Tommy Thompson - Autobiography

Tommy-1999 I am Thomas Michael Thompson born in March of 1960 in Lynwood, California to Jr. and Anita Thompson.  I have one older sister, Rhonda (the webmaster) and two younger sisters, Lana and Linda all of whom also reside in Southern California.  I grew up and attended school in Norwalk, Ca.  I was a member of the class of 1978 at Norwalk High School.

I am the single father of two awesome kids, Eric Michael born in 1991, and Veronica Nicole born in 1994.  Eric is into skate boarding & I hope to get him into surfing as well.  Veronica loves animals and especially likes riding horses.  I enjoy surfing and have been riding waves for over 25 years.  My favorite surf spot is a point break in the southern Orange County city of San Clemente called Trestles due to its' close proximity to the railroad tracks.  I also enjoy camping with family and friends, snow boarding and skiing, wind surfing and most anything else that involves excitement or horsepower.

I was employed by Superior Spring Company, in Anaheim, CA, for about 8 years where I produced intricate springs and wire forms for the computer and aerospace industries.  Before that, for about 17 years, I worked in the racecar fabrication business and I now maintain a small shop where I build and work on various race-related projects.

Like most second-generation racers, I got my start polishing wheels on dad's racecar.  My earliest memories are from Lion's Drag Strip with my Dad's A/GAS Austin in the mid to late 60's.  My dad toured the United States professionally from 1967 through 1982 with his racecar from March through October.  When I was 11, in 1971, I spent my first summer on tour with him and continued every summer thereafter until his accident in 1982.

When I was 15, I began touring with him for the entire racing season.  He and I alone maintained and raced the car.

Although he and I have a typical father/son relationship (sometimes somewhat strained) when it came time to take are of business, WE DID.  We won more that our share of the races including Championships in 1978 and 1981, my dad's last full year of competition.

As I grew up around Pop's racecars the question always came up, "When's the kid gonna drive?"  By the time I got my chance behind the wheel my dad had progressed to a 200 M.P.H., 2,000 horsepower Corvette funnycar.  One blast down the dragstrip in that and I was hooked.  (Actually, I am sure that I was hooked long before that.)

After recovering from his crash in 1982, my dad purchased a 1948 English Ford PreFect that had been built in the 60's for racing but was never, ever run.  We outfitted the car with the latest safety equipment and added some high horsepower components as well. Tommy & the Prefect

With me driving and dad tuning the chassis and motor, we promptly went out and whooped-up on the competition pretty good.  This included wins at the Nostalgia Nationals in Fremont and the Irwindale Raceway 10 Year Reunion Race, two of the premier events of that decade in Nostalgia drag racing.

That car was sold and converted to a street machine and is still seeing action some where in the mid-west. You can see an article about this car by clicking here: The Prefect.

During 1998 one project I was involved in was the updating of the Herrera & Sons' 48 Austin A/GAS car owned by Charlie O'Neill and Mike Troke. It was driven by me.  That car was sold to a collector and has been restored to its' original appearance.


Another project was this 33 Willys team car purchased in 1998 from Chuck Finders, updated, and driven by me.  We debuted the car July 31st 1999 at the GoodGuys Hot Rod Happenin' in Pomona.  New car bugs prevented the team from making a full run down the track but the car showed real potential.  This car was sold in 2000 and this freed me up a bit to work on my own 33.


2001 & 2002 saw me helping out with The Orange Crate fuel dragster of Dale Suhr and with Speedy Bob Nevins' 33 Willys and his then new 41 Willys.


Tom Thompson ran a best of 7.29 in his Burgundy Bandit Willys during AA/GS qualifying.  While that number wasn't enough to make the elite 8-car show, Thompson was high enough on the alternate list to replace low qualifier Ed Moss on Sunday.  Thompson was quickly dropped by John Peterson.

My attempt finally came to fruition - to build my own hot rod.   I partnered up with Charlie and we were running it.  We did our best to work the kinks out and during testing of the Bandit I felt the power.  We ran at the CHRR 2004 and did a best with a 7.29 at 187.5.
Photo owned by

photo owned by Dawn Mazi

One of my most recent projects was the restoration of the original Wild Willie funny car for Jim Kipp.  We finished up in November 2006 and Jim hopes to bring the car to events that have "Cacklefests".  Check out the video below to see the car being fired up for the first time.


Jr's Kid

The reason for my alias, Jr's Kid, is, in the past when I've contacted manufacturers to order parts I would say, "Hi, this is Tommy Thompson" and they would say "Who?"  I would reply "Jr's Kid" and they would say "Oh, yeah, how's your dad doin?  What can I do for ya?"  So now I just say "this is Jr's Kid."

To See A Few More Pictures

To See Tommy's Scrapbook

KCAL 96.7 ROCKS - Click Here
The KCAL crew kept everyone entertained in between the intense qualifying happening throughout the day on Saturday at the Pomona Fairplex. (1999)

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