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Peter Gregg (racing driver)

Peter Holden Gregg (May 4, 1940 – December 15, 1980) was a racecar driver during the golden age of the Trans-Am Series and a four-time winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona. He was also the owner of Brumos, a Jacksonville, Florida car dealership.


Gregg was born in New York City, the son of a mechanical engineer and manufacturer of marine incinerators.[1]

He graduated from the Deerfield Academy, a private prep school,[1] in 1957 and moved on to Harvard University, where he earned a degree in English.[2] He had a brief career in film making, coupling that as a squash player and then eventually settling as an automobile racer.[1] After his graduation from Harvard in 1961,[3] he moved to Europe and attended the Centro-Sud Driving School.[2] He then joined the U.S. Navy and became an Air Intelligence Officer, and was assigned to the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida and served there until he was discharged in 1965.[2] He was at this time married to Jennifer Johnson and had two sons, Jason Gregg and Simon Gregg.

Racing career

File:1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Brumos Racing.jpg
1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR of Peter Gregg

Whilst he was at school, he began his motorsport career in gymkhanas and ice races after an initial appearance in a hill climb in 1958 in Laconia, New Hampshire.[1]

April, 1963 he drove an unmodified production Corvette in Osceola County, Florida and won the SCCA sanctioned race. He became a serious Porsche racer in 1964 with a Porsche 904 and then moved into competition with a Porsche 906.[1] In August 1965 he purchased a local Porsche dealership named Brumos Porsche after the death of the owner, Hubert Brundage.[2] He was the SCCA's Southeastern Division champion in 1967 in two classes and had scored victories in Daytona and Sebring.[1] In 1968 he acquired a Mercedes-Benz dealership. In 1968, he entered competition in the SCCA's Under-2-Litre section of the Trans-Am Series. He won six Trans-Am races in 1969 and also took the SCCA's B Sedan National Championship. In 1970, he opened a third dealership called SportAuto selling Fiats and MGs.[2]

In 1971, he was part of the major Trans-Am Series, driving Bud Moore Ford Mustangs, alongside teammate George Follmer.[2] He won the Trans-Am Series in 1973 in a Brumos Porsche and again in 1974. By this time, he was involved with IMSA and won the IMSA GTO overall championship in 1971 and 1973 earning him the nickname "Peter Perfect" possibly a reference to a character in a Hanna-Barbera Cartoon called the "Wacky Races" and his clean cut Naval Officer image. In 1973 he won the 24 Hours of Daytona in a Porsche Carrera co-driven by Hurley Haywood. He then announced his retirement, to lead a life as a director of the Jacksonville National Bank,[2] a club tennis player and a speedboat racer out of the Ponte Vedra Yacht Club.[1]

Gregg retracted his retirement and went on to win the 24 Hours of Daytona three more times, in 1975, 1976, and 1978.[2] His 1976 Daytona victory in the #59 BMW E9 Coupe Sport Leicht (CSL) "Batmobile" (the first product of what would become the BMW M Motorsport subsidiary) with co-driver Brian Redman is cited as BMW's first major victory on American soil. [4]

Gregg won IMSA GTO overall championships in 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979, giving him six career titles in the class. But in June 1980, he was due to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a 924 Carrera GTS for the Porsche factory team along with fellow American Al Holbert, but was injured near Paris when his car, en route to a practice session for the race,[2] attempted to overtake an ox cart, but a car pulled out in front of him and whilst avoiding them,[5] the car careered into a ditch.[3] Artist Frank Stella was his passenger.[6] His place was taken by Derek Bell, when doctors refused to allow Gregg to race.[3]

Gregg later returned and was given the clearance to compete at the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona the following month. His partner Haywood, who was scheduled to drive for most of the race, soon fell ill whilst leading, leaving Gregg to fill in for the rest of the race, but their Porsche fell back, eventually finishing third. Suffering from double vision, he was soon barred from racing by IMSA.[3]

Gregg’s success with BMW was rewarded with an invitation to order a BMW M1 Procar Championship supercar from the factory. The Gregg car painted by artist Frank Stella is cited as the only BMW Art Car (although ‘unofficial,’ Stella was an official Art Car artist) not owned by the factory. The car was sold by Gregg’s widow in 1990; donated to the Guggenheim Museum in 1999; and then sold at the Bonhams 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance auction for $854,000 to Jonathan Sobel, art collector, car collector, and BMW dealer. [7] [8]


Peter Gregg, aged 40, was discovered dead after having committed suicide in 1980.

At the time of his death Gregg had achieved a reputation as one of America's greatest and most successful road racers with 152 wins out of 340 races he started.

Deborah Gregg would subsequently take over the business. Gregg's endurance racing partner, Hurley Haywood, would assist Deborah Gregg (herself a racer) as she took the position of Owner/CEO at Brumos Motorcars. Deborah Gregg became a successful driver in the Trans Am and endurance series driving for Brumos in the 80s, following in her late husband's foot steps.[9] She re-married and sold the dealerships in the mid 90s.

In 1991, Brumos Porsche entered a two-car Porsche team in the newly created IMSA SuperCar series and won three straight manufacturer’s championships for Porsche with a pair of traditional white, red, and blue 911 Turbos. Peter's son, Simon, later competed as a driver, partipicated in Trans-Am, the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Series.[10] Simon Gregg currently campaigns a Chevrolet Corvette under the Derhaag Motorsports banner in the SCCA's GT-1-class. He won the SCCA Southeast Conference Major's Tour GT-1 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in January 2015, and set a new track record for the GT-1 class.[11]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g "International Motorsports Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "IMSAblog: Peter Gregg : a racing legend". Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  3. ^ a b c d,796550
  4. ^ "1975-1976 BMW 3.5 CSL IMSA". Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
  5. ^,210519&dq=peter+gregg&hl=en
  6. ^ "Bernard Jacobson Gallery". Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  7. ^ "Tragic Racer’s BMW M1 Art Car Heads to Pebble Beach Auction". Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
  8. ^ "Frank Stella's BMW M1 art car finds a new home in the Hamptons". Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
  9. ^ Roberts, Rich (1987-04-04). "She Is Chasing After Dreams, Leaving the Nightmare Behind Widow of Peter Gregg Has Taken the Wheel". Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  10. ^ "Simon Gregg Signs With American Viperacing for Sebring and Daytona;". Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  11. ^ "Track records fall at Homestead Majors". Sports Car Club of America. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 

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