George Wight

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In 1923, George Wight opened an auto parts yard on Gage Avenue in Bell, California. The shop was a combination of salvage yard and machine shop, and it catered to the race crowd in the early days of dry lakes racing. George began removing speed equipment from the junkers he bought. George sold the speed equipment separately under what eventually became Bell Auto Parts.[1] Bell Auto Parts is one of the first, if not the first, speed shop in the United States. It didn't take long before Bell Auto Parts became the center of racing and rodding activities for the greater Los Angeles area.[2]


In 1931 George was the driving force behind one of the first known organized amateur speed trials that was held at Muroc. George realized that something had to be done to coordinate the haphazard dry lakes meets. He got Gilmore Oil Company to sponsor the speed trials if the hot rodders could come to an agreement regarding rules and regulations. Early in 1931 Wight sent letters to rodders in the area inviting them to an organizational meeting to be held in East Los Angeles. The rules that were made were fairly simple in the beginning. In the interest of fairness, classes were established according to engine type: Model T flatheads, Model T Rajos, Model T Frontenacs and Chevrolets, Model A flatheads, and Model A overhead valve conversions. Supercharged cars were not allowed to compete. The first organized meet was held March 25, and the second was held April 19, 1931.[2]


In 1933 Wight hired Roy Richter and E.A. "Roscoe" Turner at Bell Auto shop. The same year they built their first midget race cars, which they campaigned successfully in the U.S. and Australia.[2]


During the depression, George acquired Cragar. Cragar, an almost defunct manufacturer of overhead-valve conversion kits for Model Ts and As.[1]


References




 

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