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Bring Home a Taste of Racing Americana.Racing Memorabilia and collectibles from Joie Chitwood Brings home a taste of Americana: Tether Race Cars, Scale Model Race Cars, Joie Chitwood’s Auto Thrill Show Collectibles, Racing Memorabilia & collectibles. Your Satisfaction is Our Goal. Always FREE Shipping & Insurance.
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CHITWOOD FAMILY : 80 YEARS IN MOTORSPORTS
George “Joie” Chitwood built a race car in 1934 when he was working in a welding shop in Topeka, Kansas. Fresh out of the Navy, where he had learned to weld, the car was for a customer but a project he loved. Several weeks after the car was finished the regular driver did not show up. The owner of the car asked if he wanted to try driving it. As a 22 year old, he won his first race at a dirt track in Winfield, Kansas. After a couple of years living in St Joe, Missouri he honed his skill and a race promoter dubbed him “Joe” Chitwood when he misread the entry list, and the name stuck.
In 1939, after winning several more dirt track Championships in the East and Midwest, Joie was able to pass his rigorous drivers test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He did not participate his first Indy 500 until 1940. He started in 26th and was able to finish a respectable 15th.
In 1941 he was the first driver to wear a seat belt in the 500. In total he drove in 7 Indy 500 races 1940-1950 less 3 years off for WW2. Joie finished in the top 5 three times. During the war years gas and tires were rationed for the war effort and racing was banned. In the late 30’s and early 40’s Joie became friends with the first great American auto stunt driver, Lucky Teter. Unfortunately Lucky was killed on July 4, 1942 while attempting a World record 170 foot ramp to ramp jump….FINISH THE STORY
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
- Evel Knievel credits Joie Chitwood for inspiring him to become a stunt rider after seeing the Chitwood Auto Thrill in his home town of Butte, Montana in the 50’s.
- Joie Chitwood was the first driver to wear a seat belt at the Indy 500 in the 1941 race.
- Joie Chitwood was inducted into Tampa Bay Walk of Fame in 1990.
- Chitwood’s holds the World Record for driving 5.9 mi on only 2 wheels (American car , May 13, 1978)