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April 24, 1978

Golden Paints To Please His Fans


  It just didn’t look right," is the way Bill ‘Maverick’  described his first impressions of the $1,500 paint job on his new Magnum Illusion wheelstander. So he decided to become an artist.

   Working almost round the clock from Monday through Friday of this past week, Golden gave the car a new paint job.  He started mixing colors with names like star pearl, tangerine and aster gold.

   "I used those three colors just to get right combination for the sword," said Golden, pointing to the insignia that sets off the car’s Star Wars theme.  

   Golden, you see, had a special reason having his new car look just right its initial appearance in this weekend‘s WHBQ Spring Nationals at Lakeland International Raceway. "Memphis is like my second home," said Golden, who now makes his off-season home in  

Searcy, Ark., after living in Memphis in the early 1970s. "I owed it to my fans to give them something to remember."

   Known throughout the nation for his 'Little Red Wagon'  wheelstander, Golden decided last December to create the ultimate dragster, not only in performance but also in appearance.  The 'Magnum Illusion' was born.

   "When we got the car done last Monday I looked at it and it just didn’t have the glitter, the glow I wanted," recalled Golden, who holds the world record for wheelstander.  "There wasn’t enough energy glow for what I wanted.  I wanted this car to symbolize the movie.  That movie made an impression with me and I want this car to leave an impression with the fans."

   So he took out his paint thinner and literally brushed away 90 percent of the $1,500 paint job.  He called an associate in Ohio to get the 

right ingredients, and then he began his game of beat the clock.  On Tuesday, he got two hours sleep, three hours on Wednesday, none on Thursday and three on Friday. He sacrificed it all to make sure things went just right in Memphis.

   "I’d never painted anything in my life before this," said Golden, one of drag racing’s most flamboyant drivers.  He spent three days making sure a wildly colored sword was just the right color. A portion of the car ended up with what he called "an earth green" color.  It was the weirdest shade of green I’d ever seen."

   Finally, alter much deliberation he had what he wanted.

   "I’ve got a lot of friends in Memphis," said Golden.  "We want to put on a good show where ever we go, but Memphis is a special place.  I guess that’s why we went to so much trouble to get the car looking just right."

The preceding article is © Copyright The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN.  
Thanks to David Rubenstein for supplying this article.


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