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Bobby Unser RIP (merged)


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#1 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 15:40

Bobby Unser has left us at the age of 87.

 

https://www.wishtv.c...ner-dies-at-87/



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#2 sabrejet

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 15:58

Sad to hear: I just finished watching a documentary about how he nearly died on a snowmobile and then got a criminal record trying to recover it. Truly a life full of adventure.



#3 D28

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 15:59

Sorry to hear of his passing, here is the link from IMS:

 

https://www.indianap...t-87?startrow=1


Edited by D28, 03 May 2021 - 20:01.


#4 cpbell

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 16:00

Don't know much about the Unsers as my interest is more UK/Europe-based, but i'm aware of how much of a legend he was - R.I.P.



#5 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 16:05

So very sorry to hear of this news and I will always cherish my hour spent with him in 2010. A gracious and decent man.

 

A fabulous driver Stateside who also plays a small part in the BRM history as well. RIP and condolences to his family and friends.



#6 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 16:11

Sorry to hear that. I had a pleasant chat with Mr Unser when the USAC cars came to Silverstone and I found him to be a very nice man.



#7 Weaverbird

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 16:22

For some photos of Bobby on his two visits to Macau, you could go to my two separate posts:  1978 MACAU RACE OF GIANTS and 1989 MACAU MAZDA RACE OF CHAMPIONS 1989



#8 Red Socks

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 16:24

I did a Classic Marathon with him in 1990 or so. He crashed John Lewis' E Type at  Lydden so it put him at the back  of the field.

He worked his way up and ended up in front of me on a downhill stage in the Alps. Downhill on  a very narrow windy Philip Young (RIP)  stage in a E Type wasn't much fun and he kindly moved over and let me through.

Get to the end of the stage and we are waiting at the time control arrives Bobby and says ''Hey what is that funny little car, I was holding you up so I let you by''

I explained that it was a Lancia Fulvia Sedan -the Sedan bit he got but then he looked at me and said ''Oh Lancia, I remember Jean (pronounced Gene) Behra had one of those - he said it was a real neat car''.

Next stage was uphill and he disappeared ....

Thanks for that memory Bobby

RIP



#9 SKL

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 16:50

And appropriately in the month of May. Paul Page, Uncle Bobby, and Sam Posey, who can forget??? If I had known, I had forgotten he actually started one F1 race at Watkins Glen in '68! And finding some photos of Rutherford's car when it crashed upside down so he could study the undertray for clues...


RIP.

#10 Jerry Entin

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 18:23

Unser-Novi.jpg

Bobby Unser in 1965 in the Novi at Indy

 

 Bobby Unser in the 1964 Novi V8-powered Ferguson P104. He was scheduled to race the new Granatelli-built 4WD Novi, a lighter and smaller version of the 1964 model, but a collision in practice with a spinning Ebb Rose put an end to those plans.
 
The back-up 4-WD Ferguson/Novi was used instead and Bobby qualified 8th fastest after minimal practice. Running 5th overall on lap 69, he had to retire the car due to an oil leak.
 
Photo: Bob Tronolone [Willem Oosthoek Collection]

Edited by Jerry Entin, 03 May 2021 - 23:44.


#11 sstiel

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 19:24

Uncle Bobby as Robin Miller calls him. Condolences to the family.



#12 10kDA

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 20:21

RIP Bobby. For a time his airplane was hangared next to that of a friend of mine at Double Eagle II in Albuquerque and we saw him once in a while.



#13 Emery0323

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 20:52

Sad news - It's gratifying that he lived to the advanced age of 87, when so many of his contemporaries died untimely deaths.

So many iconic drivers from the 1960's and 1970's have started to leave us in recent years.

R.I.P. and condolences to the family.



#14 red stick

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 21:05

RACER Magazine posted a series of photos from his long career.
https://racer.com/ga...fe-in-pictures/

#15 JacnGille

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 02:09

Sad news



#16 StraightEdge

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 04:01

RIP Bobby



#17 SKL

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 04:03

That picture of Bobby with Mario is special as I read they were at odds for many years after the disputed win in 1981.  They made up just a couple years ago, luckily in time.



