William and Thomas Grimes
In memory of Leonard K. Grimes

Dowgard Special

Year Built: 1958

Chassis: Kuzma

Engine: Offenhauser 4 cylinder

Drivers: Jim Rathmann, Ed Elisian, Bobby Grim, Jimmy McElreath, Tony Bettenhausen, Leroy Neumeyer, Larry  Cannon

Livery Year: 1960

Sponsor:  Dowgard

Other than the Indianapolis 500, virtually all National Championship races held between the early 1930s and the late 1950s were 100-mile dirt track events. These popular events still counted toward the national title as late as 1970. These dual-purpose, solidly built “dirt” cars won the “500” in 1950, 1951, and 1952, and were still in the “500” lineup as late as 1956. The car seen here was built in 1958-59 by Eddie Kuzma. Owned by Lindsey Hopkins, it was driven on one-mile tracks by drivers Jim Rathmann, Ed Elisian, Bobby Grim, Jimmy McElreath, Larry Cannon, and two-time National Champion Tony Bettenhausen, who won with it at Phoenix in 1959. The car became known as “The Grey Ghost” after a rush repair job in 1962 led to an appearance at a track in gray primer. The car continued to run in the USAC Championship dirt events through 1979.