Driver, founder, pioneer
Josie won her first event, the Torrey Pines Ladies Handicap Race, in a Porsche America Roadster in 1952. She went on to become a co-founder of the Women’s Sports Car Club. Though she raced MGs, Allards, Jaguars and Porsches, she was best known for her exploits in a Ferrari 500 Mondial and Ferrari 250 TR. In 1959, von Neumann became the first woman to be licensed by the United States Auto Club to race against men, competing at the Kiwanis Grand Prix at Riverside, where she qualified ahead of Bob Bondurant, Ricardo Rodriguez, and Bill Stroppe. She finished 14th in the race, won by her coach, Richie Ginther. She dominated women’s races, taking overall or class victories 22 times in 42 starts. When von Neumann wasn’t racing, she was either working at Competition Motors or doing timing/scoring for her stepfather, John, or the drivers he sponsored.