January 27, 2021

Celebrating Wendell Scott: The NASCAR Pioneer

Photo copyright: autoblog.com
Wendell Scott’s story not only tells of a single black American defying the standards of the Jim Crow south, but also of a talented individual who accomplished amazing feats despite of the challenges he faced.

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Carpet Modifications On The Mini

Our trim shop are continuing to work with the 1961 Morris Mini Deluxe. Currently Kath is working to modify the main footwell carpet to allow for the headlight dip switch to sit comfortably in the trim. Kath has had to measure up hole and where it will sit on the carpet.

The Indestructible Toyota

Today we welcomed another new project in that will commence in the coming weeks. This 1996 Toyota HiLux is in need of quite some work and restoration, but no job is too big for us here at Bridge! This Hilux needs a chassis restoration and cab refurbishment. We aim to tackle the buck later down the line.

The HiLux models are incredibly reliable and practical for 4×4 pursuits, whether that be farming, off-roading or trade work. Some may remember a similar HiLux receiving an unforgiving battering on Top Gear, who proceeded to prove just how indestructible these vehicles really are. Craig tells us that he worked with this car during his career at the BBC: “I worked there as part of my placement but you couldn’t get anywhere near the vehicle when on set due to the amount of toxic chemical residue left it.”

Here’s some shots of our indestructible HiLux in its current condition:

A donor car if required…

New shocks on the Lada

Replacing our old shocks with new on the Lada 1200. The existing shocks were so worn and had seized sold. Replacing with new was the best and most cost effective outcome.

Celebrating Wendell Scott: The NASCAR Pioneer

Wendell Scott’s story not only tells of a single black American defying the standards of the Jim Crow south but also of a talented individual who accomplished amazing feats despite the challenges he faced.

Wendell Scott was the first black American full-time competitor in NASCAR history. Wendall was asked to join the team and soon amazed audiences with his brave and audacious driving style. Whilst other drives gained sponsorship, Wendell was left to use the engineering skills he’d gained from his service during the second world war along with the persistence and dedication of his two sons, to help him stay ahead of the game.

In 1963, on the Jacksonville Speedway Park racecourse, Wendell made history as he passed over the finish line in first place in what is now known as the Sprint Cup Series. However, the checkered flag did not drop for him but instead a driver that came in behind him, declaring them the winner. Wendell’s lead was by two laps, a lead hard to ignore. This racially motivated decision was believed to have been made not only due to the segregation and Jim Crow era but also due to not wanting a black man to kiss a white woman, an old tradition where the winner would kiss the local beauty queen. Although Wendell later received his first-place prize money in secret after the event, he was denied the spectacle of winning, podium and trophy.

According to the NASCAR Hall of fame and the Wendell Scott Foundation, Wendell had a 13 year NASCAR career where he finished in the top 10 in 147 races. Due to his fantastic achievements in racing and defying the odds at the time, he’s been included in the Black Athletes Hall of Fame, Jacksonville, Florida Hall of Fame, Danville Register & Bee Hall of Fame, National Sports Hall of Fame, International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame, Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History Hall of Fame, and in 2015 Wendell Oliver Scott was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Wendell Scott passed away in 1990 but his legendary career and achievements are still celebrated to this day. In the ESPN documentary, Wendell Scott: A Race Story, his son Frank Scott says he believes that his father’s mission was to open the doors for others like him to step through.

In 2020, Wendell Scott’s family appealed for the race trophy that he was denied in 1963. In a statement from Wendell’s grandson, Warrick Scott, the family have requested that the trophy be found and sent to the Wendell Scott Foundation and dedicated in memory of Wendell. Warrick told Motor Sport magazine in an interview last year, “The request I’m making is not just about the trophy from ’63, it is about the acknowledgement in the sport in totality, it’s about him receiving the proper recognition within the sport.” NASCAR so far has refused to comment.

Although no other Black American has taken a win in NASCAR’s premier division since Wendell, Bubba Wallace is a race winner in the truck series. Wallace is the only current African American racing in the top series and is at the forefront of those calling to make the sport more inclusive.

New Jobs At Norfolk Lotus

With the launch of Lotus’ new Type 131, the company are investing £100m into its state of the art facilities in Norwich. Along with the major financial investment, Lotus are also opening up 250 new jobs.

With the UK unemployment rate rising to 5% as of the latest ONS (Office Of National Statistics) figures.

CEO, Phil Popham said: “Despite the continuing global challenges, Lotus has emerged from 2020 strong and on track.”

The jobs will be in engineering and manufacturing for Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering, which is due to open in Warwick later this year.

This year also marks the death of the Elise, which began production in 1995. Exige and Evora models are also due to be cut later this year too.

You can view their press release here.