The Club steering lock inventor James Winner dies in car accident

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Club steering lock installed in a car.
Image: Michael McCauslin.

The inventor of The Club steering lock James E. Winner, Jr. has died in a head-on car accident in Clarion County, Pennsylvania aged 81 today. Two others died in the accident.

Authorities say the accident occurred when Winner drove his SUV into oncoming traffic. The others who died were in Winner's car. They were Bobby Jarrett, 82, and Raymond Fair, 76.

Winner created The Club steering lock in the early 80s after his car was stolen. He came up with the idea while fighting in the Korean War; he secured his vehicle with metal chains to stop anybody taking it. He said, "If they can’t steer, they can’t steal."

He sold the first Club in Pennsylvania and later founded Winner International and sold over ten million units. Winner also owned hotels, a steel company, and other companies.

A spokesman for Winner International said in a statement, "[this is] a very difficult time for all of us and the family would request that you honor their privacy."