Don “Shiney” Hilbert – Driver

Don "Shiney" HilbertDon “Shiney” Hilbert was seemingly someone who was destined to go fast. Hilbert developed a passion for speed in the 1960’s and having a brother-in-law named Gene Schattschneider also didn’t hurt in fostering his interest in motorsports.

Hilbert started racing in the mid 1960’s, running a 1950 Chevy at the track in Algona. During his racing career, Hilbert raced at tracks in Algona, Denison, Webster City, Cresco, Mason City, Alta and Jackson, MN.

His relationship to Kossuth County Racing Hall of Famer’s run deep. Both Schattschneider and Wayne Meyer helped build his cars and it was Meyer’s expertise that helped jumped start Shiney’s career.

Hilbert was a consistent top five finisher in his career, winning races in Algona, Alta and Webster City. He also had a knack for setting a lot of fast time awards and took many trophy dash wins.

There are many stories that surround a racer’s career and Hilbert’s was no different. Sometimes just getting the car to the speedway was a challenge. On more than one occasion, Hilbert’s car was seen in the back his dump truck, heading to the track.

Shiney HilbertAnother interesting story of the ingenuity used by racers of that era centers around some race tracks allowed engines to run on alcohol and others did not. One night, Hilbert was at a ‘non-alcohol’ track and forgot to bring his gasoline carburetor. The problem was quickly solved when he borrowed the carb off his sister’s 1967 Chevrolet Impala.

Some of his career highlights include racing on the Dayton, IA horse track and competing against many racers that used the 3 two barrel carburetor configuration, while Hilbert used one 2 barrel carburetor running on alcohol. Hilbert finished up in the money that day.

Possibly his biggest win was when he set fast time, won the trophy dash and completed the clean sweep by winning the feature event during the 1967 Hamilton County Fair afternoon race in Webster City, beating the likes of George Barton and Del Stokke.

283 cmopHilbert retired from racing in 1972 to focus on his show cattle business. While Hilbert stepped away from driving, he continued to play an instrumental role and a driving force in his son Greg’s racing career and was very much involved behind the scenes.

He returned to the sport in 1986 when his son Greg started racing. He and Greg shared seat time, alternating weekends racing at the Algona track until mid 1988. A testament to his love of the sport, Hilbert was just as passionate about his son’s racing career, as he was his own.

While Hilbert passed away in 2002, his spirit and passion for racing very much remains alive. His son Greg recently completed a recreation of Shiney’s 1957 Chevrolet convertible race car that is frequently seen in car shows and periodically competes in vintage racing events.