Justice Brothers

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Justice Brothers, Inc.
automotive
Industry automotive
Headquarters Duarte, California USA
Key people
Ed Justice, Jr.
Products oil
Slogan America's Brand for Quality!(TM)
Website www.justicebrothers.com

Edward Ray Justice, Sr. (born June 12, 1921 in Paola, Kansas)

Lawrence Milton "Zeke" Justice (born March 12, 1920 in Paola, Kansas)

James Russell "Gus" Justice (born July 16, 1916 in Paola, Kansas)

The Justice Brothers[1][2]—Ed,[3] Gus[3] and Zeke[3]—were figures in motorsports and the oil additive industry. They were the founders of Justice Brothers, Inc., a worldwide manufacturer of Car Care Products.

Youth - Paola, Kansas[edit]

The Justice Brothers were associated with cars and speed since the earliest years of their life. Growing up in Paola, Kansas, they started driving before they were teenagers. Their dad, Harry Milton Justice was an auctioneer in the Horse and Mule market. He would also auction farms and other large ticket possessions. Their mother, Anna Rule Justice was the more mechanically minded of their parents and where the boys were influenced with mechanics. They had three older sisters; Elma, Alberta and Marie. The first time the brothers did business together was when Ed and Zeke started a bike rental business at their home. The hung a sign on the tree in front of their house, "Justice Brothers Bike Rentals". They had bought old bikes, some broken down and repaired and repainted them before putting them in their rental fleet.

Two of the three brothers were involved in serious auto accidents in their youth. Gus was thrown from his Chevrolet after hitting another car that had pulled into a farm road intersection illegally. He was permanently paralyzed from this accident. Gus had to leave college due to his injuries. Zeke was involved in an auto accident with a truck in which one of the occupants of the car was killed.

Gus bought a Cafe in Paola with the money that the townspeople had donated after his accident. Both Zeke and Ed worked at the Cafe for Gus. Ed would apply to and be accepted by Fry Aircraft School in Kansas City, Kansas. Zeke went to work at Western Auto in Kansas City.

Pre War, Early years - California[edit]

The lure of the car crazy culture of Southern California called and Ed Justice, Sr. responded by driving out on the famed Route 66 to his new home. The trip was paid for by his three passengers who paid $25 each and were allowed to bring anything that fit in a peck sack. Ed was able to convince his brother Zeke to leave his job at Western Auto in Kansas City by getting him a job with the legendary multi-millionaire Joel Thorne as part of his race shop fabrication crew. Thorne and his crew won the 1946 Indy 500 with George Robson as his driver. During his time there, Zeke met a young Frank Kurtis who had a rented space in the Thorne shop. Zeke would later become Frank's first employee when he formed Kurtis-Kraft after World War II. During his time at Thorne Engineering[4] in Burbank, California, Zeke worked on a variety projects including the occasional side projects. Two interesting side projects were the modification of a car for a young Bill Pollack and the development of a three-wheel car under Frank Kurtis. Bill Pollack would later win the first grand prix at Pebble Beach in 1951. Bill also designed the road racecourse in Southern California known as Willow Springs. The three wheel car was sold to Gary Davis and became known as the Davis Motor Car Three Wheel, appearing on the cover of the August 1950 issue of MOTOR TREND magazine.

War years[edit]

Ed enlisted into the Army Air Corps during the beginning of World War II and served in the eighth airforce in Europe. Zeke suffered from Polio and was unable to serve in the military. He continued to work for Joel Thorne, whose shop was now making aircraft parts for the war effort. Gus Justice had been paralyzed in an automobile accident in Kansas at the age of 21 and was unable to serve in the military in World War II.

Post World War II years[edit]

After the war Ed joined Zeke at Kurtis-Kraft where they helped build many of the now legendary Kurtis-Kraft midget, Indy cars, and sports cars. During their time at Kurtis-Kraft, Ed and Zeke opened a separate shop in Glendale, California where they would do race car fabrication and repair. This was filling the need caused by the tremendous demand at the time and also Kurtis-Kraft's lack of time to address repairs due to the production of new cars. Kurtis-Kraft midgets were available in completed form or also in "kit" form. The Justice Brothers were hired by many to build "kit" cars for them, including Bill Vukovich, Loren Bennett, Jack Zimmermann and others. While at Kurtis-Kraft, Ed and Zeke installed the first Dzus fasteners on a race car while Frank was out of town on business. At first Frank was not happy with their change to his design, but later realize the benefit of using Dzus fasteners. The idea came from Ed's training as an aircraft mechanic. Ed had worked at Douglas Aircraft Flight Test in Santa Monica, California before the war and was an A&E. The first race car with Dzus fasteners was "Bullet" Joe Garson's Kurtis-Kraft midget sponsored by Bowes Seal Fast.

It was during their time at Kurtis-Kraft that Zeke met Chestein Wynn, a retired attorney who had received a formula from his son Clarence for an oil additive. The product grabbed Zeke's interest which caused him to share it with his brother Ed. They both were convinced that their future would be bright selling a product that no one had heard of on the opposite coast from where it was being made. Selling a midget that they built, they took the $2,500 profit and moved to Jacksonville, Florida. At the time they moved, Ed's wife was six months pregnant with their first child. Their distribution territory was Florida, Georgia and Cuba.

