People, Places & Racing News

George Lane of Lane Automotive Passes Away

By SEMA Editors

George LaneGeorge Lee Lane has passed away. Lane was born and raised in Southwest Michigan, where he met his lifelong wife and partner Janet and raised their two sons, Doug and David.

From humble beginnings to building an automotive powerhouse, Lane was a true pioneer. He had an unparalleled passion for cars and racing. To feed this passion, he made frequent trips to the Detroit area to purchase performance parts for himself and his friends. This ultimately led to his first startup, a part-time speed shop operated out of his garage.

As this venture began to flourish, Lane started selling these parts to local racers and hot-rod enthusiasts. His business grew quickly, and in 1964, Lane Automotive was formed. Not long after, in 1970, he launched Lane’s wholesale division, Motor State Distributing. This division brought performance and racing parts from manufacturers across the country to locally owned speed shops and retailers throughout the Midwest.

Lane later launched Allstar Performance—a brand focused on specialty racing parts and equipment. Over its 57 years in business, Lane Automotive has grown into a multi-generational company, which has been led by Lane, his children, and most recently, his grandchildren. Under Lane’s leadership, his company has grown to serve performance automotive enthusiasts around the world.

Regardless of the company’s growth, however, Lane remained heavily involved in the racing and hot-rod scene, and could often be found at local tracks on race day. He helped to support local tracks and racers, as well as to standardize many safety and certification practices across various sanctioning bodies. For this, Lane was honored with his induction into the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2001.

Heavily involved with helping to promote and expand the automotive aftermarket industry, Lane saw the value and importance of supporting the industry’s organizations, shows and conferences through membership and participation.

Even after he formally retired, Lane continued to be actively involved with the company. He was a fixture at the annual Lane Automotive Car Show, and a regular at Cars and Coffee events, where he could often be found swapping stories with customers he had known for decades.

As of press time, no funeral arrangements have been announced.