Donna Mae Mims’ Pink 1979 Corvette

Donna Mae Mims (1927-2009) was a force to be reckoned with on the race track and the first female driver to win a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Championship. This 1979 Corvette was her personal car and was brought to our attention by Ikey Heyman.  Donna Mae worked as an executive secretary at Don Yenko’s Chevrolet dealership in Canonsburg, PA. Her car is listed here on Craiglist for $99,500 and is located in Venetia, Pennsylvania just south of Pittsburgh.

Donna Mae got her start in racing in the 1960s when she and her husband bought a fuel-injected Corvette. She painted most of her race cars pink and wore a matching pink racing suit and helmet during her 14-year career. Donna Mae was known as the Pink Lady of racing and always had a “Think Pink” sticker on the back of her car. She won the Class H SCCA Championship driving a 1959 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite. The red interior of her car is shown below. It is said to be all original and unrestored with some wear evident on the seats.

Donna Mae was an excellent driver and is credited with saying “You’re out there only for one thing. To win. Nobody remembers second place.” Her 1979 personal Corvette appears to be a well-equipped model with the optional L82 350 cubic inch V8 engine and an automatic transmission. The engine is adorned with an aftermarket air cleaner and valve covers. The seller has the original title to the car with Donna Mae’s name on it. At her passing, Donna Mae’s last wish was for her body to be put in this car for the funeral viewing.

Donna Mae also raced on a team of two other women in the 1972 running of the Cannonball Run. Their entry was sponsored by a company known as “The Right Bra” and the three women drove a 1968 Cadillac Limousine. They were unable to finish the race because their vehicle crashed at night near El Paso, Texas and hit a Port-a-Potty which spilled green liquid across the highway. You may remember the 1981 movie Cannonball Run. Donna Mae was played in that movie by the actress Adrienne Barbeau. So, with all this history, what do you think this car is worth?


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  1. PaulG

    Not $99,500
    R.I.P Donna Mae…

    Like 25
  2. steve

    Let’s see, a 5k car maybe an xtra 20~25k of Celeb status (never heard of her), I don’t think Charleston Heston’s vett brought that much!

    Like 9
    • Superdessucke

      +10k for celebrity status. -10k for being pink. Trying to explain it all the time would get old really fast.

      Like 7
      • Nate

        Minus another $20k for being used as a casket.

        Like 4
  3. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Mims was a legendary racer and her good looks didn’t hurt her career, either. The fact that a racing celebrity owned the car should count for something as regards the price but it is only a ’79 ‘Vette that’s pink with Marilyn Monroe on the hood. I’m sure serious collectors of racing would love to have Mims’ car though I wonder if having had a dead body in the car might seem a little creepy.

    I drove a truck for a while that a co-worker died in, it didn’t bother me but I didn’t want to own the truck. Especially since it was a front-loader garbage truck. That bothered me more than sitting in the same seat that Dead Bob sat in.

    Like 15
  4. Rick

    I have to agree. Never heard of her. It’s a $6K car at best, maybe less for the repaint.

    Like 8
  5. Classic Steel

    So her final viewing was in the car ?
    Why not get buried in the car💀

    Like 7
    • Stan Marks

      Because she was cremated.

      Like 2
  6. Allen

    Following her wishes, her body was seated behind the steering wheel of her 1979 pink Corvette… would have a very uncomfortable feeling sitting in it. Pass..

    Like 14
  7. Troy s

    Very much a niche collector car, as most people don’t know about her. There’s being famous in a smaller circle and then there is real celebrity status, it’s just not the same. That’s a lot of money for a pink ’79 Corvette if you think about it.

    Like 2
  8. gbvette62

    I remember seeing Donna Mae race her pink D Production Yenko Stinger Corvair. She was quite a racer and remained active in the car hobby, right up to the time of her death. She was a regular fixture at the Pittsburgh Vintage GP, and Beaver Run Raceway (now Pittsburgh International), working grid and other jobs.You knew when she was at the track, because that Corvette was hard to miss, parked in the paddock.

    The car’s not my taste, and though I consider myself a fan of Donna Mae Mims, she was hardly a celebrity outside of the racing world. I find it hard to believe that it would be worth anymore than any other 79, in similar condition. Actually I’m surprised to see the car for sale, as I thought she had donated it to the National Corvette Museum?

    Like 12
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      My knowledge of Donna Mae came through the Corvair club, as she was somewhat of a larger celebrity in that group.

