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Old 10-25-2012, 11:54 AM   #1
jimgessner
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Default A tribute to jerry grant

On August 12, 2012 we lost another Corvette Racing Driver from the 60's JERRY GRANT. Click the image to open in full size.

On Saturday October 13, 2012, I went to the RIVERSIDE RACEWAY MUSEUM in Riverside, California that had a TRIBUTE for Jerry and his family.

Jerry was one of the drivers of the new 1963 Z0-6 Sting Ray at its debut West Coast event October 21, 1962. Four Corvettes raced that weekend, and also the ''new'' COBRA. The Corvettes were driven by DOUG HOOPER, JERRY GRANT, BOB BONDURANT and DAVE MACDONALD. The COBRA by BILLY KRAUSE, who later also raced Corvettes for MICKEY THOMPSON at DAYTONA and SEBRING. JERRY, BOB AND DAVE PICKED THEIR CARS UP AT THE ST. LOUIS PLANT AND ''DROVE'' THEM HOME TO CALIFORNIA AND SEATTLE BEFORE THE RIVERSIDE TIMES GRAND PRIX RACE...... THAT'S ANOTHER STORY.

Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.

DAVE MACDONALD, FAMOUS CORVETTE AND COBRA DRIVER. Unfortunately killed at INDY in MAY 1964.

I am fortunate to know many of the drivers of the era, so I organized a little CORVETTE DRIVERS REUNION at the hotel on Friday evening prior to the TRIBUTE event that was a great fun time. After dinner, we gathered around the large screen TV and watched my Arizona friend Howard Goehring's DVD of SCCA CAL CLUB racing films from 1957-60 that had two hours of races at POMONA, SANTA BARBARA, RIVERSIDE, TORRY PINES, DEL MAR, LAGUNA SECA, and PALM SPRINGS featuring all the players from ''back in the day''.

Click the image to open in full size.

Our group of 18 people included DICK GULDSTRAND, DOUG HOOPER, DAVEY JORDAN, FRED YEAKEL, BRYAN HILL, JOE RENO, HOWARD, MYSELF, DOUG MAGON, Museum owner, and four ''crew people''.

We also enjoyed HOOPER'S films of GRAND SPORT and 63 Z0-6 racing at DAYTONA AND SEBRING of he and Dick, and Jerry. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to see DAVEY JORDAN'S 1968 L-88 RACE AT DAYTONA in the JIM GARNER A.I.R CAR.

Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.

Jerry raced the white 63 Z0-6 with Don Campbell as co-driver for ALLEN GREEN CHEVROLET in Seattle at the TIMES GP Riverside race, and later DAYTONA 2-17-63 and SEBRING 3-21-63. He continued racing that car is West Coast events thru October 1963. The car is in a Florida collection awaiting restoration.

We finished the evening with the movie THE QUEST, the documentary of the 1960 Cunningham Race team at LeMans.


On Saturday, the TRIBUTE at the RIVERSIDE RACEWAY MUSEUM was attended by over 250 people.

JERRY'S family and grandsons presented this 7 minute presentation that filled in the blanks of Jerry's racing career.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeEz1...eature=related


I have know Jerry for over 10 years and knew he raced a lot of cars, but never knew the entire story and depth of his career. Everyone called Jerry the ''GENTLEMAN RACER''. Andrew Bornhop from ROAD & TRACK summed up Jerry's life on August 14, 2012 as follows. I was surprised he knew little of the CORVETTE DAYS.

''The summer of goodbyes continues. Our friend, co-driver and AAR racing teammate Jerry Grant, age 77, passed away over the weekend. Battling a variety of health issues over the last months, Jerry joined his friends Colonel Russ Schleeh, Carroll Shelby and Frank Arciero in the pit-lane in the sky. The ranks of the old guard who have put their stamp on American motor racing in the 60’s and 70’s are getting ever thinner.

Jerry Grant’s career was marked by many highs and lows and a few unforgettable “almosts.”

