Official Montana 500 Website

Driver Profile: Bill Walters

by Gillian Hensley

The Model T Racing Bug bit Bill in l960. He restored a 1925 Model T in the garage, painted it black and blue, and was off and running. His first competition was the 50-mile race Labor Day weekend in White Sulphur Springs, Mt. He placed 5th out of 27 starters and the racing bug had him good. Bill raced in the Cross Country T races from the beginning in 1961 until 1969. He helped form the Montana Cross Country T Association in 1962 and served several terms as a Director and was also President in 1965. He was also instrumental in forming the Bozeman Antique Auto Club in 1962.

Bill was a machinist for Montana Motor Supply in Bozeman, Mt. and worked on many "T" engines, grinding crankshafts, pouring babbitt bearings and basically kept the motors running for himself and many other racers. Summers for him and his

children David and Gillian (that's me) were spent going to the shorter 50 mile races held throughout the State, and the 3-day Cross Country race. Winters were spent working on engines and formulating ideas to get them to run faster–but stay within the rules. Bill never won the Cross Country (his best finish was 3rd twice), but thoroughly enjoyed each and every one he participated in, and especially enjoyed all the friendships he formed with other racers and their families.

In addition to his 1925 Model T used for racing, Bill also completely restored a 1915 Model T Touring Car-doing so on the sly and bringing it out for it's maiden trip during a Bozeman Jaycees Parade. He also restored a 1924 Model T Coupe which his daughter Gillian raced several times in the 50 mile Bozeman race.

(note, Bill Walters, who was a charter member of the MCCTA, passed away in 1991, ed.)

The Montana 500 is Sanctioned by The Montana Cross Country T Association.