Hector Honore was born in 1905 in Pittsburg, Kansas. After the death of his father, his mother remarried and they moved to Illinois, eventually settling in Pana.
After the depression, Honore started an auto repair business in Pana, Illinois, known as the "City of Roses." After a brief stint driving his own cars, he turned the driving over to others. First it was Harold Shaw and in 1942 they won the championship in the Midwest Dirt Track Racing Association (MDTRA). After the war with Cliff Griffith behind the wheel, they won the MDTRA championship in both 1946 and 1947. With Griffith's departure following the 1947 season, Honore found a new driver in Coal City, Indiana, Bobby Grim.
It didn't take the new combination long to find the winner's circle. From 1948 though 1950 the pair campaigned in both the Central States Racing Association and the International Motor Contest Association. They finished in the top seven all three years in the CSRA with 3rd place finishes in '48 and '50. In 1948, the finished 10th in the IMCA season championshiprunning against legends such as Emory Collins, Deb Snyder and Frank Luptow. On May 9, 1949 the won their first IMCA race at Danville, Illinois, and another later that year in Columbus, Georgia. In 1949, they scored seven wins in IMCA and sixth in points. In 1950, splitting time between the two sanctioning bodies they scored only one win in IMCA.
In 1951, they picked up Bardahl sponsorship and decided to concentrate on Al Sweeney promoted IMCA races.
In 1953, Hector decided his old rail-frame car needed to be retired and replaced with a current design. He had master-car builder Hiram Hillgress of Allentown, Pennsyvania build a state-of-the-art-tube-frame chassis. The car that would come to be known as the "Black Deuce" was born. They edged even closer to a championship winning 15 IMCA and 12 CSRA features and finishing in the top ten with both groups. In 1954, they crept a little closer, winning 17 IMCA features and losing the championship to the great Bob Slater. Things may have turned out quite differently that year if Grim had not had a frightening crash at the Belleville High Banks.
While racing side by side with Slater the two made contact sending Grim and the Deuce into the outside wall. The car ended upside down on the track with Grim pinned beneath. He suffered third degree burns from being pinned against the tailpipe as well as a dislocated shoulder. Grim would miss six races during which Don Branson substituted, winning three times.
In 1955, the legendary Black Deuce started an amazing run of seven straight IMCA championships. The tandem of Honore and Grim reeled off 26 wins and won their first IMCA championship going away. The next year it was 24 wins and a second championship including wins in 11 of the first 17 events of the first year.
In 1957, it was 25 wins and a third championship. In 1958, Grim would win 21 times in the Black Deuce including one string of six in a row, with the championship easy in hand, Grim left to pursue a career in Indy Cars.
To replace Grim, Honore turned to veteran IMCA campaigner Pete Folse of Tampa, Florida. The Black Deuce didn't miss a beat. It was another run-away championship with the Honore-Folse team winning 22 features. The 1960 IMCA points race was probably over before it had hardly began with Folse winning six of the first seven races and ending the season with 31 wins.
In 1961, the pair won 20 times and the seventh and last IMCA championship for the Black Deuce. From there the competition would get tougher.
In 1962 and 1963 the pair would finish second in points, first to Johnny White and then to Gordon Woolley.
The team ultimately decided to switch to a chevy powered engine. The Black Deuce would still be a force in IMCA, but would finish third for three straight years with a different driver each year, first Jerry Daniels, then Woolley and finally Bill Puterbaugh. 1967 would be the last year Honore would campaign the legendary car. He would have an assortment of drivers including Jim Moughan, Curly Boyd, Don Daniels, Tom Corbin, Duke Cook and J.L. Cooper. At the end of the year the car was sold to Chuch Weyant of Springfield, Illinois and was campaigned through the mid-seventies.
Hector and his wife, Olge "Ma" Honore, claimed they had traveled over 1,100,000 miles over the years campaigning on the big car circuit. Honore's No. 2 cars are credited with 434 wins, 704 heat race wins and 216 new track records over his 32-year racing career. Hector Honore passed away on March 3, 1983.
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