17/6/1923 - 5/11/1993
With over 500 race wins, Wild Bill Wiltse was one of the most successful and versatile drivers in 1940's and 50's. Bill Wiltse died 29 years ago, he was 70 , He would have been 99.
Bill Wiltse was from of Grand Rapids, Mitchigan. He started racing open top roadsters in the 1940's and was soon winning feature races.
He raced on the dirt tracks as well as paved circuits in every type of car including roadsters, midgets, jalopies, stock cars, supermodifieds, and sprint cars. What was special about Wiltse was that he could win in any car on any track.
His fellow drivers called him "Mr. Smooth". They watched which line he took and then followed his lead, he was the yardstick by which other drivers guaged themselves. If you could stay with Wiltse then you were doing alright.
Racing throughout Michigan, Bill also raced in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. One of his biggest successes came in Canada at the Warwick Speedway in the middle '50's when he won a brand new car for winning the most features. Other season point championships were won at the Grand Rapids Speedrome, and Whiskey Ridge near Muskegon. When the Berlin track opened in 1951, he went and raced there and continued through 1959, winning the 1952 mid-season championship and the 1959 Michigan state championship race.