Parnelli Jones Foundation and “Whoosh!”


Parnelli Jones Foundation

Benefiting Individuals with Brain Injuries


Thanks to Mike Lashmett, co-founder of Vintage Indy Registry, I was reintroduced to Parnelli Jones. As a kid in LA I often sat in Parnelli’s racecars after the races held at Ascot Park when he ran there. Parnelli’s career and my father’s overlapped – as he was in the early years of his, Dad was in the latter years of his.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018, after having spoken with Jim Dilamarter, Parnelli’s Business Manager, to coordinate the visit, I drove to Torrance and visited Parnelli. It was the first time since I was quite young that I had seen Parnelli personally. Parnelli remembered Dad, a bit of a surprise since they competed a limited number of times at various tracks.

Parnelli with me, after he autographed “Whoosh!”

The visit was one of the most memorable of my life. Jim & Parnelli made me feel like a long-known friend that hadn’t been seen in some time. As part of the racing family, to some degree, it was true.

 

We swapped stories of various tracks, his career, Dad’s. Then he asked about the painting – Whoosh! One of the reasons for the visit was for Parnelli to autograph the painting.

 

After his signing it, we went to lunch, sharing more stories. He explained how he got involved with off-road racing and the Baja. For those who enjoy that aspect of motorsports, drivers and fans alike owe Parnelli a debt of gratitude. He helped develop some of the early suspension systems concepts that greatly improved that racing style.

 

Jim showed me the cars remaining in Parnelli’s collection, including a unique tribute replica of his 1963 Indianapolis 500 winning Watson roadster. This Indycar has always been one of my personal favorites and one I consider to be one of the most beautiful racecars to run. He also shared with me about Parnelli’s younger son’s brain injury and their foundation.

 

Their graciousness during my visit left a deep impression. So much so that as I was leaving town, I called Jim back. Some had already asked about reproductions of Whoosh! I told Jim I’d like to express my gratitude by splitting the net proceeds of any and all reproductions of Whoosh! to benefit Parnelli’s Foundation.

 

Here’s an excerpt from Jim’s reply –

 

I have discussed your fine proposal with the Jones family and they are thrilled to hear of your offer, and they thank you so much. FYI, the charity’s official name is the Page Jones Foundation Fund, and was formed upon the negative experience we had with the general brain injury rehabilitation process. Although the Jones family had the resources to insure Page received the finest after care possible, we discovered that the average person was not so lucky, and for example, they were released from a hospital well before they should have been. At that stage, most people cannot afford the necessary rehab process and the equipment to do so, therefore the recovery process is slowed, or even ceased. The patient then, is usually in big trouble. Although our fund is very small compared to say, the Brain Injury Association of America, we decided to help on a local level, doing what our meager funds allowed. We elected to affiliate the PJFF with another great, and much bigger charity fund that is also a 501 3c. It is the Pittsburgh Foundation of Pittsburgh PA.

 

Again, on behalf of the Jones family, I thank you for your generous offer and look forward to our future together and whatever success it may bring.

 

Reproductions of “Whoosh!” are available. The original was scanned after Parnelli autographed it and is part of every reproduction, along with my signature as the artist.

 

There are a variety of reproduction types including paper reprints, posters, canvas giclées, dye-infused aluminum, apparel and accessories (coffee mugs). Special requests welcome.

 

Per our agreement, Fifty Percent (50%) of net proceeds, after cost of reproduction, from any sale of any reproduction, are donated to the Parnelli Jones Foundation Fund.

 

Imagine, you participating in Parnelli’s goal of benefiting those in need due to brain injuries! Grab your part of motorsports history, doing good well beyond the moment Parnelli and the STP Paxton Turbocar stunned the world: Whoosh!