Origin of Deke Slayton's post-mortem flight UL

What is the origin of the alledged flight of Deke Slayton’s Formula 1 racing aircraft six hours after he died?

Oh, MY!

Let me guess - Pancho Barnes had beer and steaks on the grill for the boys when they got back from their flight, right?

I think This site probably give a good overview of how the urban legend came about.

If you read the entire article, it pretty well falls into the kook territory.

Another site I found shows pictures of the plane(scroll down) and somewhat debunks the legend in that the plane only has a large “21” on it’s fuselage, and a “tiny” N21X" on the stabilizer, which would not have been very visible to most observers.

Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I heard the story shortly after Slayton died – i.e., before I ever saw Moon Shot which was many years later. ISTR hearing it on the news (probably KNBC-4LA). So maybe there’s my answer: Someone told the story to the local news and that’s where I (and many others) heard it.

Looking at the photos on your link, the 21 is definitely not the N-number. (Although the N-number is 21X, it’s fery small and on the vertical stab.) I’ve never flown out of SNA as a pilot, but as a passenger it seemed to me that there are many interesting aircraft types there. Speculation: A pilot, possibly a transient, just happened to take off in an aircraft similar to Slayton’s a few hours after Slayton’s death. Either he didn’t know he violated the sound ordinance, or he didn’t want to get dinged for it and kept mum. Or: Someone just made it up and broke it to the news. I’m guessing there’s no way to find out which happened?

Missed the edit window. I found this site, which purports to show an image of the actual violation sent by the airport director to Slayton. Assuming it’s not a fake, it appears that someone violated the curfew and the aircraft was mistakenly identified as Slayton’s. If that’s what happened, interesting timing.

The plane went off to join Saint-Exupery’s P-38 and “the Avro Arrow that got away”.

They found it.

Duke almost missed his opportunity to break the 8AM curfew. He made it by 3 minutes (7:57AM). Good form Duke.