Donald A. WILBUR (04/16/1940 - 09/17/2016)
WILBUR, Donald A.
Don was very active with many car clubs in the area where he was a member of The Dukes, he was one of the founders of the Spokane Roadster Car Club, INCCC member, and supporter of many others. Don and Nancy were always together enjoying their cars and promoting car shows. You would never find one without the other nearby as they very much enjoyed the Hot Rod scene together. Many times if you didn't find Don and Nancy in the same hotrod, you could find Don driving one car, with Nancy right behind him in another of their cars, going to a Hot Rod run or car show. They truly were inseparable over the past 20+ years.
Donald A Wilbur, Don, passed away on Saturday, 17 September 2016, at the age of 76 in Spokane, Wa with his wife, Nancy, by his side, after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease.
Don was born 16 April 1940 in Spokane Wa, but grew up in Davenport Wa. He was very active in sports throughout high school, but his real passion was hot rod cars and racing. Don always had an eye for building cars and at the age of 16, was a charter member / co-founder of the Road Knights Car Club, and in the coming years built his first car, a 1932 Victoria, and the club was recognized in the National Hot Rod Magazine.
Don then went on to work for the family business, starting as a printer, for the Times Publishing in Davenport. He went to college at Eastern Washington University where he studied Advertising, Economics, and Art.
In 1958, he enlisted in the Air National Guard and served 6 years. Also, in 1958 Don joined the Fred Rogers - Earl Wham inboard Hydroplane team, where the team went on to receive multiple awards and set National Records for their times.
In the early 1960's is when Don became very involved with the Drag Racing circuit and partnered with Vern Massie, where they built the legendary Model A Victoria, the Wilbur-Massie Destroyer. They raced the West Coast tracks including a feature match race at the Lions Drag Strip in Long Beach, CA where they raced against the Stone-Woods-Cook race car. They set numerous national records and set many track records with their cars and were featured in multiple United States and Canadian magazines.
Don enjoyed being able to showcase all types of hotrods and so in 1963, along with partner Orville Moe, they started the Spokane Auto Boat Speed Show to showcase and debut many beautiful vehicles and boats for the public to see. Don was involved with multiple other car shows and circuits throughout his years.
Don was known in many racing circuits from hydroplane, dragsters, oval track, street karts, and even a stint with Indy cars. If it went fast he was involved at some point in his life. There was not a west coast circuit that didn't know the Wilbur name during his racing years, whether it be him building the motors, working on racecars, promotions and car shows, or just being at the track.
As years progressed, not only was he still involved with the racing venue and the Auto Boat Speed Show, Don, and his wife Nancy, started building their first hot rod together, a 1929 Ford Roadster that has been featured in the Street Rodder magazine in 1999. They then went on to build additional cars such as a 1928 Model A Ford Pick up; a 1932 3-window coupe; a 1932 Ford Roadster; a Junior Fuel Dragster that was built with the help of his friends, The Grey Beards, named Unfinished Business; and finished their last hot rod, a 1932 four door Highboy.
Don is survived by his wife Nancy, daughter Rene' Davis (Darren), son Scott Wilbur, brother Dave Wilbur (Linda) and brother-in-law Jerry Jantz and granddaughters Brittney and Brooklyn Davis. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Walt and Ellen Wilbur and his sister, Doris Jantz.
Celebration of Life will be held in April 2017 with more information to follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request donations to be made to Hospice of Spokane or Northwest Parkinson's Foundation