#18 Michael Ferner

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 06:22

A true GIANT is gone. :(

 

Bobby and Mario were great friends before 1981 - I can't imgaine that grudge held for so long!?



#19 sstiel

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 09:52



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#20 B Squared

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 10:34

Thanks for all the great times and memories Bobby. My Dad and Bobby, both 87, have passed away this year - Indy won't be the same this year.... 

Bobby-Unser-PC7-002-1979.jpg

B-Unser-IMS-80-q3-p19.jpg

Bobby-Unser-IMS-1980.jpg

DWf-Xn-AMWk-AAw-oy.jpg


Edited by B Squared, 04 May 2021 - 10:43.


#21 Henri Greuter

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 11:10

A true GIANT is gone. :(

 

Bobby and Mario were great friends before 1981 - I can't imgaine that grudge held for so long!?

 

Well, remember the feud was about an Indy 500 victory, being both two-time winners or still down to one and the other three.....

Something worth to have a long lasting grudge about.

Is Tracy on terms with HCN already ??????

 

 

Mentioned elsewhere already

 

Bobby was the last driver ever to retire one of the Novi's from the race.

He was also the last living person with race day and/or practice experience with a Novi.

 

Rest in peace Bobby Unser



#22 Risil

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 14:02

Robin Miller's obit in Racer: There was nobody like Bobby Unser

 

It does sound as if Bobby and Mario had no real contact from 1981 until 2013. I suppose when you're both busy and live half a continent apart a disagreement can become a separation without much conscious effort.



#23 mariner

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 14:26

I seem to recall from the Unser bok that Bobby was a  very competitive athlete from his high  school days - a local wresling champion I think.



#24 Henri Greuter

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 14:32

deleted


Edited by Henri Greuter, 04 May 2021 - 14:34.


#25 wolf sun

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 15:02

A household name even to someone without any meaningful insight whatsoever into the American racing scene.

 

Rest in peace, Bobby Unser.



#26 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 15:28

Red Socks, My Dad was also on that 1990 Pirelli Marathon [Arthur Senior / Les Cowan, Riley 1.5] and I went round spectating & taking photos. As with you, Bobby was intrigued to know what engine was in the Riley and was impressed at Dad's handling of the car :drunk: .

Pure coincidence...Dad's granddaughter....my niece...also lives in Albuquerque. Don't know if she ever met Bobby though....


Edited by Dick Dastardly, 04 May 2021 - 15:31.


#27 lcbulldog

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 16:32

I was always a big fan of the Unsers beginning when we moved to New Mexico in the '50s.  We were at Phoenix in 1966 when Bobby went under the top rail of the guardrail and were amazed when he emerged alive.  

 

I went through the great Unser Museum in ABQ and saw some of the race cars that I had only seen or read about in magazines when I was growing up. Highly recommended. The yellow Novi  was the best of the collection for me.  So long and rest in peace Bobby.



#28 Lemnpiper

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 17:43

Godspeed Bobby,

 

 

 

 As noted in post#13 many of his surviving   

   contemporaries  for the 60's & 70's as passing on now  here are 2 points to think about,

 

 He is now the 5th longest lived Indy 500 winner of all time  ( Lou Meyer ,Rene Thomas, Ray Harroun , and Parnelli Jones )at his passing  

 

 Plus the 50th anniversary on the 1971 Indy 500 is coming up  and of 18 surviving drivers  only Bill Vukovich II (1944)  and Steve Krisiloff ( 1946) are not already 80 plus years of age.

 

 

  Paul


Edited by Lemnpiper, 04 May 2021 - 17:44.


#29 B Squared

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:02

Bobby was always admired and liked by my late Dad, as were Al and Al Jr. - here's a few reminders of him from Dad's collection.

Bobby-U-Miller.jpg

Bobby-U.jpg

Bobby-PC7.jpg



#30 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:13

Thanks for all the great times and memories Bobby. My Dad and Bobby, both 87, have passed away this year - Indy won't be the same this year....


So sorry to read about the loss of your Dad, Brian. Sincere condolences to you and the family.

Condolences too to the Unser family, who have made such an amazing contribution to the sport over so many years. RIP Bobby.