      If this was one of her race cars, instead of a rather mundane Corvette street car with a distinctive paint job, the interest level would likely be much higher.

      Like 5
  9. Chris M.

    Majestic portrait! Lol The pinnacle of tacky.

    Like 4
  10. jerry z

    I’ve heard of Donna Mae Mims but that fact is not many people know her. It’s a pink car, has a huge mural on the hood, and the fact she was laid to rest in the car which in itself is creepy will never bring anywhere near the money.

    Like 4
    • grant

      She wasn’t laid to rest in it, she was posed in it for a few hours before she was laid to rest. It’s really not that bad. This is only a 15k car regardless.

      Like 2
      • John Oliveri

        Still very creepy thought, a fully embalmed body sitting in the drivers seat

        Like 1
      • Stan Marks

        I don’t know if posing is the right description.
        More like being propped up is more like it. I wonder if they put a smile on her face.
        Hey John O. Still creeped out??
        LOL I’ll

        Like 2
  11. Stevieg

    I like hearses but I wouldn’t even want the car. Between the corpse in the drivers seat, and the paint job (wrong shade of pink for my complexion lol), combined with the fact that I am not into Corvettes, this ain’t for me. Oh yeah, then there’s the price lol.
    I a totally have a similar wish for when I pass away one day. My wish is that I get slid behind the wheel of my hearse (I currently don’t own one, but have owned over 18 over the years & will have a other) & that said hearse, with my body behind the wheel gets pushed into a mausoleum big enough to contain it. Then I want to get enclosed in the hearse/ mausoleum.
    When my other half passed away, if I have one when I die, I want her slid in back. Then I can drive her to eternity.

    Like 6
  12. moosie moosie

    Why have a mural of Marilyn Monroe on your car, why not a mural of the owner , Donna Mae ? Too pricey I think for what it is, a 1979 Corvette (not even a 4 speed) once owned by a not too well known celebrity.

  13. moosie moosie

    It sucks to get old, I’m trying to figure out who the mural is supposed to be of, I googled Donna Mae Sims and saw some pictures of her, she was quite an eyeful, very pretty lady. Somebody with more knowledge and better eyes please ,, pretty please clear this up for me, Thank you,

    Like 1
    • grant

      The mural is Marilyn Monroe. Not sure why.

      Like 2
      • Stan Marks

        Who doesn’t know MM????? Must be a youngster, like under age 40???

        Like 4
  14. jimmy the orphan

    Sounds like she was a east coast racer. I know a good deal about Yenko but never heard of her. Price is a joke. Automatic ? ? Really ? ? Later JIMMY.

  15. Frank Y Member

    I live 40 miles north and I thought the Chocolate Factory was the only famous thing in Canonsburg ( besides Perry Como). I also have a 79 corvette that had a dead mouse in it can I sell it for 40k?? I do applaud her for her achievements as a pioneer for women racing but 99k Large is a bit much. RIP.

    Like 3
    • Dave

      Bobby Vinton is a Canonsburg native too.

      Like 2
    • Stan Marks

      Besides Perry, how about Bobby Vinton??
      Oops….. Didn’t see your reply, Dave.

  16. George Mattar

    Not worth it. I talked to her in 2005 about Don Yenko. Pink and automatic. Pass

    Like 1
  17. John Oliveri

    That’s a little creepy and might hurt the value of a 15,000 car, which is what it is, and getting the portrait off the hood and matching that color is gonna be tough, cause at that point you’re gonna be the only one at the car show who knows y the car is what it is, and y u paid big money for it, belongs in a museum

    Like 1
    • Stan Marks

      I would repaint the car white. ESPECIALLY the hood.
      It would go nice with the red interior.

      • John Oliveri

        Yeah that’s the color, but it’s still pretty creepy that there was an embalmed body behind the wheel, I don’t know, maybe it’s me

  18. Dave

    The seller might have the original title wirh her signature on it, but unless he’s the representative of the estate with a death certificate transferring the title in PA is a no-go.
    After our mother passed my sister had to bring a raft of paperwork to the notary so that we could transfer the title to me, as the will stipulated.
    She had to produce a valid ID, a copy of the death certificate, a notarized copy of the will, and the title. They gave her grief about having a Florida driver’s license but eventually did the work.

    Like 2
  19. DRV

    You may be underestimating the future of the 80-90s cars. Sometimes a great period car done in period taste is a style trend. After following the cars etc. on the Malaise Motors sight for the past few months my mind has been opened a bit. Although I’ve always liked all cars, I’ve learned more respect for the period.
    The cars on this sight are now even more appreciated by me. I’m a fan since 2010.