He co-drove a Cobra with Dan Gurney at Le Mans and the Targa Florio, where they achieved a class victory in 1964. He was Dan’s teammate driving a Ford MK-II at Le Mans and Sebring in 1966 leading both races for a long time. In Sebring they broke down a few hundred yards before the finish line after 12-hours with a sweet victory in sight. Jerry joined AAR on the Indy car circuit, he drove various Eagles in the Indy 500 as a teammate to Bobby Unser and almost tasted milk in 1972 when he was leading the race in lap 188 but then came into the pits for an unscheduled pit stop with the memorable lilac colored Mystery Eagle No 48. At Ontario Jerry had his star hour; he became the first driver ever to do a lap topping 200 mph. On the USRRC Sports car circuit in 1966 he drove AAR’s Cam Am type Lola garnering 4 pole positions in 7 races and winning the Bridgehampton road race.

Dan Gurney: “Jerry Grant was a natural; he was brave and playful and always could rise to the challenge. Apart from being an excellent racer, he was an accomplished story teller and after dinner speaker, an ability which served him well in his business career after his retirement from active driving. In the middle 60’s we shared many adventures on and off the track here in the US and in Europe. We stayed friends ever since and many Sundays went riding our motorcycles in the Southern California countryside. We extend our condolences to his wife Sandy and his family. Farewell Jerry, we will miss you.”

Dan made a presentation at the TRIBUTE

Click the image to open in full size.

DAN SHAKING HANDS WITH JERRY WALTON OF PHOENIX
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Click the image to open in full size.

DAVEY JORDAN visiting with friends

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DICK GULDSTRAND AND FRIENDS

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RICK HAYDEN VISITING WITH AND ME AND DOUG HOOPER
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FRED YEAKEL BROUGHT HIS 64 BILL THOMAS #8 CHEETAH THAT JERRY HAD DRIVEN AT LEAST TWO TIMES FOR HIS SPONSOR ALLEN GREEN CHEVROLET.

Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.

HEAD MECHANIC AND CREW CHIEF LARRY WEBB FLEW IN FROM SEATTLE. HERE ON THE FAR RIGHT WITH BRYAN HILL, and FRED YEAKEL

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JIM GESSNER with the ''back in the day'' historians Photographer BOB TRONOLONE, writer JOE SCALSO, and DOUG HOOPER.
Click the image to open in full size.

LUNCH WAS SERVED TO THE MANY GUESTS

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Click the image to open in full size.

My thanks to the RIVERSIDE MUSEUM for hosting this gathering of old friends. The Riverside International Automotive Museum (RIAM) in Riverside, CA features over 100 cars, thousands of artifacts and a research library. Its mission is to preserve SoCalʼs rich racing history through exhibits and community involvement. The Museum is open Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and is located at 815 Marlborough, Riverside, California. There phone is 951-369-6966 and it is a great place to host a motorsports event.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke Williams (22045) View Post
Jerry graduated from Seattle's, Queen Anne High School nearly a decade before I did, so I wasn't aware of him until he started racing and followed his exploits closely when he drove Alan Green's, white #7 Z06 - one from the first batch built in September 1962.

Jerry's co-driver at Sebring in '63 was Don Campbell who was the Green salesman who handled my SWC purchase about a month before the race.

I remember seeing Jerry at the Kent Seafair races in August 1963, a few months after I took delivery of my SWC. From the standing start of the big bore production race he was the first guy into Turn 1, as usual, but was a DNF. The FI pump drive cable broke! Jerry was always fast, but he did have a reputation for being tough on cars. He also had a lot of plain, bad luck, but will, forever, hold the record of being the first driver to do a 200 MPH lap in an Indy car.

Unfortunately I never had the pleasure to meet Jerry, but I think he had a good life, and I envied him!

Duke
Here are a few other photos of JERRY and his 63 Z0-6.
Click the image to open in full size.


THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN AT THE TIMES GP RACE AT RIVERSIDE BY DAVE FRIEDMAN.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

THESE 2 PHOTOS WERE AT THE LAGUNA SECA SCCA PACIFIC GRAND PRIX IN OCTOBER 1963.

