Factory Lightweights founder Nick Smith commissioned local mural artist David Ortlieb of "Interior Domains" to collaborate on creating authentic Drag Racing scenes throughout the showroom. Smith and Ortlieb also recreated the original Bev Smith Ford Dealership store front as it appeared in the 1960s.
"We wanted to do a fitting tribute to my family who have meant so much to us, as well as to the Historic Era which I call the "Golden Age of Drag Racing" says Smith.
"The antique neon signs are authentic, original dealership signs which were designed by and built for the major auto manufacturers. Dealers for each make of car were required to purchase the signs and mount them prominently on their dealerships, Smith continued.
This practice still exists to this day, with new designs coming along every few years effectively making old signs obsolete.
Fortunately for dealers back in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, redesigns came along only every twenty or thirty years so the main expense was maintaining the delicate neon, not buying an entire new sign.
Mr. Smith concludes "Our neon signs date back as far as just after World War II. Most were manufactured in the 1950s through early 60's."