    • Stevieg

      That’s fine for an “era correct” car. We are talking about a pink corvette from the LATE 1970’s owned by a chick. This is not a pimp owned, 1971 Corvette painted hot pink with zebra or lion fur interior.
      It is tasteless, either way lol.

  20. John Oliveri

    And that pesky dead body that was laid out in it

    Like 1
  21. Stan Marks

    Maybe some gal, who sells Mary Kay, will buy it. Haha….

    Like 3
  22. Bob McK Member

    Never heard of her. Get the car painted red drop the story and be happy if you get $15K for it wham you are done. Finding a buyer for this at any price is going to be hard.

  23. John Oliveri

    Yeah, I’m sure plenty of cars on this site might’ve had a dead person in it, not a big selling point, loose the story paint it white, blow it out

    • Troy s

      Interesting photo of Donna Mae and some other cutie handing over a set of keys for a sinister Yenko Camaro to Mr. Mustache and sideburns! One lucky dude there. Cool stuff.

  24. Stan Marks

    Anyone remember “Cannonball Run”?

    • DRV

      The lates record was recently set at an average 209 mph…26 something hours.

      Like 1
      • Ralph

        109 mph.

        A 209 mph average would be very impressive though……

  25. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    The mural is Donna Mae on one of her better days .

    When I knew her in the 60’s before the Stingers, she was a looker… looked good at the end of the 60’s too… Never saw her after Thompson closed.

    ” Think Pink ” … R.I.P. girl.

    Like 3
  26. canadainmarkseh Member

    Ugly car

  27. Albert

    I knew Donna Mae as well. She was a longtime volunteer with the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix til she passed. We’ve had this car as well as her championship winning bug eye sprite on display at the event several times. Knowing her and knowing the car, it is a crazy price. FYI, the mural on the hood is of Marilyn Monroe, not Donna Mae. It also needs to be stated that her bug eye was sold by RM Sotheby’s for $60,500, so is her street car worth more? No way.

    Like 4
  28. Pookie Jamie

    99k??? I can see if this was Shirley Muldowneys car, then it would be worth it. Can’t justify 99k for a 5k car

  29. Chuck

    Who is Shirley Muldowney???

    Like 2
  30. Stan Marks

    The first woman dragster, nicknamed “Cha Cha”.

    Like 2
  31. moosie moosie

    Shirley Muldowney, also known professionally as “Cha Cha” and the “First Lady of Drag Racing”, is an American auto racer. She was the first woman to receive a license from the National Hot Rod Association to drive a Top Fuel dragster. Wikipedia
    Born: June 19, 1940 (age 79 years), Burlington, VT
    Nationality: American
    Debut season: 1958

    Like 1
  32. Stan Marks

    I posted this earlier this morning.

  33. Rodney - GSM

    ….thus the unexplained staining on the drivers seat…

  34. John Oliveri

    Leakage, ugh!!!!!

  35. Stan Marks

    No leakage, John. She was dried out before embalming, usually done on the neck (co rotted artery). Wanna see how it’s done?? LOL
    After the funeral, she was cremated.

    Not to worry. You won’t see an actual person getting embalmed.
    I’m sure there are some of you have been curious. Very educational..;_ylt=A0PDsBwNefldjBgA.QxXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByMDgyYjJiBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–?p=How+to+embalm+a+corpse&fr=uh-mail-web#id=6&vid=8810653cf54e538cc3cccf947ceb5ddf&action=view

  36. DN

    All this wincing from a bunch of grown men over a corpse behind the wheel for a few hours is laughable!

    Next time you’re in the hospital visiting someone, or as a patient yourself- think about all the people who have passed away in that room, most likely in that very bed. Same goes for your next ambulance ride!

    Run for the hills! ;)

    Like 1
    • Stan Marks

      LOL!!! As long as they change the sheets.

  37. John Oliveri

    Something about an embalmed person dressed for their funeral behind the wheel of this particular car weirds me out, it’s like a used coffin, sorry, and your correct about what u said, it’s just like what u don’t know won’t hurt you, like a murder scene house or a car that’s owner killed his or herself in, not the most desirable circumstances of which to make a purchase, plenty of other Vettes out there, that weren’t in funeral homes

  38. Stevieg

    Stand, I was thinking more of the Rob Zombie song Dragula lol.

  39. Stan Marks

    That works, too. Stevie.

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