Our Blog 2/2023

San Diego model Raquel Tejada, later better known as Raquel Welch
San Diego model Raquel Tejada, better known as Raquel Welch, is pictured in 1958 with Don Cameron, the 1956 United Racing Association champion. Photo Courtesy of Johnny McDonald

Don Cameron receives his just desserts from local beauty Jo Raquel Tajada after winning a West Coast Midget race at Pamona in 1959.

Little did I know when I posted this just two days ago that she would pass away today (15th February 2023). RIP Raquel Welch.

13-Feb-23 historicracing.com

Don had won the regional Midget championship just a few years earlier, and was considered a major player in local Californian racing circles

But while it was always a pleasure to receive a congratulatory kiss from a pretty girl, it really didn’t matter very much what her name was. For the 19 year old, half-Bolivian from San Diego though, working as a Trophy Girl in the evenings was for her, as it was for many others like her, just an easy way of earning a few pennies while she worked at her real ambition of becoming a Hollywood movie star.

Later the same year she married her high school sweetheart James Welch and, after adopting his surname as her own, her dreams came true and her career took off in no uncertain terms. For Raquel Welch became not only a major Holywood star but helped transform America's feminine ideal into its current state. Welch once famously said, "What I do on the screen is not to be equated with what I do in my private life. Privately, I am understated and dislike any hoopla". She also admitted, "I was not brought up to be a sex symbol, nor is it in my nature to be one. The fact that I became one is probably the loveliest, most glamorous and fortunate misunderstanding".