07 Jul 1927 1
31 Jan 2010 1

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Full Name:
K S Pittman 1
07 Jul 1927 1
31 Jan 2010 1
Last Residence: Springfield, MO 1
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Card Issued: Unknown Code (PE) 1

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K S Pittman, Funny Car Racer /East Coast


KS Pittman working on the Pittman & Edwards Willys - Early 1960 Photo WAYNE ARETEAGA

K S Pittman was a Funny Car Racer, and a Great one at that !

One hears the word "legend" tossed around pretty casually these days, but in this case the word is completely appropriate.  KS Pittman passed away peacefully last night (31 January 2010) at 11 PM.

If you are at all familiar with the history of the 60's Gasser Wars and of Gassers in general, you know KS was definitely one of the fiercest competitors out there.  You didn't often see him get left on either.  Almost every starting line photo you'll ever see shows KS out first!

While some of the names associated with the 60's Gasser Wars vary depending on who's making the list, I doubt you'll ever find a list of Gasser Wars "Hitters" that doesn't include the name of KS Pittman!   I just honestly don't know what more to say except Rest in Peace KS.  You will be greatly missed by all your friends and fans.


K S Pittman "Legend"WWII US Navy- Philippines


2010 K S Pittman, LEGEND Passes away.
5 images

K. S. Pittman, Mineral Wells, TX   Services for K. S. Pittman former resident of Mineral Wells, will be held Wednesday, February 10, at 11: A. M. in the Baum-Carlock-Bumgardner Chapel with burial in Woodland Park Cemetery. A member of the family, Elmore Snider, will officiate at the services. K. S. passed away Sunday, January 31, in the Missouri State Veterans Home. K.S and his wife, LaVaun have been residents of Springfield, Missouri since 2004. He was born in Mineral Wells on July 12, 1927, the son of Wilborn and Myrtle Pittman, residents of Mineral Wells since the early 1900's. K. S. enlisted in the U. S. Navy at age 16 and was sent to the Philippines, where he was assigned to the motor pool There he liked to take the governors off trucks to give them a little more speed. This was just a hint of the path he would later take in the world of racing. After his discharge, he joined many of his siblings in southern California where he became one of the forerunners in the world of drag racing. After it became a recognized form of racing, drag strips sprang up not only in Southern California, but across the United States and Canada. In the early 60's he was racing all along the West Coast and across the United States, and Canada where he established new records in a "33 Willys, and later in a "41 Willys and an Opel GT in Class A ,B, and C gassers. In the fall of 1964, he was selected as a member of an elite team of U. S. racers that were invited to participate in the British International Drag Racing Festival, traveling to Great Britain. After the trip to England, he quickly set records in Class A, B, and C gassers, garnering honors by winning at the Indy Nationals, the NHRA Nationals, and the AHRA Nationals among a host of others. He fast earned a reputation as one of the top racers in his 33 Willys which he brought to Mineral Wells in the Spring of 1964 for a match race with the Stone, Woods and Cook Racing Team. Unfortunately, the day prior to the races while he was practicing runs at the drag strip, southeast of Mineral Wells, he crashed the Willys, landing in the middle of southeast 25Th Avenue, and walked away with no injuries. He quickly rebuilt the Willys, returning to racing, setting records and winning races across the world of drag racing. He later retired from racing only to return in the late 80's and early 90's with more speed records to follow. Two of the Pittman cars are in museums. The "41" Willys is in the Don Garlits Museum in Ocala, Florida, and the " 33" in the NHRA Motor Sports Museum in Ponoma, California . A young boy that grew up on the Brazos river southwest of Mineral Wells, later became one of the most respected and honored members in the field of drag racing. A recent issue of the drag magazine "Rod and Kulture" features his life story. He will be missed not only by his family but many fans across the nation. He is survived by his wife LaVaun, daughters Debbie and husband, Steve Jenson, Tamara Solovy and her companion Eric Baehr, Linda and husband Ron Miles, and daughter Connie Gackenback, son Roger and wife Allison Gackenback, along with eight grandchildren. He is also survived by one sister, Evelyn and husband Harold Conant, and brother Floyd Pittman, and many members of the Pittman family still residing in the Mineral Wells area.  

K S tayed at the Foster home while he was Racing out of the Bucks County Area.           Barbi Ennis Connolly

K S "TIGER" Pittman "NHRA Hall of Fame"


Rocky Pirrone;sa=page;p=4

SEE The K S "TIGER" Pittman TRIBUTE CAR  Rocky Pirrone

In the 1960's K.S. Pittman was one the biggest names in Drag Racing. In fact K.S. was probably the first racers that made a living traveling the country racing his Willys coupes. In 1965 the National Hot Rod Association sent K.S. to England as part of a race team to introduce drag racing to the UK. In 1967 he built this car and set the the racing world on its ear, by being the first gasoline fueled car with doors to cover the quarter mile under eight seconds! K.S, ran this car for two seasons, before moving onto a 48 Austin and later a Opel GT.

In 2007 we built this 1933 Willys AA/GS coupe in honor and as a tribute to my good friend and NHRA Hall of Fame racer K.S. "Tiger" Pittman. The period correct recreation was built by my race car team Pirrone and Ellershaw race cars. We built the 33 "exactly" the way the original was built by K.S. in 1966/1967. The original was destroyed in a high speed accident in 1971. I'd like to thank Harry Hall (who owned the car from late 68 to 71) along with Chuck Finders who built the original chassis for their help in the recreation. We had the honor of unveiling the K.S. Pittman tribute car at the Willys Home Run in Buffalo New York in 2008. My original plans were to take my tribute to Springfield Missouri where K.S. now resides in a veterans home. Unfortunately, unexpected delays, pushed the completion date back further and further. After a discussion with some of the members of the S&S race team about K.S.'s health, we decided it might be more appropriate to have LaVaun come to the Willys Home Run for the unveiling. Of course not having K.S. there was a disappointment, but having LaVaun there was the next best possible thing. This first photos are what this tribute is all about and that is the people. Words can't describe the emotion that was flowing. There were plenty of tears and hugs. It was truly one one of the best things I've ever been involved with.

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