William Henry Getty “Big Bill” France, Sr

William Henry Getty “Big Bill” France, Sr

Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Death 7 Jun 1992 (aged 82)
Ormond Beach, Volusia County, Florida, USA
Burial Ormond Beach, Volusia County, Florida, USA
Memorial ID 54008575 · View Source
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Auto Racing Pioneer. Born William Henry Getty France and often referred to as "Big Bill", he began racing cars in the Washington, DC area as soon as he was old enough to drive. In 1935 he relocated to Daytona, Florida, where he became the owner of a service station. In the late 1930s promoters began staging stock car races in Daytona Beach, and France was among the regular drivers. During World War II he used his mechanical ability in support of the war effort constructing vessels at the Daytona Boat Works. France returned to racing after the war, and in the late 1940s began an effort to combat unscrupulous promoters by forming an organization to promote and score races and guarantee purses. In 1948 France, Raymond Parks and others met at Daytona's Streamline Hotel and formed the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). His success at establishing uniform rules, guaranteed purses and other initiatives brought stability to stock car racing and led to the sport's exponential growth, and France served as Chief Executive Officer until being succeeded by his son Bill France, Jr. in 1972. The senior France remained active in car racing until his death, including founding the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. He was among the first inductees into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and was the first inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010.

Bio by: Bill McKern

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bill McKern
  • Added: 22 Jun 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 54008575
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Henry Getty “Big Bill” France, Sr (26 Sep 1909–7 Jun 1992), Find a Grave Memorial no. 54008575, citing Hillside Cemetery, Ormond Beach, Volusia County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .