Bobby Grim – Driver

bobbygrimmheadshot after Bellville winBobby Grim was born on September 4, 1924 in Coal City, Indiana. His father owned a Chevrolet dealership, thus Bobby learned to drive a car at age six. After high school Grim joined the Army. Upon returning home from the war, he began his racing career at Jungle Park, near Rockville, Indiana in 1946.

In 1948, Grim joined forces with master mechanic Hector Honore from Illinois who had just acquired one of the legendary Offenhauser motors. Grim and Honore were a potent combination for eleven seasons in the Central States Racing Association and the IMCA “big car” competition.

bobbygrim5-30-57win at BellvilleIt was in the IMCA ‘big cars’ that Bobby Grim found success both nationally and at the Kossuth County, Iowa racing facility. Whenever their schedules allowed, legendary drivers like Grim, Gus Schrader and Emory Collins were a dominate force at the then half-mile speedway in Algona.

Grim’s success in the IMCA ‘big cars’ is legendary. Behind the wheel of the famous Bardahl sponsored “Black Deuce”, he finished fifth in the IMCA season point championship in 1951. He was 4th in 1952, 3rd in 1953 and 2nd in 1954.

1955 started an improbable run of four straight IMCA season championships, 1955 – 1958 in the black Bardahl car.

Bobby Grim leads at Algona. Don Smith collection.

Bobby Grim leads at Algona. Don Smith collection.

In 1959, Grim graduated to the Indianapolis 500, where he became the fastest rookie ever at that time and qualified in the middle of the second row. He was named the 1959 “Rookie of the Year” at Indianapolis. He went on to compete in eight more 500’s.

When his racing career was completed in 1971, Bobby Grim’s overall career feature win mark stood at 199 victories.

Grim was a 1992 inductee into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.

Grim passed away in 1995. He is survived by his wife Betty, the former Mrs. Frankie Lueptow.

(We appreciate the help of Tom Schmeh, Executive Director of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame located in Knoxville, IA for information contained in this biography.)