ARTHUR J. BELL's Passing Anniversary
ARTHUR J. BELL
Passing of a true Automotive Historian
Known more to members of the Model T Ford Club of America (MTFCA) than perhaps other similar groups, this June 18th marks the two-year anniversary of Arthur John Bell’s passing.
While none of us at MotometerCentral™ had the pleasure of making Art’s acquaintance or communicating with him directly, MotometerCentral™ Founder, Francis Clax credits Art with being his biggest motometer researching influence.
Born on July 18, 1934 during the Classic Car period of grand automotive styling, it is unclear how or when Arthur John “Art” Bell attained so much intricate knowledge on all things automobile-related including motometers. Art’s acutely demonstrated automotive history and topic expertise was uncanny, precise and always right as if he and he alone possessed a secret encyclopedia of disparate info and facts not otherwise published in a single place unless someone had extensive access to the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian and best automotive museums and info repositories.
Bring up an automotive topic and Art could entertainingly discuss it with anyone of any expertise or experience level. Art was most known on the MTFCA Discussion Board for simply leaving the links to access the exact and precise patent reference to everyone’s questions as to what a particular part was, who or when it was invented, or, how it was to be used.
He was never wrong and the only person to usually leave such a reference or mark. Art was considered an “Intermediate 3” poster on the MTFCA discussion board as a regular contributor, however he was easily so much more than that. Art’s was quick and on the mark with patent posts, providing irrefutable evidence or an answer to the abundance of automotive questions. Francis considered Art a “national treasure and passionate automotive industry historian.”
His last known post to the MFTCA Discussion board was that of the patent reference for the “Action Twins” Radiator Cap Ornament of 1931, simple signed off as “Regards Art.” The “Action Twins are a hood ornament/automotive mascot that featured two figures that propelled by the air rushing over the hood of an automobile appeared to be cranking a propeller as shown.
Art left us in 2015 at the age of 80-years which reminds us just how important it is for every history enthusiast and passionate collector or artifact preservationist to identify key knowledgeable persons, like Art Bell and to document as much of their stories, experience and expertise as possible so that it is not otherwise lost or forgotten. Surviving Art is a daughter, son and two grandchildren.
On the second anniversary of Arthur J. Bell’s passing we remember and thank him for his many generous contributions to our knowledge base and putting us on the right path to a wealth of indispensable knowledge.
Art may physically not with use but he left a lasting impression and influence upon many.
May Arthur John "Art" Bell's legacy be that he continues to inspire others
who enjoy automobiles the way that he did.