Industry Loses Two Leaders: Jim Deist, Gary Anderson

The specialty-equipment industry lost two innovators this past week with the passing of safety pioneer Jim Deist and SoffSeal’s Gary Anderson, a founding member of the Automotive Restoration Marketplace Organization (ARMO). Deist was 80, Anderson 64. 

Safety equipment innovator Jim Deist, shown here in trademark overalls and with ever-present cigar at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, spent his career developing products—chutes, harnesses, firesuits—that kept drivers and crews alive as the speeds grew more death-defying. Click here to read more about Jim Deist.

Gary Anderson (far right) helped to organize the Colton Camaro project, a restoration project in honor of Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Lawrence Shane Colton who was killed in action in Baghdad. Anderson and Alex Tainsh of SoffSeal formally presented the completed Camaro to Lance Colton (left) and his mom Ingè during the 2005 SEMA Show. Click here to read more about Gary Anderson.