SEMA Hall of Fame member Ray Lipper passed away recently in his hometown of Santa Fe Springs, California. He will be sorely missed by the automotive community.
Legendary Founder of Legendary Racing Wheel Company
Ray Lipper was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 2002 for his contributions to the automotive aftermarket. Lipper was the founder and driving force behind Center Line Wheel Corp., the favorite race wheel manufacturer of many racers for the past 40 plus years.
Lipper and Center Line Responsible for Numerous Wheel Innovations
Lipper saw a need for lighter and stronger racing wheels and went about filling that need with what was to become Center Line Wheels Corp. He took his background as an engineer and designer and turned it into arguably one of the first and most successful companies dedicated to providing wheels for the racing community.
His first invention, the Auto Drag, launched a long line of the strongest and lightest one-piece wheels in the industry. Most recently, Center Line Wheels introduced the technique of using a single blank that can be split and spun into a one-piece wheel. They were also the first company to produce an aftermarket wheel for Harley-Davidson with modular construction.
The innovations didn’t stop there, though. Center Line was also the first to develop and use a rotary forging process to manufacture wheels. The land-speed record vehicle Spirit of America set its record on wheels that Lipper and his Center Line engineers developed and produced.
Thank you for all the memories, Ray. You will be missed.