C.J. “Pappy” Hart

photo of C.J. "Pappy" Hart
C.J. “Pappy” Hart

Opened first commercial drag strip in Southern California (the Santa Ana Dragstrip) in 1950 to give hot rods a place to race legally. Developed the first rules for drag racing and established the ‘quarter-mile’ as a standard race distance. Born in Findlay.

(b. 1911 – d. 2004: Drag Racing)

His father was Seba Hart born in Wyandot county and his mother was Sarah Ella Altman born in Findlay. She did pass away several months later in 1911 the year CJ was born. The family he lived with was headed by Lawrence Miller and CJ is even mentioned in the 1920 census as a Miller and in Lawrence’s obituary CJ is named as one of his sons. Seba Hart didn’t pass away until 1954 and lived in Detroit for many years. CJ and his wife Peggy Hart lived in the Detroit area in the late 30s and 1940s before moving to Southern California. CJ was a mechanic and owned a gas station in California.

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