Bell Auto Parts

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A Bell Auto Parts catalog for 1949. Photo courtesy of Dan Fisher.
A Bell Auto Parts ad from Motor Trend October 1949.
Art Tremaine's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster of Whittier, California. Art was a member of the Strokers of Whittier car club and his roadster was built in the late 1940s. It featured a polished aluminum hood by Bell Auto Parts.
Bell Auto Parts around 1951. The black roadster in front of the shop is an early version of Wally Parks' 1929 Ford A-V8 Roadster. Photo from the Hot Rod Magazine Blog.[1]
Bell-auto-parts-inside-hot-rod-shop-speed-equipment.jpg
Bell-auto-parts-sticker.jpg

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.[2] 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.[3]


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.[3]


During the depression, George acquired Cragar. Cragar, an almost defunct manufacturer of overhead-valve conversion kits for Model Ts and As.[2]


When Wight passed away in 1945, Roy Richter became owner of Bell.[3]


In 1949 Bell Auto Parts was located at 3633 E. Gage Ave. in Bell, California.[4]


In 2018, early Bell hot rodder Dale Sinner told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that Bell Auto Parts was very popular and guys came from everywhere to buy hot rod parts; " It was not a big store and the store front was probably about 25 feet or so but it was deep. In the back they built hot rod engines and also did some other work."[5]


Employees

E.A. "Roscoe" Turner
George Wight
Jot Horn
Norm Taylor
Roy Richter


Cars Featuring Parts Made By Bell Auto Parts

Dropped Front Axel
Norm Taylor & Jot Horn's 1927 Ford Model-T Roadster - The Airoadster
Kazar Simonian's 1929 Ford Roadster
Sonny Mazza's 1930 Ford Roadster
Buddy Hinman's 1931 Ford Model A Roadster


Hood:
Art Tremaine's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster


Steeringwheel:
Norm Grabowski's 1922 Ford Model T Bucket - "The Lightning Bug"/"The Kookie T"


References


Sources

So-Cal Speed Shop The Fast Tale of the California Racers who Made Hot Rod History



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