Roy Richter

Roy Richter

Roy Richter (died July 28 1983) was an early auto racer and the creator of Bell Helmets, and Cragar Equipment -- performance and wheels -- all sold through an auto parts company that he owned, Bell Auto Parts.

After graduating from high school in 1933, Richter started to work for George Wight as a pattern maker at Bell Auto Parts in Bell, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. He took up auto racing, driving his friend's Model T. Richter built the Bell Special, a midget racecar he called "Betsy" that was built from parts found in Bell's junkyard. It was the first of many Richter-built racecars and the one he would attempt a short professional auto racing career with. From 1937 to 1941, Richter-built cars won numerous championships, hundreds of races and set countless track records in several racing divisions. Richter sold his car and invested his life savings of $1,000 in purchasing Bell Auto Parts on July 2 1945.

Tragedy struck in 1946 when Roy's long-time friend, 'Swede' Lindskog was killed in a racing accident. It was Roy's second close friend to die while racing. After that incident, he committed himself to building safety and protective products. Bell Helmets was born.

In 1954, under the leadership of Richter, Bell began manufacturing its first helmet — the '500' — in a garage located behind Bell Auto Parts. In 1956, sales were above original projections and the Bell Helmet Company was formed as a division of Bell Auto Parts.

In 1955, Richter and Bell acquired the Cragar brand, later introducing the Cragar Equipment Company, today called Cragar Industries.

In 1964, under his Cragar company brand, Richter introduced the Cragar "S/S" Super Sport wheel, the most popular aftermarket and muscle car wheel ever made. It has since been used on thousands of cars, from show-quality custom hot rods to daily-driver classics.

In 1973, Richter was inducted into the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Hall of Fame. When he retired in 1978, the 63-year-old was presented with a Yamaha trials bike by his employees. Richter died on July 28 1983.

Richter Hall at California Lutheran University is named in his honor.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Richter — can refer to the Richter magnitude scale, a scale measuring the strength of earthquakes. Richter is also a surname:* Adrian Ludwig Richter, 19th century German artist * Aemilius Ludwig Richter, 19th century German jurist * Albert Richter (1912… …   Wikipedia

  • Roy Bean — Saloon von Roy Bean …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roy E. Ayers — Roy Elmer Ayers (* 9. November 1882 bei Lewistown, Fergus County, Montana; † 23. Mai 1955 in Lewistown, Montana) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker und von 1937 bis 1941 der elfte Gouverneur des Bundesstaates Montana …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roy Elmer Ayers — (* 9. November 1882 bei Lewistown, Montana; † 23. Mai 1955 ebenda) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker und von 1937 bis 1941 der 11. Gouverneur von Montana. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Frühe Jahre 2 Gouverneur von Montana …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roy Marcus Cohn — Roy Cohn Roy Marcus Cohn (* 20. Februar 1927 in New York City; † 2. August 1986 in Bethesda (Maryland)) war ein US amerikanischer Rechtsanwalt und Autor, der während der McCarthy Ära Prominenz und politische Macht erlangte. Durch seine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roy L. Pearson, Jr. — Roy L. Pearson, Jr. (* 1949) ist ein amerikanischer Jurist, der dadurch Bekanntheit erlangte, dass er einen kleinen Reinigungsdienst zunächst auf $ 67.292.000, später reduziert auf $54.000.000 Strafschadenersatz verklagte mit der Begründung,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roy Cohn — Roy Cohn. Aufnahme aus dem Jahr 1964 Roy Marcus Cohn (* 20. Februar 1927 in New York, New York; † 2. August 1986 in Bethesda, Maryland) war ein amerikanischer Jurist, der während der McCarthy Ära zu Bekanntheit und Macht ka …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roy Bourgeois — (* 1938 in Lutcher, Louisiana, USA) ist ein römisch katholischer Priester, Friedensaktivist und Gründer der School of the Americas Watch. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Auszeichnungen 3 Literatur …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roy Clements — (* 1946 in London) ist ein britischer Autor, christlicher Theologe und ehemaliger Pastor. Clements gehörte in den 80er und 90er Jahren des 20. Jahrhunderts zu den führenden Personen der evangelikalen Bewegung in Großbritannien, bis er 1999 sein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roy Hord Jr. — Roy Hord Jr. (born December 25, 1934 died October 24, 2002) was a graduate of Duke University and went on to play as an Outside Guard with the Los Angeles Rams football team from 1960 to 1962, Mid season with the Rams he was traded to the… …   Wikipedia