April 18, 1936 |
Denver, Colorado, United States
|Occupation||Actor and Drag racer|
Tommy Ivo (born April 18, 1936, in Denver, Colorado), also known as "TV Tommy", is an actor and drag racer, who was active in the 1960s racing community. In the late 1950s, Ivo raced a twin (side by side) Nailhead Buick engined dragster which was the first Gasoline Powered dragster to break the nine-second barrier. The car held the Drag News Standard 1320 AA/GD et record at 8.69. The Twin Buick also was the first gas dragster to record speeds of 170, 175 and 180 mph which were Standard 1320 records as well. It was unique in appearance and won numerous races, including NASCAR's first National Drag Race. Later he designed a four-engine, four-wheel-drive dragster he called "The Showboat," but the National Hot Rod Association ruled it the first "exhibition" dragster, and he was unable to race it.
From 1959 to 1961, Ivo appeared as Herbie Bailey, a boyfriend of series character Mary Stone (Shelley Fabares), on the ABC sitcom, The Donna Reed Show. He guest starred in an episode of the syndicated adventure television series, Rescue 8, starring Jim Davis and Lang Jeffries and in two episodes of Leave It To Beaver. He also guest starred on the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Sugarfoot, starring Will Hutchins in the title role, and on the NBC western series, The Tall Man, with Barry Sullivan and Clu Gulager.
In the 1961-1962 season, Ivo played the role of Haywood Botts, boyfriend of the fictitious Margie Clayton, portrayed by Cynthia Pepper, in another ABC sitcom, Margie, set during the decade of the Roaring Twenties.
In 1964, Ivo travelled to England, with Don Garlits, Tony Nancy, Bob Keith, Dante Duce, and other racers to participate in the First International Drag Festival, a six-event series that did much to promote drag racing in the United Kingdom.
- He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2005 for his drag racing career.
- Ranked No.25 on the National Hot Rod Association Top 50 Drivers, 1951-2000.
- Hot Rod, 12/86, p.27.
- No. 25: Tommy Ivo; NHRA; written in 2001; Retrieved March 6, 2008
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