OTIE'S AUTOMOTIVE NOSTALGIA
DEDICATED TO PRESERVING DRAG RACING HISTORY
Otie's Automotive Speed Shop was opened in Akron, Ohio by a young entrepreneur / hot rodder named Otis "Otie" Smith. He ran the Speed Shop with his son, Bill "Billy", until it closed in 1988.
As president of the Akron Cam Jammers car club, Otie was involved with coordinating the first organized drag race east of the Mississippi river in 1951. These pioneer races were held at the Akron Fulton Airport from 1951 through 1959.
Otie's was quite renowned in the 1950s, '60s and '70s.
Everybody went to Otie's, it was the place to get all your engine work done, if you wanted it done right that is...
Even back then, Speed Equipment was the name of the game! You have to remember though, this was a different time, a more simple time, before cell phones or computers!
The 1980's brought mail order and big box retailers, making it very hard to compete in this growing, increasingly competitive business market.
Otie's was "Old School" and it just didn't make it...
Jason Miller, owner of Otie's Automotive Nostalgia, used to visit Otie's on Kenmore Blvd in Akron, Ohio when he was a boy. Bill would give Jason stickers when he visited the well known speed shop in the 1970s. The friendship between Bill and Jason has waxed and waned over the years, but never severed.
Even with the age gap, the love of racing and cars kept it alive over time.
I guess some people just have old souls...
Now we present the rebirth of a once rivaled and envied drag car...
Otie's Automotive Fiat Topolino Tribute Car
The First N.H.R.A. Certified Steel Body, Center Steer Drag Car
Bill Smith, at age 16, Driver of the Original Otie's Automotive Fiat Topolino in 1962
Then and Now...
Bill Smith, 73 years young...
Now that's Old School Baby!