Paula Murphy race car driver dead or still alive, First woman to drive a jet dragster
Paula is a pioneering figure in the early days of drag racing, known for being the first woman to drive a supercharged gas vehicle. Despite not achieving the same level of fame as Shirley Muldowney, Paula was a seasoned racer with an NHRA license and drove an STP sponsored Funny Car, an impressive feat at a time when few drivers received sponsorship.
Paula also set a women’s land speed record of 161 mph at Bonneville in 1963, surpassing her husband’s record with a top speed of 236.37 mph in Walt Arfons’ Jet Car. She achieved numerous other milestones, including breaking the 200-mile mark in the quarter mile and winning Olympic drag racing.
However, a crash during a rocket-powered ride at Bonneville in 1972 ended her promising career. Despite this setback, Paula’s contributions to the world of racing continue to be celebrated and she remains an important figure in drag racing history.