SEMA News—March 2012
Nominations Open for SEMA Hall of Fame
Nominations for the prestigious SEMA Hall of Fame are due March 16.
Created in 1969, the SEMA Hall of Fame is designed to honor outstanding persons in the industry who have enhanced the stature of, or significantly contributed to, the industry and/or the association’s growth.
To submit your nomination, contact Arlene Wood at 909-978-6689.
The 2011 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees were Art Chrisman, Gray Baskerville, Chris Economaki and John Towle. To learn more about the SEMA Hall of Fame and for a list of inductees, visit here.
Herb “Mr. Phone” Goldstein Passes Away
Known in the automotive specialty-equipment industry as “Mr. Phone,” Herb Goldstein was a creative salesman who had a long career as a manufacturers’ rep for many major companies.
“I worked with Herb in the mid ’60s when we were both in the wheel business,” said Chuck Blum, owner of Chuck Blum & Associates. “He was a flamboyant, aggressive salesman who put a lot of up-and-coming companies in this market on the map. He made a lot of money for many companies and will always be remembered for his contributions to this industry.”
Goldstein was always on the phone with every high-performance customer in the United States, hence his nickname. He was a powerful and creative salesman with a family background in sales. (His father, Jack, had a long career on the West Coast.) In his time, Goldstein was perhaps the best-known performance rep in the entire country and was also invested in several manufacturing enterprises.
Collector Car Appreciation Day Returns July 13
Friday, July 13, 2012, is Collector Car Appreciation Day, a commemoration to raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society.
SEMA and its councils are working to secure a congressional resolution to recognize the day’s significance. The industry endeavors to preserve the nation’s automotive heritage while providing well-paying, high-skilled jobs nationwide. Collector Car Appreciation Day is a singular tribute to the collector-car industry and the millions of hobbyists it supports.
“On July 13, 2012, collectors and enthusiasts will host hundreds of events across the country,” said Laura Bergan, ARMO chairman. “We will again proudly partner with individuals, car clubs and businesses as they organize car cruises, club gatherings and other educational events to celebrate the day.”
Senators Tester and Burr have been strong advocates for the automotive hobby in Washington, and the resolution reaffirmed their understanding of the cultural importance of collector cars. The caucus is an informal, non-partisan group that pays tribute to America’s ever-growing love affair with the car and motorsports.
SEMA will maintain and publicize a list of scheduled events to commemorate America’s time-tested love affair with the automobile. Individuals, car clubs and business owners interested in publicizing events should contact Colby Martin at 909-978-6721 or e-mail san@SEMA.org.
Industry Veteran Earl Richey Owen Sr. Passes Away
Earl Owen started Earl Owen Co. in 1952 with one sewing machine, a table and two parking spaces.
Earl Richey Owen Sr. passed away January 14 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
He was born November 23, 1927, in Whitewright, Texas, and started Earl Owen Co. in 1952 after working at various downtown upholstery shops.
He started with one sewing machine, a table and two parking spaces. When a customer needed seats covered the next day, Owen would go to the lot, take the seat out of the car, return it to his shop, cover it, take it back to the lot, bolt it down to the vehicle, and it would be ready for the fleet the next morning.
As the business grew, Owen became interested in selling auto accessories. Today, Earl Owen Co. is one of the largest suppliers of auto and truck accessories and equipment in the southwestern United States. Despite his achievements, Owen remained humble, kind and loyal. His favorite hobby was work, and he traveled at the urging of his wife. They enjoyed more than 20 cruises and went everywhere from Hawaii to Dubai.