Considerable Risk cont...
by Animal Jim Feurer
Back then I had what I call “Panache” I was made aware of that word watching one of my favorite plays, Cyrano de Bergerac. One of the French definitions of panache is a white plume on a musketeer’s hat representing courageous deeds. Kind of like an American Indian’s eagle feather. But the French word panache is also is described as “reckless courage.”
My aggressive risk taking driving style during my long career earned me countless wins, awards, records and several championships. And most important, I gathered a ton of fans which led to drag racing fame and a very lucrative exhibition match race business. Everybody wanted to see the “Wild Man” known as the colorful “Animal Jim”.
Exhibition Match racing differs from normal competition drag racing. Exhibition match racing is when popular drag racing celebrities are hired using agents, just like an actor and entertainer by contract for an exclusive feature appearance. These special Drag Racing Features are reminiscent of All Star Wrestling or a Roy Rogers Wild West Show. In fact my nickname for these features is “Bronco Billy Stuff”. But it does pay very well. Features like these are highly advertised in targeted markets. Promoters and track owners feature these events to attract the hired celebrities’ fans and hope to attract new ones resulting with more paying spectators in the stands.
All the national car magazines like Hot Rod, Drag Racing, Super Stock, Super Ford and Car Craft wrote countless features about me and heralded that I wrote the book on the feature drag racing match race business. Several journalists over the years even went on the road with me and wrote features such as On the Road with Animal Jim ~ How to Succeed in Drag Racing ~ AJ’s Match Racing 101 ~ Man On A Mission ~ Man In A Cage ~ The Good, The Bad and The Insane (Me being the Insane of course) just to name a few of the countless magazine features about me -- Animal Jim. Besides magazine exposure, I was featured on TV, radio, news papers, posters, in videos and even on various Animal Jim trading cards.
Fans, media and promoters telling of my wild wheel standing, out of shape, tire smoking runs, plus my colorful persona and great rapport with the fans had made me very popular even by the mid 80s. I had become an international drag racing personality. Wild stories and remarks about my risk taking reputation ran rampant and where sometimes exaggerated.
Of all the remarks and descriptions about an Animal Jim performance ever told to me personally, which I cherish to this day, was a complement in 1985, while still racing in UDRA competition. It came from Eleanor Enders, the prissy but elegant and handsome wife of one of my competitors Jim Enders.
Eleanor was very sophisticated and classy. She came across as snooty to most, but for some unknown reason she and I always hit it off. I suspect it was because she respected that I was not intimidated by her. I was not intimidated by much back then.
Eleanor was a, conservative, stately looking, highly educated woman. She was not quite middle aged. Eleanor spoke, looked and dressed like an Oxford graduate. She always looked out of place at a drag strip.
Eleanor seemed more like someone that would be attending a Formula 1 race or even a Polo Match.
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