Current[edit]

The company is led currently by Ed Justice, Jr. who was also the host of ROAD & TRACK SPEED radio a nationally syndicated radio show. Ed is currently on THE DRIVE radio. In 2014, the Justice Brothers celebrated their 69th year of participation in the Indianapolis 500. In recent years Justice Brothers were sponsors of PJ Jones, son of the 1963 winner Parnelli Jones, Greg Ray, front row qualifier in 1998, Jeff Ward, 2nd place finisher in 1999 and Eddie Cheever 5th place finisher in 2000. They are also sponsor of numerous teams throughout all forms of motor sport around the world. They claimed victory in the 2003 and 2004 24 Hours of LeMans as sponsors of the Petersen Motorsports Porsche.

The Justice Brothers eventually found their way back to California where the company in headquartered today. A collection of racing vehicles and classic cars is housed in a building next to the companies’ world headquarters in Duarte, California.[5] Justice Brothers, Inc. continues to manufacturer and distribute their line of Car Care Products, Fleet, Farm, and Industrial Lubricants and Cleaners. The products are sold around the world by independent distributors.

Famous employees and business associates[edit]

  • Johnnie Parsons - 1950 Indy 500 winner
  • Roger Ward - 2 time Indy 500 winner[5]
  • Duane Carter, Sr. - Indy and Champ Car driver
  • Bob Bondurant - 1965 World Manufacturers Champion
  • Benny Parsons - Daytona 500 winner & NASCAR Cup Champion
  • Steve Bovan - Early Funny Car competitor
  • Dick Harding - Driver & Owner of the BackUp PickUp Wheelstander
  • Johnny Thompson - Early NASCAR competitor, Jacksonville Speedway Track Champion
  • Nelson Carter - Funny Car driver and owner
  • Cotton Farmer - Midget, Sprint and Indy 500 driver
  • Allen Heath - Midget driver
  • Friday Shackleford - Midget driver

Notable sponsorships[edit]

  • Johnnie Parsons/Frank Kurtis - 1950 Indianapolis 500 - Winner[5]
  • Jim Rathmann/Grantelli Brothers - 1952 Indianapolis 500 - 2nd Place[5]
  • Johnny Mantz - 1950 Southern 500 - Winner
  • Don Garlits - Legendary Drag Racer - First Sponsor[5]
  • A.J. Foyt - 4 Time Indianapolis 500 - Winner
  • Gary Beck/Larry Minor - 1983 NHRA Champion
  • Lee Petty - Early NASCAR competitor
  • Curtis Turner - NASCAR Legend
  • Fireball Roberts - NASCAR Legend
  • Richard Petty - NASCAR Legend
  • Rex White - NASCAR Legend
  • Buck Baker - Early NASCAR competitor
  • Connie Kalitta - Drag Racing Legend
  • Don Prudhomme - Drag Racing Legend
  • Jimmie Johnson - NASCAR Champion
  • Alex Gurney - Formula Atlantic competitor

In media[edit]

  • Rock and Roll star Sammy Hagar founded an early band called the Justice Brothers after seeing a Justice Brothers delivery van in the California beach area. He also worked at an auto parts store and had sold the product.
  • Justice Brothers products appeared in the movie GREASE
  • Actor Christian Bale wore a Justice Brothers T-shirt in the movie The Machinist. Some fans of the film think it had an underlying message to the film. [1]
  • Actor Matthew McConaughey wore a Justice Brothers drivers uniform in the movie EDtv.

Death[edit]

James “Gus” Justice died of stomach cancer in 1983. Lawrence “Zeke” Justice died of prostate cancer on August 9, 2001. Ed Justice, Sr. died of heart failure on August 30, 2008.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Ed Justice - Recipient of the Walt & Dottie James Award for support of Open Wheel Racing
  • Ed Justice, Zeke Justice & Ed Justice, Jr. - Admitted into the Indianapolis 500 Oldtimers Club
  • The Justice Brothers - 1999 Western Racing Association Honorees [2]
  • The Justice Brothers - Inducted into the Route 66 Hall of Fame [3]
  • The Justice Brothers - Inducted into the Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame [4]
  • The Justice Brothers - Inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame [5]
  • Honorary Members of the Cal Rods Hot Rod Club

[edit]

  • The most common logo that is tied with the Justice Brothers is a banner that surrounds a small race track, with Justice Brothers on where the stands would be. On both sides of the stands are the American flag on the left and a checkered flag on the right. It has been noted that the way the flags are shown are considered to be "happy flags." Finally on the background there are streaks of yellow on the outside, white in the center with a red star, and a red streak between the top white and yellow and a blue streak between the bottom white and yellow.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Justice Brothers information". directory.pten.com. September 3, 2008. Retrieved September 24, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Justice Brothers, Inc.". findarticles.com. March 1997. Retrieved September 24, 2008. Justice Brothers Car Care Products, Inc., a company that specializes in high-quality car care products engineered to prolong the life of vehicles, enhance their performance and at the same time increase fuel economy, has found a home in the export market. 
  3. ^ a b c Leigh Buchanan (November 1, 2008). "Legacy: Ed Justice, Sr. 1921-2008". INC.com. Retrieved September 21, 2008. For 60 years, racecars at Baja, Daytona and Indianapolis have roared across the finish line with Justice Brothers logos on their sides and Justice Brothers products under their hoods. 
  4. ^ Mark Vaughn (September 2, 2008). "Ed Justice, Sr dies at 87". AUTOWEEK.com. Retrieved September 22, 2008. Ed worked for Douglas Aircraft and Zeke for Joel Thorne racing fabrication shop. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Vaughn, Mark (March 17–31, 2014). "Born For This". Autoweek 64 (7): 21. 

External links[edit]