VILLERS HISTORY OF RACING – A TRIBUTE TO JIM, EDIE AND MIKE VILLERS, FOUNDERS OF VILLERS ENTERPRISES.
One of Mike’s dealers Dave Hansen from Racine, Wisconsin raced Supervee’s using a Bertels air cooled motor. Dave raced in the SCCA throughout the region as a hobby. Mike met Dave at a trade show in Racine, Wisconsin. Dave originally inquired about AMSOIL 75-90 gear lube for his differential in the Supervee. Dave by profession is an engineer. Dave was impressed how the gear lube gave him more power to the track. Dave invited Mike to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin to begin seeing first hand what racing was all about in the SCCA. Mike handed out literature at the race track that was made by Villers Enterprises and approved by AMSOIL for distribution. Mike generated a lot of interest in the early days. Dave came over to Jim and Edie’s home one time and suggested that we contact a Dave Watson who was an up and coming stock car driver from the Milton, Wisconsin area.
Villers Enterprises continued to advertise in the local newspapers and found out about advertising in the race program for the Milwaukee Mile Race track. This allowed Jim, Edie and Mike to get paddock passes to the pit area.
At an Indy car race at the Milwaukee Mile, Jim and Mike Villers were displaying AMSOIL products in the pit area. Mike Villers was speaking to a gentleman who had stopped by to visit to learn more about the many benefits of AMSOIL products. His name is Harold Hollenagel. Thanks to Harold after hearing Mike discuss the benefits of AMSOIL. Harold suggested to Mike that he follow-up with a childhood friend. Harold wrote the name and address and suggested to Mike that he write a letter using his name as an introduction. Mike looked at the piece of paper and his mouth dropped to the ground. Mike said, ” Wow you know Bobby Unser”? Harold said yes, “Bobby and I go way back. We are childhood friends. When Bobby is in town our families always get together at the race track”. Mike then handed the information over to (Dad) Jim Villers. The rest is history. Here is the result of the relationship how Bobby Unser, Villers Enterprises and AMSOIL began. Jim and Edie Villers introduced Bobby to the high performance world of AMSOIL synthetic lubricants. For approximately 7 years Jim and Edie, AMSOIL and Bobby Unser developed a quiet long term relationship.
Another stock car race at the Milwaukee Mile, Dave Watson stopped by the AMSOIL van to see if he could get some AMSOIL Synthetic Gear Lube. Jim gave Dave Watson a 2.5 gallon container to fill his gear boxes up before the race. Jim afterwards went up to the grand stands to watch the race when an announcement came over the public address system. Would Jim Villers from AMSOIL come down to car #37 in the pit area? Jim heard the announcement and walked down to see what Dave Watson needed. Dave asked Jim if he wanted to place a couple of AMSOIL stickers on his car before the race started. The relationship was just getting started.
Later the following week or so Jim contacted Dave Watson by phone to discuss sponsorship. Dave was under the impression originally that Jim was going to sponsor Dave in his racing efforts. Dave, Gladys and his crew Chief met with Jim, Edie and Mike. After the meeting Dave Watson was sponsored, but not for racing. Dave became an AMSOIL Dealer and was sponsored by Jim and Edie Villers. That began another long term relationship for Villers Enterprises and Dave and Gladys Watson. Through coordination with AMSOIL Corporation and Jim Villers, Dave got his sponsorship from AMSOIL. In fact, it helped Dave catapult his racing career. One of the racing events that AMSOIL sponsored was at the Milwaukee Mile. Dave went on to become rookie of the year.
Villers Enterprises during the late 70’s and early 80’s introduced and helped sponsor 12 race teams.
From Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser, AL Unser Jr., who was racing Can Am at the time, Dave Watson, ASA rookie of the year, Olav Aaen snowmobile racing legend to Dick Rutan Experimental Air Craft designer who developed a race plane Dan Mortenson flew for AMSOIL. Other teams included many SCCA enthusiasts to a Formula 2 racer and automotive engineer.
Due to the pioneering spirit of Jim Edie and Mike Villers they led the way to introducing AMSOIL synthetic lubricants to racing legends in America.