I just received a called from Jim Stewart's sister in-law that Jim passed away this morning. as soon as i heard about services I will let everyone know.
sad news Jim Stewart passing
Posted 06-19-2018 07:24 AM
Geez, talked to him not that long ago as he rebuilt the head on my FP motor.
Never met him face to face but over the phone he sounded too young to leave us this soon.
Just as a follow-up.
When I got this cylinder head I was having trouble getting the cams 'timed up" and it was a cold Sunday afternoon in my garage . I had remembered Jim's offer to call him anytime if I was having a problem. Well, reluctantly I called him on a Sunday afternoon at his home and wouldn't you know , with my wife holding the phone on loud speaker he methodically and patiently guided me through the process of getting it right....while all along he could have been drinking a brew watching the game.
Don't know who I'll find to help me with my FP motor in the future but if they're 1/2 the person and professional Jim was I'll consider myself very fortunate.
Posted 06-19-2018 09:37 AM
This is a quick story about how dedicated Jim Stewart was to customers. Several years ago we went to Jim Stewart to build a Miata motor for a non-SM class. Jim is in Indy we are in Columbus. the motor had adjustable timing wheels and we were having difficulty with the adjustment. Jim drove from Indy to my home/shop in Columbus to set the timing for us, that was 3 hrs one way. This was a part of his service he provided to his customers.
- mellen and Ryan Roberson like this
SCCA Ohio Valley Region
Chairman, SCCA Great Lakes Divisional Series Committee.
Posted 06-19-2018 04:10 PM
I'm in Indy, and Jim doesn't live far away, but he often stopped by to help/provide confidence/teach me something new/drop off/pick up parts. I met his wife and daughter on many of those stops. Heck of a guy. He was working on slowing down a bit so he could be at home on the weekends/home at night to spend more time with his daughter. Super sad.
Here he is at my shop showing me the right way and the right tool to do a leak down!
- FTodaro likes this
Posted 06-19-2018 09:02 PM
Uncle Saul's Story Time: Jim Stewart was a friend, a mentor, a partner, and an undeniable asset to this class and sport.
Once upon a time, when SM was a Regional-only class, "we" were trying to keep IRP and Nelson Ledges alive with respect to SCCA Regionals. SM had 20+, 30+, and sometimes 40+ car fields, back in 2002/2003/2004. If I recall correctly, we had 76 cars at Road America in 2004 for the "Milwaukee Cup".
Anyway, a gentlemen's (gentleperson's?) agreement was struck, whereby if Indy Region would bring their 10+ SMs to Nelson Ledges, then NEOhio would bring their 10+ SMs to IRP. Poor Jim â€¦ that's when "we" lured him into participating in this dramatic menagerie known as Spec Miata. Mike "Mr. Excitement" Neal, Shane Benson of AIMTuning, and other ne'er do wells within the Indy area were involved.
Jim Stewart signed up as a sponsor of this ridiculous contest of 116HP commuter cars, and we raffled off a free cylinder head refresh - which was won by Brian Murdick. Brian, being Brian, didn't get around to using the gift certificate for 3-5 years, the way I recall it.
It wasn't long after being introduced to our fine class, Jim Stewart called me and said: "You guys are crazy. I could build you a 140HP motor for half of what you guys are spending on Sunbelts!" (Meaning the "spec" rules based on Showroom Stock required 10s of hours and liberal rules interpretation to make 3HP versus what we could do with basic power-adders like cams, compression, bore, stroke, etc.)
Yeah, Jim â€¦ I know â€¦ I know â€¦ believe me, I know. And we still know that, right?
Jim Stewart was personally my favorite engine builder, and back when I was fast, I proudly ran his name on my car. Like others have mentioned, he would drive to the track, or my home, in order to make sure I had what I needed. He, along with Steve Scheifler, got me through "WhistlerGate" after winning the Mid Ohio Nationals in 2009 - similar to "Dargo's" most recent weekend, that would have cost me $1500+ had things gone the wrong way. I still remember how pissed Jim was that some goofy harmonica was being used to indict his compression measurements. In the end, Jim Stewart's workmanship was proven correct.
More recently, Jim and I had plans to win the Runoffs at Indy with an STL Acura. I wish we had pursued those plans, but the car got totaled before we could qualify.
I have an "Aurora V8" Indy box that Jim shipped my first Stewart cylinder head in, and it might be the coolest thing in my garage. I'll never part with it, and I will always have "JStewart" in my phone, hoping it will ring.
