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Justice brothers (Ed,[1] Gus[1] and Zeke[1]) were figures in motorsports and automotve industry. Founding a company in the oil additive industry.

Youth - Paola, KansasEdit

Edward Ray Justice, Sr. was born June 12, 1921 in Paola, Kansas. Lawrence Milton "Zeke" Justice was born March 12, 1920 in Paola. James Russell "Gus" Justice was born July 16, 1916 in Paola.

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 - CaliforniaEdit

The lure of the car crazy culture of Southern California called and Ed Justice, Sr. responded by driving out on the famed 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[2] 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 yearsEdit

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 yearsEdit

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 and owned by famed race car driver Rex Mays.

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.


The Justice brothers later relocated back to California.

Famous employees and business associatesEdit

  • Johnnie Parsons - 1950 Indy 500 winner
  • Roger Ward - 2 time Indy 500 winner
  • 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 sponsorshipsEdit

In mediaEdit

  • 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.s they originated.
  • Products made by the Justice Brothers appeared in the movie GREASE
  • Actor Christian Bale wore a Justice Brothers T-shirt in the movie The Machinist. This T-shirt celebrated the race car building time of the Justice Brothers life. Some fans of the film think it had an underlying message to the film. [1]
  • Actor Matthew McConaughey wore a Justice Brothers designed drivers uniform in the movie EDtv.


James “Gus” Justice died in 1983. Lawrence “Zeke” Justice died on August 9, 2001. Ed Justice, Sr.[3] died on August 30, 2008.

Awards and recognitionEdit

  • 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]
  • The Justice brothers - Inducted into the Jacksonville Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame [6]
  • The Justice brothers - Inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame [7]
  • Honorary Members of the Cal Rods Hot Rod Club


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Leigh Buchanan (November 1, 2008). "Legacy: Ed Justice, Sr. 1921-2008". 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." 
  2. Mark Vaughn (September 2, 2008). "Ed Justice, Sr dies at 87". Retrieved September 22, 2008. "Ed worked for Douglas Aircraft and Zeke for Joel Thorne racing fabrication shop." 
  3. sadnews2008.htm

External linksEdit

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