Two time Bonneville land speed record holder and NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Valerie Thompson will make her fourth annual Barrett-Jackson Automobile Auction appearance tonight, riding a Chandler Custom Cycles chopper onto the block in front of the crowd under the tent and the worldwide Speed Channel audience. “It’s a fun time,” said Thompson, who lives in Barrett-Jackson’s home town of Scottsdale, Arizona. “I work the crowd and go from bidder to bidder. It’s great exposure for me and my sponsors.”
“Not only is Valerie very attractive, but she really gets the crowd into it,” said Chandler’s Harold Fisher. “She does an excellent job. She’s got a great personality and the crowd loves to see somebody like her and then hear about what she does in racing and her accomplishments.”
Valerie will be piloting Chandler’s “Nasty Habit” chopper. “It was built in 2005 as a showbike, but it’s totally street legal and reliable,” continued Fisher, who was a vice president of Far East sales in the semiconductor business before buying Chandler Custom Cycles almost 11 years ago. “The bike is one of kind. It’s painted red and black with a checker flag pattern, has a fully polished S&S 124 motor, Baker 6 speed transmission, Performance Machine chrome wheels, a 280 rear tire, and Custom Cycle Controls front end with all the wiring and hydraulics internal. We’ve got about 52 grand into the bike.”
On Saturday, Valerie will drive a rare Yenko turbo Z28 Camaro onto the block. Apparently the last offering of the legendary Yenko custom tuning factory, only 19 were made and only 9 of those have been found still existent today. “Larry Morgan will also be driving a Yenko car right behind me, so it’s gonna be really cool,” said Valerie.
Cool indeed, but Valerie is mostly looking forward to getting back on her S&S powered V-Twin at the NHRA test session in nearby Phoenix on January 23-25. “Matt Smith gave me a hard time for missing the ESTN test session last year during an auction,” laughed Thompson. “He said ‘You should be testing and not driving on the auction block.’ But now I can do both! January is here and we’re moving full speed ahead.”