Coming less than a year after his sale of iconic brands Impact Racing and MasterCraft Safety, motorsports entrepreneur and veteran off-road racer Robbie Pierce has announced the acquisition of world renowned Jimco Racing Inc., effective immediately.
Located in the heart of off-road racing’s “Gasoline Alley” just a short drive from downtown San Diego, Jimco is one of the most successful manufacturers of off-road racing vehicles in the world. A true American success story, Jimco was born out of passion and enthusiasm; eventually seeing its talented craftsmen build and develop more than 500 race cars, trucks and UTVs and hundreds of victories and championships around the world.
Pierce purchased the legendary MasterCraft brand in 1999 to continue the company’s mission of keeping the off-road community safe via high quality seats, belts and window nets. It was a legacy he eventual carried into the military field via MasterCraft Defense. In December of 2010, the native San Diegan leveraged the success of MasterCraft to purchase Impact Racing from Bill Simpson, a struggling enterprise that provided helmets and driving suits to a wide variety of professional motorsports.
Bolstered by Pierce’s business acumen, all of the brands under the Impact Racing corporate umbrella capitalized on constant product development, enhanced technology and immersive marketing to grow sales and industry influence to record levels.
An active off-road racer who drives in desert racing’s premiere Trophy-Truck category, in June, 2017, Pierce sold Impact Racing and its associated brands (MasterCraft Safety and MasterCraft Defense) to Italian-based Sparco S.p.A
“What I have learned over the years is that the dream and the opportunity don’t always align, this time it does. This fits my passion and expertise. Since TIG welding my first Class 8 chassis for Autofab’s John Ehmke in 1983, this is what I have wanted to do. Taking over the reins at Jimco Racing just feels like coming home,” says Pierce.
Founded in the mid-1970s by former Navy civilian engineer Jim Julson, Jimco’s roots were planted in a home garage in nearby El Cajon, Calif. It only took six months for the senior Julson to move his company to a small shop in Santee, and by 1978 he had left his Navy job to build off-road racecars full time. Blessed with inherent sales and business savvy, son Mike Julson joined the family enterprise in the early 1980’s, with Jim retiring to Oregon in 1989. In the years that followed Jimco earned a record 23 SCORE International Chassis Manufacturer of the Year titles, with the company eventually moving to its current 16,000 square foot facility just down the street.
In 2016 Mike Julson entered semi-retirement of his own, with son Matt Loiodice taking over the family tradition. A winning off-road racer in his own right, Loiodice will remain with Jimco Racing continuing his existing role of general manager.
“The bottom line to this whole deal is that I am stoked,” explained Mike Julson, who will remain active in future Jimco projects as well as race vehicle testing and tuning. “For a father an ultimate goal is to pass the mantle to his son, but in this case it’s even better because my son will be working side-by-side with one of the best businessmen I know. Robbie was just a tig-welder when he started, and parlayed his love of motorsports all the way to today’s announcement. We like to say that Robbie bleeds Jimco blue, and his heart and soul is 100 percent in it. You gotta’ have that first.”
Unlike his previous brand resurrections, Pierce insists that he is taking over the helm of a ship that is solidly afloat and sailing toward to a bright horizon. Jimco Racing will continue its evolution of modern race car and trucks, including the debut of a new mid-engine Class 1 car by Wilson Motorsports at this weekend’s SCORE San Felipe 250. Additional plans call for a greater presence within the rapidly expanding side-by-side UTV market, as well as offering customers immediate delivery of Jimco race vehicles right from its showroom floor.
And, in an instance of life coming full circle for Pierce, Jimco Racing was recently named a Master Wholesale Distributor (WD) in the greater San Diego area for both MasterCraft Safety and Impact Racing – ensuring that the always loyal off-road racing community continues to have access to their extensive line of safety products, helmets and seats.
“Right now my dream is that in ten years I can walk through the Mint 400 or Baja 1000 pits and still see the Jimco brand still going strong. This is the right move at the right time. Given the rapidly evolving and highly competitive nature of this cottage industry right now, you have to be a powerhouse – or you will be a memory,” concluded Julson.