Volunteer Spotlight: Vicki Shepherd

Q: When and how did you become a motorsports enthusiast?

My husband and I were members of the Clackamas County Four Wheelers. It was a four-wheel drive club dedicated to family four-wheeling and community service. We spent our early days at the midnight drags at Sand Lake, later participating in four-wheel racing venues that were put on by the Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association. The Association always centered on family, and having two sons, it was the perfect fit for us.

We had always been drawn to the drag-racing aspect of four-wheeling, so that really was my true love of the sport. We were drag racing a CJ5 Jeep that through the years was repaired and altered many times by my husband. This was also a time when men and women were not entered in the same classes. There was the men’s class and the women’s class, so my racing career started out racing only against other women. However, I can’t tell you how many times in practice runs with the men they would turn on their Nitrous bottles just so I couldn’t beat them!

From the beginning, we have always raced under the name Shepherd & Shepherd. After many fun years, we sold the Jeep and gave up sand racing, only to turn the love of our sport to asphalt drag racing. I currently share driving duties with my husband, driving a rear-engine dragster with a 555 engine that does the quarter mile in 7.80 seconds going approximately 175 MPH.

Q: What kind of influence has that had on your life?

We have been married 45 years, met so many good people, raised two sons that love the sport as much as we do, and had an incredible time doing what we love. Our son Nicholas has developed his own passion for the sport and currently races with us. We took our 15-year-old grandson with us to the Night Fire race in Boise last year, and when we sent him home he was exhausted. I can’t think of anything better in life than time spent with family and friends doing what you love.

Q: What makes volunteering at World of Speed meaningful to you?

I like seeing and spending time with the staff and volunteers at the museum. I like meeting people and hearing their stories of their love of automobiles and motorsports. I love talking with those who have a garage full of treasured items and hearing how they were acquired.

Q: What is the most memorable experience of your time volunteering?

That is a very difficult question; there have been so many! I especially enjoyed the opening of the museum, when I met and talked with Jungle Pam and Herm Petersen. That said, I also have enjoyed my time spent with the kids in the auto workshop and the young Girl Scouts that came to the museum.   

Q: What do you wish other people knew about World of Speed?

There is something for everyone, young and old. It is a great place to bring the family, but when you do come, plan on staying about two hours because you don’t want to be in a hurry and miss something!

Q: If you could choose any vehicle to be displayed in the museum, what would it be?

Doc Lavinder’s 1935 Nash. Doc Lavinder was a local racer who was confined to a wheelchair with rheumatoid arthritis, who still raced his “Chicken Coupe” competitively around the Northwest supporting the Ability in Disability.

When Doc passed in 1997, the car was displayed at the NHRA Motorsports Museum for a short while. It has been rumored that, while in the museum, his ashes were secretly displayed under the seat — which, of course, would not have been allowed. I find the rumor fascinating and hope it was true. I think it would be a great addition to our display.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top