Copyright MMXII Ed Justice, Jr. All Rights Reserved
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Gus Justice is shown with one of the new race shirts that had just been finished
prior to the inaugural Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. When these shirts were
given to each of the teams, they became the first uniforms in NASCAR history. Prior
to these uniforms, drivers and crews wore normal "street" clothes and t-shirts.
This picture was shot in front on the Justice Brothers headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. In the background you'll notice some black & white pictures that they had hung on there front window celebrating their involvement in racing during their early California days.
The photo just over Gus's left shoulder is a still from the Abbot & Costello film BUCK PRIVATES COME HOME which featured some of the midgets they had built at Kurtis-Kraft.
Zeke & Ed Justice are pictured with the first NASCAR uniforms in the sport. They
made over 500 with the car owners name on the top of the back of the shirt and the
city and state they were from on the bottom of the back of the shirt. For drivers
they also added their name on the front. These shirts were worn by every major name
in NASCAR from 1950 on.
The shirts were made by JAX uniforms in Jacksonville, Florida. Jacksonville was the home base for the Justice Brothers and their business from late 1946. These were THE FIRST race uniforms in NASCAR.
The Justice Brothers had also sponsored Red Byron in 1948 (the first NASCAR champion)
and 1949 (the first NASCAR Strictly Stock Champion).
Prior to the formation of NASCAR, the Justice Brothers sold their oil products to Bill France for sale at his service station.
Here's what the actual shirts looked like. This shirt was one that was made for Jonnie Rodgers. Jonnie was a upper east coast driver that also raced down south. He gave this shirt back to Ed Justice when he found out that Ed and his brothers didn't have one in their archives. This shirt is typical of most of the shirts. Although some would have the position of the logo and name switched. There were some very custom shirts made for some of the drivers such as the one on Buck Baker shown below. The shirt that Buck is wearing is virtually identical to the shirt that the Justice Brothers made for Johnnie Parsons. Johnnie wore his shirt when he won the 1950 Indianapolis 500.
This is how the backs of the shirts were set up. They either had the name of the
driver at the top or in some cases the name of the car owner or garage that ran the
car. The bottom line always stated where they were from. Until the Justice Brothers
had these shirts made and provided them to the drivers and teams, they were wearing
t-shirts to both drive in and work on the cars in. Looking at the pictures below
will show you how every big name driver in NASCAR wore these shirts at one time or
The label inside any of these shirts that are authentic will have the writing as
above, "JAX of Jacksonville FLORIDA". The Justice Brothers homes and business office
were located in Jacksonville, Florida. It's also where Ed Justice, Jr. was born,
during this time. JAX of Jacksonville was a uniform supplier in town. Little did
they know how they would figure into NASCAR history due to three visionary and energetic
Red Byron (the first NASCAR champion) with a Justice Brothers provided racing uniform.
On Red's right is Johnny Mantz who won the Southern 500 (NASCAR's first 500 mile
race), at NASCAR first superspeedway, Darlington. The Justice Brothers were Johnny's
The Justice Brothers had won the 1950 Indy 500 with the sponsorship of Johnnie Parsons in a car owned by their former boss, the legendary Frank Kurtis.
In 1950, when the Justice Brothers were the sole sponsors of both the Indy 500 winner and the Southern 500 winner, Ed Justice, Sr. was 29 years old.
An early competitor Joe Eubanks in a Justice Brothers provided uniform.
Buck Baker and his crew in the Justice Brothers provided NASCAR uniforms. Buck has on a special shirt like the one the Justice Brothers made for Johnnie Parsons when he won the 1950 Indianapolis 500.
The legendary and flamboyant early NASCAR star, Fonty Flock with his Justice Brothers
NASCAR uniform. Fonty was part of the Flock family that included brothers Bob and
Tim and sister Ethel. All raced in NASCAR. All were moonshiners.
Ed and Zeke Justice were close personal friends of the Flocks, including Mama Flock, their mother. Zeke built a stock car for Bob and went on to win many races together.
Tim became a 2 time NASCAR champion.
Here's a great photo of all three of the Flock brothers. Bob, Tim and Fonty (from left to right). In this photo Tim has on a Justice Brothers provided "first NASCAR uniform".
Here's a picture of the Justice Brothers racing support team at the first Southern
500 in 1950. The 1950 Southern 500 was NASCAR's first 500 mile race. The new Darlington
race track was the first superspeedway in NASCAR. The track was built by Harold Brasington
and operated by Bob Colvin. Ed and Zeke Justice are identified in the picture.
The Justice Brothers had many cars and drivers under sponsorship in this inaugural race. One of them, Johnny Mantz, went on to win, with the Justice Brothers being his only sponsor.
Here the Justice Brothers and part of their race support team at pictured at an early
Daytona Beach race.
Red Byron, who was sponsored by the Justice Brothers, won the first NASCAR sanctioned race on Daytona Beach in a car owned by Raymond Parks. Raymond Parks was NASCAR's first multi-car team owner.
Ed and Zeke are identified in the picture. Both Ed, Zeke and their team are in the Justice Brothers race uniforms and pith helmets that they supplied to all of the original NASCAR teams.
Rex McAfee, who's dad was the well-known road racer, Jack McAfee, had a chance to
visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina and provided the photo
It's great to see that at least one of the Justice Brothers' "Pith" helmets survived. As you can see from the photo above Ed Justice, Sr. had his on at Daytona Beach.
The yellow helmets were for the teams and support crew. Blue for Race Officials and White for Security. Look close and you can see they were spray painted. Ed Justice, Sr.'s experience of painting midgets at Kurtis-Kraft was put to use when they went into the oil business!
In this photo Senator Strom Thurmond is shown presenting Tim Flock an award. Standing
in the back on the left is a young Ed Justice, Sr. Ed is wearing one of their shirts
and also the pith helmet that was part of early NASCAR standard dress.
At the original Southern 500 the Justice Brothers presented each competitors team with yellow pith helmets for the team. race officials were presented with blue pith helmets and the track security were presented with white Justice Brothers pith helmets. You could say the Justice Brothers had the track covered!
Jack Smith in the Justice Brothers sponsored Indy Car with Harold Brasington (center,
builder & owner of Darlington race track) and Bill France, Sr (left).
Jack Smith was a very well known early NASCAR competitor and was a close friend of Ed & Zeke Justice.
Zeke Justice (third from right) at a very early NASCAR banquet. Standing behind Zeke
is Bill France, Sr.
Zeke had just accepted an award recognizing the support of the Justice Brothers as NASCAR's first sponsor.
Ed Justice, Sr. is shown placing one of their sponsor decals on the fender of a competitor
at an early race.
The Justice Brothers and their sponsor decals were seen on virtually every early NASCAR competitor, including Flock Brothers; Fonty Bob & Tim, Red Byron, Lee Petty, Buck Baker, Ed Samples, Joe Eubanks, Rex White, Buckshot Morris, Herb Thomas, Johnny Thompson, Frank Mundy, Johnny Mantz, Buddy Shuman, Curtis Turner, Fireball Roberts, Jack Smith, and numerous others.
If there were true superstars in early NASCAR racing, the "Flying Flock" brothers
were on that list. Three showmen of the top order. Fonty who would drive with shorts
on. Tim who drove with a monkey called "Jocko Flocko" as his co-pilot. Bob who was
a hard-core moonshiner.
The three were good friends of the Justice Brothers and all three were sponsored by the Justice Brothers. They are shown above with there helmets that were provided to them compliments of the Justice Brothers. Of course all three carry the id of the products the Justice Brothers were selling. Zeke Justice also built a stock car for Bob.