Bobby Unser to Appear at MCACN

Bobby Unser
1969 Pikes Peak Boss 429 Torino looking as it did back when Bobby Unser raced it.

In the world of motorsports, the name Unser is at the top of the pile. The organizers of the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals know that and, with the help of the Brothers Collection, they have arranged to have Bobby Unser put in a guest appearance at their next event in November 2016.

The Unser family name is instantly recognized in a wide variety of motorsports. Bobby is the brother of Al Unser, Jerry Unser and Louis Unser, the father of Robby Unser, and the uncle of Al Unser, Jr. and Johnny Unser. Bobby is one of 10 drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 three or more times and one of only two to have one the 500 in three different decades (1968, 75, 81).

Bobby Unser also holds records in Sprint Car, IROC, and at the Bonneville Salt Flats and he has the distinct honor of having won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb an unprecedented 13 times. That’s where the link to muscle cars comes in.

The Brothers Collection owns one of the most significant cars ever to run at Pike Peak. It is a car that Ford hired Bobby Unser to drive in 1969. It’s a Torino that was specifically built for racing at Pikes Peak and it set a record in 1969 that held for seven years!

This Torino still has a Boss 429 engine under its hood and looks exactly like it did back when it was raced. After it competed there, it was put in the Pikes Peak museum for several years. Then, it was shipped back to car builder Bill Stroppe and stored away for several more years.

The car has remained untouched and original, right down to its original paint and motor. Even the Goodyear Pikes Peak special tires are with the car. In fact, MCACN’s managing member Bob Ashton told us that there’s still a pair of racing gloves in the car. Ashton says he wants to find out if they fit Bobby Unser.

RacingJunk has no idea if the gloves will fit, but after hearing Unser talk at the PRI Show last year, we can tell you that MCACN attendees are in for a treat. This racer has a lot of great stories to tell.

About John Gunnell 141 Articles
John “Gunner” Gunnell has been writing about cars since ‘72. As a kid in Staten Island, N.Y., he played with a tin Marx “Service Garage” loaded with toy vehicles, his favorite being a Hubley hot rod. In 2010, he opened Gunner’s Great Garage, in Manawa, Wis., a shop that helps enthusiasts restore cars. To no one’s surprise, he decorated 3G’s with tin gas stations and car toys. Gunner started writing for two car club magazines. In 1978, publisher Chet Krause hired him at Old Cars Weekly, where he worked from 1978-2008. Hot rodding legend LeRoi “Tex” Smith was his boss for a while. Gunner had no formal journalism training, but working at a weekly quickly taught him the trade. Over three decades, he’s met famous collectors, penned thousands of articles and written over 85 books. He lives in Iola, Wis., with his nine old cars, three trucks and seven motorcycles.

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