Remembering Joyce Smith, "Mrs. Speedway"

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Speedway Motors family as they mourn the passing of Joyce Smith, “Mrs. Speedway.” Joyce was wife of “Speedy” Bill Smith and co-founder of Speedway Motors, “America’s oldest speed shop.” She passed away on Sunday after a courageous 34 month battle with cancer.

In 1952, when Joyce was a newlywed and college new-grad, she loaned her husband, “Speedy Bill”, the $300 he needed to start Speedway Motors. Over the next 60 years, Joyce would become an integral part of Speedway Motors, holding positions such as bookkeeper, counter gal and financial officer, to name a few. She was a tireless working mom who often logged 60-plus hour work weeks while raising her four boys, and somehow still found time to teach Sunday school.

Joyce was a part of the automotive aftermarket pioneers, having walked the swap meet fields of Hershey and worked the aisles of SEMA, Daytona and PRI since their inception. Her undeniable impact in the automotive community was recognized in 2005 when she was honored as Goodguys’ Woman of the Year. Joyce went on to cofound the Museum of American Speed in an effort to share her love and knowledge of racing and rodding with future generations.

“The Smith family is extremely grateful for the thousands of friends and fans Joyce has in the racing and street rodding communities, but has respectfully requested privacy during this emotional time. Funeral services will be private. A public celebration of life is scheduled for late September."

In lieu of flowers, the Smith family asks that friends share their memories of Joyce through a memorial at the Museum of American Speed:

Joyce Smith Memorial
Museum of American Speed
599 Oak Creek Dr.
Lincoln, NE 68528

Images courtesy