James C. Beattie, Sr.
1941 – 2015
Jim Beattie, founder of Baltimore based ATI Performance Products, Inc., died suddenly after a traffic accident on March 27, 2015. A mechanical genius with a love of cars from an early age, there was nothing with wheels that Jim couldn’t make faster. Whether it was the stripped-down, ex-drug runner Aerostar he bought at auction (he didn’t need all the fancy bells and whistles, he just needed speed) or the golf cart he tuned up to race around his farm, Jim liked to go fast. Jim lived life on his own terms. He managed to say exactly what was on his mind at any given moment. He tolerated most of us but he truly adored his grandchildren. He would do anything for them including sitting in Chick-Fil-A, climbing up in the kids’ playground equipment to rescue a newly mobile one year old. Jim was also fond of his evening Manhattan; outsmarting the squirrels that would raid his bird feeders; khakis with hidden elastic on the side; pasta, pasta and more pasta; and spending time in his Florida house and documenting the life and times of the various sandhill cranes nesting in the pond in his backyard. Jim was married to his wife, Lynn, for 39 years. They took turns driving each other crazy, but there was a deep abiding love which glued the relationship together. All in all, Jim lived life to the fullest enjoying every minute of it. He gambled shamelessly but often won. He loved the Ravens and the O’s. They should have hired him as their coach since he knew exactly what they did wrong, what they did right, and what they should have done or not done. NASCAR was always a highlight for Jim, who holds 11 patents in his name and has several in the works. One is for a harmonic balancer which is literally on every NASCAR competitor’s engine. Jim also built and campaigned the ATI Black Magic fuel funny car, one of the iconic racers of the day. It was the first funny car to ever win a national event the first season out. Its paint scheme has been copied to this day and 35 years later they still get fan mail. Jim is survived by his wife, brothers, children, grandchildren, a great grandchild, an adoring and hard working staff at ATI, and a whole lot of friends. Funny and heart warming stories are flooding in. Jim wanted no pomp and circumstance. He knew there would be people flying in from all over the country (he had quite a cheering section) but since most of them are racers, he didn’t want them to give up a weekend of racing. He would be honored to have a track chair or two donated on his behalf. If you are unfamiliar with this project, track chairs are donated to wounded vets who use them to become mobile again. They can be outfitted to accommodate all manner of disabilities and can give a wounded vet a measure of mobility and control again. Jim was a great supporter of the Wounded Warrior projects. If you would like to honor Jim with a donation toward a chair, visit this link:
www.independencefund.org/give/jimbeattie-be-a-hero-for-a-heromemorial.All donations are fully tax deductible.
Bill Taylor lost a long and valiant battle with cancer earlier this month. Born November 25, 1930, in Ashland, MS, Bill served in the U.S. Air National Guard during the Korean War. In his early days in the industry, Bill and his business partner, Larry Coleman, owned and operated the
Coleman-Taylor Transmission Co. in Memphis. He was also very successful in several automotive high-performance manufacturing businesses, including TCI, BTE, and Memphis Performance. Bill left a true legacy in the transmission repair industry. He was well respected by his customers and competitors alike. He will be missed.
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