After graduating from Phoenix Union High School in 1944 Jimmy enlisted in the US Army Air Force to b...ecome a fighter pilot but before he finished his flight training the war was over and Bryan returned to Phoenix where he was employed as a mechanic. Bitten by the racing bug while in high school, Jim decided to turn his Model “A” Ford into a racing roadster. During his roadster racing days he met, and became a good friend of fellow Hall of Fame Inductee Bobby Ball.
Jimmy graduated to midgets in 1946 and won his first race February 9, 1947 in a V8-60 owned by Kim Watkins. Bryan followed up his initial victory with six more wins that year in the Arizona Midget Owners and Drivers Association. (AMODA) In 1948 he felt he needed to run with stronger competition, so he headed to So Cal with his pal Bobby Ball to run the URA Red and Blue Circuits. By 1949 he hit his stride scoring fourteen wins driving for: Baker-Frincke, Cecil Shaw, Lew Bruns and Doug Caruthers.
With a promise of a ride from Doug Caruthers for Indy in 1951, Jimmy took off for the Midwest. Jim failed to qualify at Indy but he secured plenty of good rides in midgets and sprint cars. Driving the Leitenberger sprint car and Gil Morcroft midget he racked up an enviable record from 1951-1953.
With his eye still on the Indy 500 he joined forces with Clint Brawner and Al Dean in 1954 and made racing history on the Championship Trail winning the 1954,1956 and 1957 National Championships.
In 1958 Bryan finally got his Indianapolis 500 win.
Jimmy Bryan lost his life in a 100 mile Champ car race at Langhorne June 19, 1960.