RIP Jim Stewart â€¦ you were an amazing class act, through and through. I already miss you.
- Mike Collins, Ron Alan, Bench Racer and 9 others like this
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Posted 06-19-2018 09:11 PM
Jim Stewartâ€¦Gone way too soon
Ealier this week there were posts about the passing of Jim Stewart, owner of Stewart Enigines and a longtime builder in SM. Granted because it was on the internet it had to be true, no? I didnâ€™t want to believe itâ€¦.
For those of you that know me personally, he was the primary engine builder for Planet Miata until the end of 2017 when he decided to change career paths and work for someone else in the V8 world of Hemiâ€™s and LSX engines, instead of on his own.
Over a decade our relationship culminated with hundreds of engines installed and sold throughout the United States. Track records, wins of all types not just for us but his many loyal customers including the SCCA runoffs in years past. I personally never felt he got the credit he deserved. Our class as a whole and the technical advances in SM engines are directly tied to how he built engines. He helped everyoneâ€™s program step up their game.
It wasnâ€™t just SM motors. Jimâ€™s wheel house for 4 cyl work was Hondas. From circle track midget racing with K series engines to IMSA Conti civics, his stuff was what others followed.
It just wasnâ€™t just Mazda or Hondaâ€¦..For you Pro racers out there, remember the PINK Altima in the Conti ST class on the straightawaysâ€¦..yea, that was him and the wick wasnâ€™t even turned up.
Jim was a friend, someone I spoke with weekly, visited as much as I could when in Indiana and the salt of the Earth. He was a very unimposing guy in person. Not what you expect image wise but he was exact with his work, obsessed with crossing all the tâ€™s and dotting all the Iâ€™s. His previous stints at Cosworth and Toyota Racing Development brought that out. For Jim, doing the right thing, was always the right thing.
Godspeed Jim, I miss you. The racing world lost a quiet soft spoken giant whose work graced many winners circles in this country.
- Mike Collins, tLinder, FTodaro and 6 others like this
#1 source for new and used Miata parts and accessories.
Posted 06-20-2018 04:26 AM
Did not know him but knew of him. Heard about what a standup guy he was. Sincere condolences to his family.
2016 June Sprints WInner, ARRC Winner, NASA Eastern States Championships Podium
2015 Eastern Conference Majors Champ, June Sprints Winner, ARRC Winner
2014 NASA Eastern States Championship Runner Up.
2013 SEDiv Driver of the Year, Eastern Conference Majors Champ, SEDiv National Champ, ARRC Winner, Runoffs Podium
2011 SEDiv Driver of the Year, SEDiv National Champ, ARRC Winner, Palm Tree Quad National Champ, SEDiv ECR Champ
2010 June Sprints Winner, ARRC Winner
2009 SARRC Champ, SEDiv ECR Champ, FES Champ
2008 SEDiv ECR Champ
Posted 06-20-2018 05:19 PM
George Weathered shared this with Autobahn members earlier, I think some of you might be interested too:
"We lost another friend and all around good guy this past weekend. Jim
Stewart of Stewart Engines was our Miata engine builder for the past 10
A great engine builder and always willing to help us anyway he could.
Jim's wife Melissa Fair-Stewart and their daughter Isabelle are really
struggling financially and could use some support.
Many of my FB friends and Miata racers here at Autobahn Country Club have a
Stewart engine in their car or used his service, so if you can help Melissa
please do. Thanks!"
The gofundme link can be found at-
- mellen likes this
#2, 2X & 722
Posted 06-20-2018 06:58 PM
He was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on April 7, 1974, to Gordon and Marion Stewart. He married Melissa (Fair) Stewart on September 13, 2003, and she survives.
James is also survived by his daughter, Isabelle Stewart; his mother; his sister, Katherine Stewart; half sister, Kelly Umpherville; and half-brothers, Ross Stewart, Gregg Stewart, Ross Stewart and Doug Stewart.
James was a professional race car engineer from 1996 to the present. He was well-known throughout the auto racing industry for his race engines.
He was also a gifted piano player. He took great pride in his daughterâ€™s achievements.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 23, 2018, at Shelbyville Community Church, 720 N. 325 E, Shelbyville.
Services will follow at noon at the church, with the Rev. Mary Popplewell officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to Isabelle Stewart Education Fund, in care of the funeral home.
Funeral Directors, Greg, Sheila and Stuart Parks are honored to serve the Stewart family.
Online condolences may be shared at www.murphyparks.com.
Posted 06-21-2018 03:44 AM
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