Jerry Grant TributeHide Text
Jerry Grant Tribute - The First Indy Car Racer to Top 200mph
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 we 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."