Driver Profile: Guðbjörn [Bubbi] Grímsson

Guðbjörn [Bubbi] Grímsson

Driver

Name: 
Guðbjörn Grímsson

Nickname:
Bubbi

Born:
1961

Country:
Iceland

HomeTown:
Reykjavík

Club:
Torfæruklúbbur Suðurlands

Team:
Volcano Racing

Car

Name:
Katla Turbo

Number:
66

Class:
Unlimited

First appearance:
Akureyri 1986

Engine:
SBF 428 NRE

HorsePower [HP]:
800 - 1640

Torque:
1500lb/ft or 2000Nm

Nitro:
-

Turbo:
2 x 72mm

Transmission:
C6

Transfercase: 
Icelandic Special

Frame:
Steel Tubes

Axles:
9" Ford

Suspensions:
ORI Struts

Tires:
Bigger digger [34,5"]

Background

The Driver

Guðbjörn went to his first competition as a spectator back in 1983 in Grindavík. His first race was in 1986 on Akureyri and did he compete on his '72 Ford Bronco for three years, yet racing wasn't enough for him so he started to meddle with the organization of the events in 1986. When he stopped competing in 1988 he started an association called Jeppaklúbbur Reykjavíkur and did Guðbjörn sit as Chairman until 1990.  Not only does he have his fingers in the Icelandic competitions but has spread out to Norway as well. Today we drive according to the rules and regulations he among other have written. 

Although Guðbjörn is well-known for his rules and regulations he achieved titles such as Icelandic Champion in 1987 and Best in Show a few times, most recently in 2014 for his world record Hydroplaning.

The Car

Katla Turbo was originally born in Wayne, Michigan in the year 1972 when she proudly came out of production as a 6 cylinder, golden brown Ford Bronco with manual hub. She wasn't in Guðbjörn's possession until 1983and did he rush into modifying her to an Off-Road car. The 6 cylinder engine was ripped out from her chest and instead came 351 Turbo along with brand new axles, in front Dana 44 with super axles and in the rear Dana 60 which later on turned into 9" full floating axles. 

Katla was not only used in the mountains but did Guðbjörn compete on that very same car in Formula Off-Road in 1986-'87 but in '88 futuristic changes were made. He built the entire body from fiberglass and aluminum and extended the car 25cm between wheels. The engine was moved further back and downwards and springs were set up in the rear which had never been done before at that time in Iceland.

She was then sold and was only used up on the mountains for few years. Katla returned to her previous owner 10 years later but was kept in hibernation for few more years.

In 2011 Sigurður Þ. Jónsson, the team captain, called Guðbjörn up and asked if it wasn't the time to build a Formula Off-Road car. By that phone-call the latter competition career for Katla began. She had no engine and Guðbjörn's dream was a twin turbo engine with approx. 700 hp then he stumbled across Nelson Racing Engine. That engine has 1640 hp which was just over 900 hp greater than he had imagined. The axles were then too weak to handle that kind of power so the whole drive-line was changed. The old chassis was thrown away and replaced by steel tubes. The old fiberglass and aluminum body didn't fit the structure of the new and improved Katla so other one had to be made. 

To sum up, the beautiful '72 golden brown bronco had completely vanished in the 2011 modification but it's still the same one. After all, Katla Turbo is the only off-road car Guðbjörn has ever had.

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