View Full Version : RIP Studebaker Videographer Don Shannon III

04-01-2011, 04:01 PM
The success of SDCer Ron Hall's Bonneville effort to achieve 200 MPH was due in no small part to the video efforts of the now-late Don Shannon of Televent Productions.

Don was one of those "behind the scenes" SDCers who did much of the video work that brought Ron Hall's far-away Bonneville adventures into the homes of thousands of SDCers and assorted supporters, through the excellent videography with which Don documented Ron Hall and The Bonneville Avanti Team.

Most of the extant Ron Hall Bonneville videos we enjoy today were produced by Studebaker enthusiast Don Shannon. Ron always operated on a shoestring and relied on the sale of videos, sweatshirts, and all manner of good will items to keep the flame lit until he became the first man to drive a Studebaker-powered Studebaker over 200 MPH at Bonneville: 200.426 MPH on September 22, 1993, to be exact.

It will take a moment to copy it, but I want to give everyone the opportunity to read what Don Shannon said about Ron Hall in the Ron Hall Remembered Turning Wheels (May 1996).

Here are Don's words about his friend Ron Hall from that issue:

I wouldn't say that Ron Hall had much of an impact on those around him; no, not much! In April 1992, a tall, bearded man rolls into my father-in-law's driveway to say to me, "Wow, that's a sweet '62 GT!" Five months later, I'm standing in the Utah desert with thousands of dollars worth of video gear, taping this white streak shooting down the Salt Flats. And three months after that, I'm loading hundreds of cartons of back issues of Turning Wheels into my basement! No, life was never dull with Ron Hall, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I will miss the phone calls at 11PM to discuss the tape sale plan for the next month, or to tell me he talked to so-and-so who loved his tape. Nothing in my career has given me more pleasure than working with Ron and the team on the Bonneville videos, and I can take comfort in knowing I can relive those great times through his tapes.

In the short time I had the pleasure of calling him my friend, he indeed made quite an impact on my life. An impact that made my life and the lives of those around him much greater. He will be missed. In closing, I have just one question, "How can someone who always went so fast always arrive so late?" DS

(That question refers to Ron Hall's chronic habit of being late for everything. IIRC, he was even late for his own wedding!)

RIP, Don; your big contribution to Studebakering will live on as long as there is an antique VCR somewhere to play your many tapes.

(Don's obituary may be found among the Obituaries on this funeral home's website.) BP


Bob Andrews
04-01-2011, 04:10 PM
Wow, I wonder what became of the 'hundreds of cartons' of TWs?


Studebaker Wheel
04-01-2011, 06:42 PM
Wow, I wonder what became of the 'hundreds of cartons' of TWs?


Bob Kapteyn at Joliet Studebaker has most of them.

I had known Don Shannon for over 20 years. He took a lot of my original Studebaker 16mm films and made VHS tapes and later DVDs. Many, if not most, of the recordings sold thru Studebaker International were made by Don. He and John Shanahan also collaborated on more than a few projects relevant to the 1928-29 President record runs as well as the Indy 500. Don was a great guy and his passing comes as a real shock.

04-01-2011, 08:41 PM
I had known Don Shannon for over 20 years. Don was a great guy and his passing comes as a real shock.

Yes, Dick; only 62 years old, per the obit. Do you know what claimed him? BP