Driver Profile: Joe Wilkinson
by Steve Coniff and Tom Carnegie
It was the late 1960's, and Joe was visiting relatives, who lived in Montana.
While he was there, a bunch of T's came roaring through Livingston. He had run into one of
the local T races that were popular all around the state of Montana at that time. Joe was
intrigued, so when he got back to his home in Rocky Ford Colorado, he contacted the
Livingston Chamber of Commerce to find out about the event. They in turn got him connected
with the president of the Montana Cross Country T Association.
He talked his friend, Ross Anderson, from Arlington Colorado into letting him
use his T to run in the 1972 race out of Miles City. Joe and his racing buddy Ernie Woodring
took turns driving Ross's car to a 15th place overall finish. They were second in the cast iron
division that year. By 1974 Joe and Ernie had their own car. They did not finish that year. In
1975 the gas shortage kept Joe home, but he was back in 1976 with his own car painted a bright
NAPA yellow. He called his car the "Gold Hat Special". He finished in 11th place that year. I
remember in 1977 when he doled out gold hats (which we put to good use) to all the T drivers.
He came back most every year until 1981, which was his last year to race. His best finish was
in 1980 when he came in 8th. Joe now lives in the Denver area.