The Gear Grinders Car Club Story

Over 80 years of comradery, racing and good times

Prior to joining the SCTA, the Gear Grinders of Bell were an established car club located in Bell, a small town southeast of Los Angeles. Although not a SCTA founding club of 1938, the Grinders join the association in 1940 and have been one of the top clubs since. Prior to the club joining the SCTA,  Gear Grinders raced in events ran by the Muroc Racing Association, the Russetta Timing Association, and at Harper and El Mirage dry lakes. Early racing was a side-by-side contest with the winner crossing the finish line first.

We will be expanding this section with a decade-by-decade photo and and key events, people, fastest times, successes and involvement with the SCTA.

ESTABLISHED IN 1936
RACING
When going slow is not an option.
RACING IS JUST THE BEGINNING
We are a club first but racing is in our blood
2017 is the year of the Gear Grinders. Hard racing, a handful of new records, and steady member participation captured the Southern California Timing Association’s (SCTA) No. 1 Club Points Championship. The Gear Grinders are a family oriented racing club with many record holders that are second or third generation racers. One of the largest SCTA member clubs, Gear Grinder members currently hold XXX records both at El Mirage Dry Lake, The Mojave Mile, Muroc Dry Lake, and the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats. The Gear Grinder is also proud of the large number of motorcyclists members earning SCTA records and points.

 

Become a SCTA member with the Gear Grinders
The Gear Grinders car club meets on the first Thursday of every month;
Meeting place to be determined.

Dad Millers Golf Course
Meetings begin at 7:00pm
(Food and beverages are available)
Come be a part of 70+ years of rich tradition and history with the SCTA.
We welcome both cars and motorcycles.
Guests and prospective members are always welcome to attend, no charge. Families welcome.
Contact Dan Chilson at (951) 757-7692 (cell) or danc@classicdist.com

JOIN THE GEAR GRINDERS CAR CLUB
Reference:
Document Click on file link to view, download, or print.
Historical Roster Gear Grinders Historical Roster 082021
Document Click on file link to view, download, or print.
Club Chronology Club Chronology
Gear Grinders Car Club History
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

THE GEAR GRINDERS WERE FOUNDED IN THE MID-30’S. JIM LINDSLEY AND SEVERAL OTHER HOT RODDERS DECIDED TO FORM A CLUB.  A MEETING WAS CALLED AND THE GEAR GRINDERS OF BELL WAS FOUNDED.  NOT SURE HOW MANY WERE IN THE CLUB AT FIRST BUT THE NUMBERS GREW IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS.

CLUB MEMBERS WERE GOING TO THE DRYLAKES AND RUNNING THEIR CARS. RACING AT THE LAKES WAS A CHALLENGE AS THERE WERE ONLY A FEW RULES AND BASICALLY NO SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CARS. IN 1940 THEY JOINED THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TIMING ASSOCIATION (SCTA). 

THERE WERE THREE DRYLAKES THAT THEY RAN ON IN THE 1940’S INCLUDING HARPER, MUROC AND EL MIRAGE. DURING WW II, THE MILITARY TOOK OVER MANY OF THE LAKEBED FOR EMERGENY LANDSTRIPS. EL MIRAGE WOULD BE THE SOLE DRY LAKE AVILABLE FOR RACING AND CONTINUES TO BE TODAY. 

IN THE EARLY DAYS ONLY ROADSTERS WERE ALLOWED IN SCTA, COUPES & SEDANS WOULD EVENTUALLY BE ALLOWED AFTER WORLD WAR II.  AND MOTORCYCLES SEVERAL YEARS LATER.  EARLY CLASSES WERE LIMITED TO ROADSTERS, MODIFIED ROADSTERS, LAKESTERS AND STREAMLINERS.

AS THE SPORT GREW, THERE WAS THE NEED FOR A BETTER RACE COURSE, SO SCTA WENT TO SALT LAKE AND AFTER MUCH TALKING  BETWEEN THE STATE OF UTAH AND THE RACERS THEY CAME TO THE AGREEMENT TO USE THE BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS FOR ONE EVENT IN 1949. THE EVENT WAS SUCH A SUCCESS THAT TO THIS DAY THE BONNEVILLE NATIONALS SPEED WEEK HAS BECOME THE EVENT THAT EVERYONE WANTS TO RUN.

OVER THE YEARS THE GEAR GRINDERS CLUB MEMBERS HAVE BEEN KEY PLAYERS IN BOTH THE SCTA AND THE BONNEVILLE NATIONALS, INC. (BNI). THIS INCLUDES CLUB MEMBER PARTICIPATION ON THE SCTA BOARD, THE BNI BOARD AND AS VOLUNTEERS HELPING AT BOTH THE LAKEBEDS AND SALT FLATS IN KEY POSITIONS NEEDED TO HELP RUN THE EVENTS. LIKE ALL OTHER CLUBS THIS IS DONATED TIME. THERE ARE 10 OTHER CLUBS IN SCTA THAT ADD SUPPORT AND DUTIES TO ALL EVENTS. 

THE COMPETITION BETWEEN CLUBS FOR THE NUMBER ONE AWARD IS NAIL BITING AND IS ALWAY CLOSE EACH YEAR. POINTS AND RECORDS ARE WHAT EVERY CLUB STRIVES FOR 6 TIMES A YEAR ON A DRY LAKE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FROM MAY TO NOVEMBER.

MANY VOLUNTEER HOURS ARE STILL PART OF THE CLUB DUTIES. EVERY CLUB HAS ASSIGNED DUTIES AND POSITIONS THAT ARE REQUIRED TO ALLOW A SUCESSFUL TIMING MEET. 

THE GEAR GRINDERS ARE ONE OF THE LARGEST CLUBS WITH NEARLY 100 MEMBERS. 

LOOKING BACK AT THE EARLY MEMBERS AND TODAY’S MEMBERSHIP IT IS AWESOME TO HAVE A CLUB OF THIS SIZE AND REALIZE HOW MANY CLUB MEMBERS HAVE SET RECORDS OVER THE YEARS,  THE  CLUB HAS SOME MEMBERS WITH OVER 60 YEARS OF MEMBERSHIP, AND HEARING SOME OF THE STORIES ABOUT  THE EARLY YEARS IS A TREAT.

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