Nanaimo’s Nibbs Anderson began his auto racing career in the mid 1950’s as a crew member and a car owner and builder who was one of a group of dedicated individuals that were a driving force in the establishment of a race track in the “Hub City”. This came to be in early 1958 with the completion of “Grandview Bowl”, a ¼ mile paved oval just north of Nanaimo. A mechanic by trade, Nibbs ran his Nanaimo repair shop, ”Nibbs Automotive”, in downtown Nanaimo for many years. Throughout his racing days he was regarded as a carburetor and distributor “wizard” who assisted a great many of his fellow competitors with his diagnostic and rebuilding skills as well as his acquired racing knowledge.
Grandview Bowl’s 1st season saw Nibbs crewing, along with Don Allan and Speed Hunter, on a stockcar driven by Harry Roberts. Their colourful #13 ’34 Ford coupe, which sported caricatures of “Woody Woodpecker” on it’s doors, was a favourite with the fans, especially the younger ones! For the 1960 season, Nibbs built an immaculate 1934 Ford sedan which was sponsored by “Northview Esso Service”, carried the #9 and was driven by Ray Pottinger. With Ray’s seasoned driving ability and Nibb’s wrench-turning talents, the car recorded both wins and good finishes.
In 1961, Nibbs pulled out all the stops, lending his skills to three separate cars including the #37 Chevy coupe “Jalopy” driven by Fred Bull and the #3 ’34 Ford stockcar wheeled by Bob Clarke. Having driven a few laps at various times, Nibbs decided to get behind the wheel full time in 1962 and built a 1934 Ford coupe. He did very well his first season, winning Western’s annual “Roy White Memorial” race and finishing 3rd in Island points standings behind Brian Willson and Gary Kershaw as well as being voted Grandview Bowl’s Stockcar “Rookie of the Year” and also “Most Popular Driver”.
1963 saw him sell his stockcar to Victoria’s Bill Boden and buy Jim Haslam’s #98 “Modified Sportsman” that Billy Foster had previously driven. In addition to the two Island tracks which were part of the “InterCity”circuit, Nibbs ran several races with CAMRA (Canadian American Modified Racing Association) and also ran at Portland’s ½ mile oval and the 5/8ths mile track at Monroe Washington’s “Evergreen Speedway”. Nibbs built a new car for the 1965 season, again competing in CAMRA and on the InterCity circuit and finished in 5th place in the modified points race. Following a multiple rollover in September at the 1st annual “Tony Slogar Memorial Race” in Nanaimo in which he suffered a broken arm, Nibbs decided to retire from active competition.
Encouraged in 1980 to join the “Old Time Racers Association” (OTRA), Nibbs was given a ’34 Ford coupe, an old stockcar found out in the bush which was formerly driven by Parksville’s Ted Eastholm. Nibbs meticulously restored it to resemble the #37 car which he had driven in 1962, running his first OTRA race in June of 1981 at Black Creek’s “Saratoga Speedway”. He continued to race with OTRA at various Pacific Northwest tracks until his final retirement in the early 1990’s.
Nibbs Anderson passed away at the age of 93 in December of 2019 and will always be remembered by his contemporaries in the auto racing community as a great guy and a fine racer who was always ready and willing to share his knowledge and skill with fellow enthusiasts both young and old.