DICK GULDSTRAND TOLD A FUNNY STORY ON SATURDAY. IN 1963, DICK WAS RACING HIS FIRST 63 CORVETTE, A DAYTONA BLUE FI CONVERTIBLE SPONSORED BY BAHER CHEVROLET IN HERMOSA BEACH, CA. HE AND HIS CREW WENT TO SEAFAIR, ALSO CALLED KENT TODAY KNOW AS PACIFIC RACEWAYS.

THE TRACK IS THE SEATTLE AREA SCCA COURSE AND HAS BEEN SINCE THE LATE 50'S.

QUALIFYING WAS ON SATURDAY MORNING, AND DICK WENT OUT ON THE ''NEW'' STRANGE TRACK TO HIM AS IT WAS HIS FIRST TIME TO RACE THE COURSE. HE DESCRIBED IT AS AS TRACK WITH ELEVATION CHANGES THRUOUT, AND ONE AREA IS LOWER THAN THE REST OF THE TRACK. Click the image to open in full size.
SEE T-3A AND T3-B AND WHEN CARS ARE IN THIS AREA THEY CAN NOT BE SEEN UNTIL AFTER TURN T-4. WELL, DICK LOST IT TRYING TO EXIT T3-A AND SKIDDED ALL THE WAY TO T-4. RESULT, HIS TIME WAS A NEW TRACK RECORD AND HE WAS ON THE POLE POSITION.

JERRY WAS LIVID AND WAS YELLING AND SCREAMING, WHICH WAS NOT HIS USUAL SELF. DICK DID REAL WELL THAT WEEKEND AND IT WASN'T UNTIL 1965 WHEN HE TOLD JERRY WHAT REALLY HAPPENED THAT 1963 RACE WEEKEND.
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Last edited by jimgessner; 10-27-2012 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:02 PM   #2
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Very . Thanks for posting the story and the pics.

Jim
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:04 PM   #3
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Wow - great pictures and story! Thanks for posting!

A question for you - in the 6th picture down, who is the face that is cut into the picture of the 00 Corvette? Is that also Jerry Grant? It looks very much like Dave MacDonald also, another early Corvette and Cobra driver who died tragically in a horrific crash at Indy in 1964, I believe.

Thanks again!

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Old 10-25-2012, 01:52 PM   #4
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A good friend of mine grew up just down the street from Jerry Grant and spoke many times of how nice he was to a kid with an interest in cars.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
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Great pictures and story Sorry I couldn't make it out for the tribute.
Thanks Jim
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxnharley View Post
Wow - great pictures and story! Thanks for posting!

A question for you - in the 6th picture down, who is the face that is cut into the picture of the 00 Corvette? Is that also Jerry Grant? It looks very much like Dave MacDonald also, another early Corvette and Cobra driver who died tragically in a horrific crash at Indy in 1964, I believe.

Thanks again!

You are correct, it is DAVE MACDONALD. I just corrected the photos ID's. Thanks for that.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:21 PM   #7
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There are many people who attended, that just today I am discovering there names and race connections from back in the day. The Museum has tons of history and info if you like old RACE CARS from 1957-1989 time period.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:02 PM   #8
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Very ! Thanks for sharing the pictures and information!!
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:13 PM   #9
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Great story, great history, and great photos! Thanks for posting that up.

For the life of me, I don't know how they kept those 63 front ends on the ground at speed without chin spoilers. Darn things are almost perfect WINGS! It must have bee very hairy at speed.


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Old 10-27-2012, 12:48 AM   #10
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Update the original post with some new photos and a track map of pacific raceways. The story is true, but my knowledge of the track is not....so it may be another corner.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:18 PM   #11
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Thanks for posting Jim. Great pics! Hope you are feeling better.

Fred
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:56 PM   #12
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thanks for the post Jim, so very interesting! It's good to see that history written down for everyone to enjoy and remember or learn about those years
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:24 AM   #13
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Default More update

Recieved this today:

''I like your post on Jerry Grant. I knew Jerry well in the late '60's. We were building and racing cars for Tommy Friedkin out of CA. Jim Pascal, Curtis Turner, Bobby Allison to name a few drove the cars. Tommy wanted Jerry in the cars, he could drive a Vette or an Indy car, but he never mastered the NASCAR cars. At one race Jerry hit the wall every lap, ultimately wearing the RR bumper end completely off. He parked the car stating that it was handling so evil he could not drive it. Paul Goldsmith, who was driving for Ray Nichels at the time, got in the car, came from three laps down to almost getting back in the lead lap in the same car. Another time we built a brand new car for Riverside. Jerry decided he could pass Gurney going thru the esses. Car was wadded up so bad that we had to find a team with an open trailer to haul it back to NC. I did get to see Jerry at Indy in '71 when he should have finished second, but, due a a penalty did not do so.

Jerry came to Wilkesboro one time with a M-16. He had flown in from CA with the gun! We had a lot of fun with that gun for a few days.''

Dick Whittington, CAI, MPPA
Whittington Auction & Appraisal LLC
336.838.8243 fax 336.232.1478
www.whittingtonauction.com
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:36 AM   #14
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Default Legends v this weekend

The RIVERSIDE RACEWAY MUSEUM is hosting its annual LEGENDS event. Special guest this year, the 5th edition, is BOB BONDURANT. If you like old CORVETTE and COBRA Racing History, this is the event to be at.

Details :

The Riverside International Automotive Museum will be hosting their 5th annual Legends of Riverside March 22nd and 23rd. The “60th Anniversary of the Corvette” will be featured at the “Legends of Riverside V” with honored guest Bob Bondurant. Many drivers who drove Corvettes besides Bob will be in attendance are Dick “Mr Corvette” Guldstrand, Tony Settember, Jim Jeffords, Joe Freitas, Doug Hooper, Bill Pollack, Davey Jordan and Dan Gurney.

Legends will also have a forum and films of the very popular USRRC series, which was created in 1962 by the Sports Car Club of America. The series ran from 1963 through 1968 and was dominated by Shelby American and Porsche. Drivers attending Legends that competed in that series are Bill Krause, John Morton, Bob Bondurant, Davey Jordan, Jerry Entin, Doug Hooper, Paul Reinhart and Dick Guldstrand.

Friday,the 22nd will start at 4 p.m. with a cocktail reception. Saturday, the 23rd, a continental breakfast, racing films, forums, lunch, autograph session (for ticket holders only), cocktail party, live auction, dinner and an interview with Bob Bondurant by Ed Justice Jr. The event and all festivities, including vendors are at the museum.

Proceeds benefit the Boys Republic, Chino Hills, California

The price is $149.00 and you can purchase tickets by sending a check made out to RIAM Legends of Riverside
Riverside International Automotive Museum
815 Marlborough Avenue #200
Riverside, California 92507
or call 951 369-6966 with your credit card and ask for Norma.

Tickets are selling fast, so order yours today. This is an event you won’t want to miss!

Share this please
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:48 PM   #15
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Sounds like a great event Jim, wish that I was going to be in the neighborhood. I have spoken to Dick G on the telephone a few times, bought parts there, great guy with a super sense of humor. I would like to meet him at some point ...
Frank ...
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00fxd View Post
Sounds like a great event Jim, wish that I was going to be in the neighborhood. I have spoken to Dick G on the telephone a few times, bought parts there, great guy with a super sense of humor. I would like to meet him at some point ...
Frank ...
The sad thing is so many of our ''heros'' are well into their 80's. The BONDURANT EVENT this weekend is important if you love the HISTORY of CORVETTE......and with BOB, you get COBRA also.
see the other new link I set up today.
http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c1-a...s-weekend.html
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:06 PM   #17
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I saw both posts, spent a lot of time looking at those pics ..
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:13 PM   #18
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Thanks for posting, very, very cool!
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:13 PM
 
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