On May 19, 2020 Gerda L. Heffley pasted away at the age of 94. Gerda and her husband Gene were the founders of Colorado National Speedway. It was through their love for the sport, their amazing vision and hard work that Colorado National Speedway is here today.
Gerda was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1926. Along with her Mother and sister, Gerda survived WWII and the Nazis invasion. As a young woman living in war torn Frankfurt she was questioned by Nazi Gestapo about her employer’s war time activities. After living through the devastation of 3 separate bombings destroying their apartments, Gerda and her family fled to the countryside until the end of the war.
In the US, Gerda’s husband Gene worked in the trucking industry. While trucking though California, Gene saw a new racing division called Late Models. As the story goes, Gene called Gerda and said they were going to build a track and race Late Models.
It was Gerda who located the 80 acres that Colorado National Speedway stands today! So in 1964 construction began on the ½ mile dirt race track, with its first racing event in 1965.
Over the past 55 years Colorado National Speedway has changed significantly from those first days back in 1965. But one thing has stayed a constant, hundreds of racers and thousands of race fans have enjoyed this amazing sport at Colorado National Speedway. It has all been made possible by two visionaries who had a dream. Thank you Gerda and Gene Heffley.