#31 B Squared

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:25

Thank you Tim. 



#32 Jerry Entin

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 00:16

Unser-Lotus19.jpg
In 1965, having used Dan Gurney, Bill Krause, Chuck Daigh and Jim Clark in previous years, Lotus 19 owner Frank Arciero invited Bobby Unser to race his chassis 951. The car featured a Chevy V8 by now. Seen here at Riverside during the 1965 Times Grand Prix, Bobby finished finished 6th overall. One week later at Laguna Seca, the combination retired. Bobby also raced Arciero's Lotus 23 that year.
 
Photo: Bob Tronolone [Willem Oosthoek Collection]

Edited by Jerry Entin, 06 May 2021 - 00:37.


#33 sat

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 04:44

 

Unser-Lotus19.jpg
In 1965, having used Dan Gurney, Bill Krause, Chuck Daigh and Jim Clark in previous years, Lotus 19 owner Frank Arciero invited Bobby Unser to race his chassis 951. The car featured a Chevy V8 by now. Seen here at Riverside during the 1965 Times Grand Prix, Bobby finished finished 6th overall. One week later at Laguna Seca, the combination retired. Bobby also raced Arciero's Lotus 23 that year.
 
Photo: Bob Tronolone [Willem Oosthoek Collection]

 

1964



#34 B Squared

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Posted 08 May 2021 - 10:33

A few photos of my brothers stop at Unserville in 1985. My brother and then wife had flown to Long Beach for the race, rented a Ferrari while in California, and then picked up our Grandmother in Santa Barbara and drove her Cadillac back to Indiana. While going through Albuquerque, they went by the Unser's - there was activity, so they stopped in. Bobby was fabricating a rear guard for he and Marsha's Newell coach. They were going on a Alaskan trip and it would protect the vehicle they were going to tow behind from being pummeled with stone. Bobby's winning 1981 PC9B was also under his ownership at the time. They had a wonderful time over a few hours that included a home tour from Marsha. Bobby asked for some help with a couple of small projects while there - Bruce was all too happy to oblige; what a memory.

 

B-unser-NM-1985.jpg

B-Unser-NM-home-1985.jpg

B-Unser-NM.jpg

Bobby-and-Bruce-1985.jpg

Bobby-and-Bruce.jpg

Bobby-Marsha-Unser-Bruce.jpg


Edited by B Squared, 08 May 2021 - 10:52.


#35 B Squared

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Posted 08 May 2021 - 10:39

Watkins Glen, 1979. Bobby and brother Al heading to the grid. Bobby would win that day as he took six victories in the Penske PC7 during the inaugural CART season.

Bobby-and-Al-Watkins-Glen-1979.jpg



#36 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 21:17

Bobby's son, by the same name, has died aged just 53 and just a few weeks after his father. https://www.kob.com/...s-away/6140614/

 

Sincere condolences to Robby and the rest of the Unser clan.



#37 JacnGille

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Posted 15 June 2021 - 02:27

Sad news



#38 Disco Stu

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Posted 15 June 2021 - 13:03

Bobby Jr. was actually 65, they've removed the incorrect age from that story.  The original story they put out was totally butchered, they referred to him as a former Indy Car driver and his brother Robby as an Indy 500 winner :o



#39 Michael Ferner

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Posted 15 June 2021 - 13:32

Bobby junior had the bad luck to go up against Al junior in his early career. Bobby was more than competent, but Al was simply a revelation, clearly a star in the making. If it hadn't been for the inevitable comparisons, Bobby could've had a very good career in racing. When you're as good as Al junior, the name helps, if not it can be a handicap.



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#40 Jim Thurman

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Posted 15 June 2021 - 20:04

Bobby Jr. was actually 65, they've removed the incorrect age from that story.  The original story they put out was totally butchered, they referred to him as a former Indy Car driver and his brother Robby as an Indy 500 winner :o

 

They dropped the age, apparently five minutes later, but still have Robby as a '500' winner. Sigh. As much of a hash as it is, I recognize that it was likely put together by some intern who is responsible for dozens of entries daily and not paid a remotely living wage.