Taylor "Pappy" Weld can be held responsible for creating the attraction to racing that would eventually permeate his immediate family, including his son Greg. Originally a motorcycle racer from Nebraska, Mr. Taylor moved the family to Kansas City, Missouri, to accept a job working for a Harley-Davidson dealership. Being the industrious Midwesterner he was, Taylor opened an auto repair business that later spawned a Sprint Car racing team. Dad's attraction to auto racing could not be ignored by any of the three Weld brothers, Kenny, Jerry, and Greg, all of whom learned the ropes and developed their own competitive spirit.
Born in March of 1944, Greg was the middle of the three Weld brothers, all of whom grew up in and around their father's business, when the patriarch of the clan offered his sons a wealth of advice, ultimately serving as their crew chief. Greg's first passenger car was a '52 Ford that he started building when he was 15 so that he'd have a "hot car" all ready to go when he celebrated his 16th birthday-the day he got his driver's license. Greg attended Paseo High School in Kansas City, Missouri, and continued his higher learning at Central Missouri State College in Warrensburg, Missouri. His dad helped out with another project, building a bored and stroked and ported and polished Olds V-8 with six Stromberg carburetors. They had to install a Cadillac LaSalle transmission because the mighty Olds had so much power. It was one of the fastest cars at the local dragstrip, shutting down a lot of 270hp '57 Chevys and 335-horse '61 Chevys with Tri-Power. Word quickly spread to watch out for the candy-apple red Olds.
As things turned out, all three brothers became very successful Sprint Car handlers. In 1963, Greg battled from a 17th starting position to finish 6th at the high-banked, quarter-mile Anderson Speedway's "Little 500." Also in '63, Greg won the prestigious Knoxville Sprint Car Nationals while his brother Jerry finished second. The next year, Greg runner-upped to his brother Kenny at Knoxville. At the storied Terre Haute oval on June 11, 1967, Greg Weld scored victories in twin 30-lap features. Also in 1967, Greg won the USAC National Sprint Car Championship at the age of 23.
Three years later, he became the fastest rookie qualifier and the youngest rookie to ever qualify and race in the Indianapolis 500. Weld started 28th and suffered a disheartening 32nd-place finish after burning a piston on lap 30. However, Greg passed 12 cars in those 30 laps. What's even more interesting in Weld's Indy outing was his car was secretly owned by Andy Granatelli of STP fame. This Indy racer was a Gerhart chassis powered by a turbocharged Offenhauser engine. Granatelli also sponsored Greg's Sprint Car and USAC Silver Crown car.
Even then, Sprint Car drivers aspired to race at Indy, and the same holds true today. Weld also scored "A" Feature wins in both '69 and '70 at the fabled Eldora Speedway. All together Greg won more than 100 Sprint Car races.
Like with all race cars, lighter-weight wheels allow tuners to better control the unsprung weight, thereby providing a better balanced race car. Along the road to his quest for the 1967 USAC Championship, Greg Weld exhausted all the available sources for wheels, since none seemed to stack up to his requirements. Fully understanding the dilemma, his father suggested that he tackle the problem by building his own set of racing wheels. Calling on his combination of driving experience and keen mechanical understanding of his own racing equipment, Greg accepted the challenge. By the late '60s, Greg's design and fabrication work resulted in his first set of racing wheels. This endeavor was an immediate success, and his fellow competitors literally beat a path to his door, wanting a set of these trick new wheels for their own race cars. Just like many other stories from the high-performance industry, ingenuity is the mother of invention. What began as a problem-solving exercise to further his own racing success turned into an avocation that would solve the same problem for scores of racers all over the world.
Having come from a good family with an industrious father for a provider, Weld was fortunate to have solid Midwestern values instilled within him. Soon after his Indianapolis 500 debut, Greg made one of the hardest decisions of his life. Up until that time, he raced for, and grabbed the proverbial "brass ring," achieving success and acceptance in the hard-edged sport of Sprint Car, and finally, Indy Car racing. However, he saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to end his successful racing career prematurely in order to devote all his time and energy to design and produce wheels for Weld Racing. Since the beginning of Greg's full-time life as a businessman, he poured 110 percent of his family given competitive spirit into building Weld Wheels in order to make it become an aftermarket industry giant. The last 25 years has evolved into a quest for unyielding excellence and cutting-edge performance.
Just looking at the hard-core drag-racing market, for example, decades of innovation have seen trends and advancements go from one chosen brand to the next. First, the super trick wheels were en vogue, then the Convo Pro took center stage, and later, the Weld Magnum Pro Double Bead-Loc overshadowed all those previous racing wheel advancements. These days, the lion's share of professional drag-racing teams rely on the light weight, strength, and engineering properties of Weld Racing Wheels.
In 1999, Greg orchestrated the creation of a new manufacturing facility dedicated to the production of highly advanced, forged, one-piece wheels.
In 2004, he spearheaded the opening of Weld Wheel Industries' latest Kansas City complex to bring the company's unique linear manufacturing technique to all of its wheel lines. From wheel concept and design to manufacturing, sales and marketing, dealer development, and customer service, Greg Weld supervises the 300,000-square-foot Kansas City-based enterprise. In addition, the company's forging plant occupies yet another 70,000 square feet of space. Now spanning three generations of Weld family members, Greg's sons, Taylor and Brock, work in tandem with him continuing the family tradition.
As President and CEO, Greg Weld has a great deal of pride for the products his company manufactures-quality one-piece forged wheels for race cars, off-road trucks, luxury pickups, SUVs, premium motor cars, customs, hot rods, and motorcycles.