought about it. The first time I ran the car, some guy came up and said “Hey Lady,” not knowing who I was or anything, “Hey lady, don’t you think you have the slicks on the back?” And I said, “No. Why?”

Very funny.

Murphy: He proceeded to tell me “Well, first of all this is a front wheel drive.” I just said, “Oh.”

After the rocket car crash, I didn't want to go back into Funny Car again. And after breaking my neck and I certainly wasn't going to drive a rocket car again.

Not everybody can make those kinds of decisions.

Murphy: And then too, I think maybe STP was kind of losing their interest in me because I wasn’t driving some big old hairy thing.

After that I drove in the first women’s Grand Prix in Monaco. It was a great experience, because I was the only American invited. Women drivers from all over the world and who had been active in sports car racing and whatever [were invited] to come over there to race and they paid all our expenses and it was great, we had a great time.

How many people can say they raced Indy, Monaco, Bonneville, Pomona, etc.? That's just outrageous. You know, most people just dream of going to these places.

Umm, let me ask you this: You wore unique garments with your firesuits. At Sears Point, were you wearing the ruffles and the bellbottoms when you crashed?

Murphy: Uh huh.


Murphy: Yeah well Jim Diest made the suit for me, and I told him I wanted ruffles. And the bellbottoms…

How big were the flares?

Murphy: Not real big.

One last question. What was your best ride?

Murphy: Maybe a Ferrari I got to drive in the ladies race on a grand prix circuit, I didn't drive it against the men. The Ferrari was right hand drive, and I had to shift with my left hand, I had never driven anything like that and I said OK, here goes!

Paula Murphy: PART 1 — 10/9/04

ORSCA President Johnny Fenn — 9/9/04


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