Sunday, September 13, 2015

The First Miss Hurst Golden Shifter: Pat Flannery Stephens

She was before Linda Vaughn. In 1965 the Hurst Golden Shifter Girl was Pat "Perky Patty" Flannery.

Patty was the first, full-time salaried spokesmodel for Hurst performance Products -- and the first to climb up on the deckled platform, grab the 9 foot handle, and preside as Miss Hurst Golden Shifter.

I caught up with "Perky Patty" yesterday at the Clark County (Ohio) Fairgrounds during the Cars & Parts fall Swap meet. S it so happened, I went into one of the buildings that had a number of vintage racers and immediately sat down, my knees characteristically aching after walking amongst the vendors. Across the way, standing all by herself at a table that had been set up for her was Pat, and so, knowing who she was, want up to her and started a conversation. I couldn't stop her talking once she got going -- pat was that friendly.  She told me about her time after Hurst, her 1995 battle with stage four esophageal cancer, and her current horse fan business. She went through her scrapbook one photo at a time, showing me her pictures with A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, and many, many others. nd she had her gold shoes on as proof of her one-time fame! Talking to her made the visit to the Swap Meet worthwhile (besides getting a bag fill of Mercedes tools) and memorable!

For more on Pat, see Hot Rod Magazine, July 2011, page 64-65.

Below are photos of Linda Vaughn, the girl we do remember:

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