Archive for April 30, 2016

Martin "Tope" Phillip (on the right) working alongside Jerry Govert in 1968 at the Nichels Engineering "Go-Fast Factory" in Griffith, Indiana

Martin “Tope” Phillip working alongside Jerry Govert in 1968 at the Nichels Engineering “Go-Fast Factory” in Griffith, Indiana


Martin “Tope” Phillips, 82 years of age passed away peacefully April 29, 2016.

“Tope” as he was known by all, was born in Griffith, Indiana to loving parents James William & Genevieve Phillips. Working at the salvage business his father started, he became mechanically inclined at a young age.

In the 1960’s through the early 1970’s Tope worked for Nichels Engineering in Griffith, Indiana. Nichels was Chrysler’s factory-backed NASCAR race division exclusive supplier of racecars, parts, and engines for all Chrysler race teams. He worked as a chassis fabricator at the one of the most well respected racecar construction operations in Ameria and was a member of several race winning pit crews as a gas man for the cars during NASCAR and USAC races. He was a crew member on several cars driven by current and future NASCAR and USAC Hall of Fame drivers.

After moving to Cocoa Beach in the late 1970’s Tope established a mobile auto repair business that he operated for 25 years. Tope then turned his efforts to community service. A very involved member of the Elks for 30+ years and an officer. He was the founder of the Space Coast Little League ongoing Annual Golf Tournament for 17 years.

A friend and mentor to many in the community as well as local city organizations. Tope was presented a key to the city in 2010, honored for his dedication to the city and youth programs. Tope was a follower of the Catholic faith and worshiped at Our Saviour’s Catholic Church. He is survived by 5 children, 4 grandchildren, and significant other, Jan Mulberry. Two daughters, Joanne (Artie) Olcott of Cocoa Beach and Julie Kabboord. Three sons, James Phillips of Cocoa Beach, Gene (Barbara) Phillips of Concord, NC and Marty (Tia) Phillips of Lighthouse Point, FL. Grandchildren Ashley (Craig) Tennyson, Marty Phillips, Rachel Kabboord, and Keith Phillips. He was proceeded in death by his loving wife of 53 years, Gloria “Glo” Phillips.

A visitation will be held at Beckman Williamson Funeral Home in Cocoa Beach on Thursday May 5th from 5-7pm. A mass will be held at Our Saviour’s Catholic Church on Friday May 6th at 10am. Family and friends are welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cocoa Beach Elks Lodge 2387 or to Our Saviour’s Catholic School. You may sign Tope’s guestbook at


Martin “Tope” Phillps, along with Jerry Govert and Minnie Joyce was a mainstay at the Nichels Engineering “Go-Fast Factory”