Elfrieda Mais LaPlante, Airplane Wing Walker and Stunt Driver

(June 19, 1893-September 27, 1934)

Born in Indianapolis in 1893, Elfrieda was already working as an airplane stunt woman and wing walker by 1910. In 1912, she switched to driving race cars, but because sanctioning bodies didn’t allow women to compete against men, she was mostly limited to performing stunts and racing against the clock.

She billed herself as Elfrieda Mais, the name of her first husband and fellow race car driver, Johnny Mais. Unfortunately, she met her end while performing a stunt she had become well-known for — driving her car through a blazing wall of fire at the Alabama State Fair in 1934. See photos and video of her career here. Find more biographical information here.

Location: Section 70, Lot 1472; GPS (39.8243278,-86.1800335)

Elfrieda Mais LaPlante is #56 on our Racing Legends self-guided tour.