A Colorado native, Joe Umphenour became involved with building straight-line Chevy engines in 1952, which led him to help form the Chevruns of Denver Car Club that same year. In 1961, Umphenour built and drove an in-line GMC-powered Chevy Coupe and then moved up to the dragster class. He tied a national speed record in 1967 with a top fuel dragster, retiring from drag racing in 1968. His purchase of a 1956 Chevy Nomad Wagon, led him to become a charter member of the Mile-High Nomad Club in 1968 and he is a member to this day. In 1970 he organized the National Nomad Club and was its president from 1972 until 1988. During this period of time he co-authored two automotive books and two videos. He was also a charter member of the In-Liners National Organization formed in 1981 and continues to write a column for their bi-monthly publication.
Joe passed away in 2010.