New England Auto Racers Hall Of Famer Jimmy Jorgensen Dies

(Release from New England Antique Racers/Pete Zanardi)

NEAR Hall of FameJimmy Jorgensen, a member of the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame and one of the premier owner/mechanics in Northeastern auto racing history, passed away Thursday, June 18.

From Riverside Park, where his “Flying Zero” won three championships between 1958 and 1962, to the 1969 Indianapolis 500, where he experienced the heartbreak of being first alternate, the 2012 Hall of Fame inductee left a lasting legacy on New England racing. He was successful with the URC Sprint Cars between the Modifieds and the Indy Cars.

“Jorgy” did almost all of it with the Chevrolet V8. He was instrumental in the development of Chevy V8 as a short track motor.

The dream of an Indy start evaporated late in qualifying in 1968 when Peter Revson bumped the Jorgensen car, driven by Rick Muther, in the final minute.

Jorgensen went to the Indy Cars in 1968 with truck dealer Buzz Harvey, the team racing under the Bulldog Stables label. The rebuilt car actually came out of a cellar in Broadbrook, CT.

The car, of course, was Chevy powered. They acquired a second car with an Offenhauser motor. Underfunded, the cars, with veteran Bob Harkey and rookie Denny Zimmerman doing much of the driving, posted credible finishes.

Zimmerman, who passed his Indy driver’s test in a Bulldog car, was one of several Hall of Fame drivers Jorgensen employed. Gene Bergin and Buddy Krebs were his drivers at Riverside Park when the Flying Zero, co-owned with Dexter Burnham, was a dominant force, especially in the longer distance events.

Joe Csiki was among those driving his Sprinter although most of his success came with Bill Brown. Jorgensen needed little time in making the move from asphalt to dirt.

He had great success as an engine builder. Lost in history is the role he played in the development of the Chevy II as a Midget power plant.

There are no calling hours and the funeral is private.


  1. john pisciotta says

    So sad to hear of Jim’s passing. When I was 16,and first raced at Lebonan Valley , He was the go to guy, and built our engines, along with Jeff,and Mark fluery’s . Later in life, He would stop by my garage , and keep up with my weekly happinings at Stafford. Truly one smart guy!

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing