Race Legends Vintage Motorsport Agency

Remembering Denise McCluggage

I first saw Denise racing in the early Fifties at Elkhart Lake or maybe Meadowbrook – my exact memory fails me. She was about the only woman racer of note – at least in sports cars. I don’t know if she was fully welcomed by the good ‘ol boys, but I recall her as driving some high performance stuff and she was quick as the boys!


Denise with John Fitch (r). Race Legends photo.


Denise at speed. Photo via Denise McCluggage.

Phil Hill introduced her to me in the early ’90s and I managed to get her some appearance gigs here and there, most notably in Colorado Springs about 10 years ago with John Fitch. For that occasion Denise had driven up from her home in a new model Porsche and when we figured out how far that was and how long it took, we were amazed at her average speed – always fast!


Denise with Phil Hill. Photo via Denise McCluggage.

Any time I saw an article with her byline I made a point to read it. She could write as well as anyone, knew everyone in the sport, of course, and could weave a story with the best. Beyond that, I just plan liked her and always looked forward to seeing her. We’ll all miss her, but her writings (and our memories) will always be there for us.

Written by

President and Co-founder of Race Legends.