Friday 15th June 2007
Race car owner and race promoter Samuel William Traylor III, (79), died at his home. He graduated from Oxford Academy in Pleasantville, New Jersey, in 1945, and then attended Washington Jefferson College in Washington, PA, before entering the U.S. Army, from which he was honourably discharged. Sam then began a varied professional career, working at the Cement Gun Factory and Traylor Engineering in Allentown, serving as the hotel manager in his family’s Hotel Traylor in Allentown, and owning and operating his own car dealership. In the early 1950s, Sam became one of the youngest race car owners in the country and the most successful race car owner on the East Coast from 1952-1958, winning several championships in both AAA and U.S. Auto Club. Traylor cars were driven by many Indianapolis 500 stars. Eddie Sachs, Johnny Thomson, Jimmy Bryan, Bill Holland and Wally Campbell were but a few of them. Sam also promoted several racing events at the greater Allentown Fair. He was highly respected in the American auto racing fraternity and in 2002, was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. In his retirement in Florida, Sam enjoyed trap and pistol shooting and was a supportive and long-time member of the Port Malabar Gun Club. Sam and his father funded the building of the Traylor Research Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and have continued to contribute generously to this facility.