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The Mighty Midgets Often referred to as the purest form of racing these "mighty midgets" are a racing history teasure.



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Old 01-29-2013, 09:32 PM   #11
Chris McGee
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Default Re: USAC: Jimmy Davies & Larry Rice

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Originally Posted by GeoffB View Post
Mike:the answers to your questions are yes & yes.

The No 1 was originally built by Bob Pankratz and was stolen, The driver/'thief' was killed in the car and the car was recovered after Davies recognised a photo of it. He continued to drive the car for a number of years and died of injuries from an accident in it in June 1966. See Motorsport Memorial website for details.

Les Scott subsequently bought the car from Judy Linne Davies. He brought the car to Australia on a tour with Dave Strickland around 1972 (?).

The car was described as 'pearlescent white' during the 1963 Australian visit. I've only seen black and white photos of the car from that tour, so it's hard to tell. Tattersall in the black & gold Mattoon Offy and Davies in his car. No wonder they won just about everything here in 1963.

While on the subject of Jimmy Davies, I've heard him described as moody and arrogant, whereas Kym Bonython (Rowley Park promoter) remembered him as professional, polite and easy to get on with - see Bonython's autobiography.

Would any forum members have any opinions/views on Jimmy Davies?

GB
The Davies Offy was Pearl. It was very light. He had drilled holes in every part on it. I remember that when most cars had an intricate firewall he just had a simple 1/16th aluminum firewall off the motor plate with U shaped rubber sealing it to the hood. Most of the tricks for 13 came from clever things found on that car. He became really good friends with my Dad and was fascinated with the cam grinding. They'd spend hours bench racing. When he returned to the US he visited Meyer and Drake and recommended that they make McGee Racing Cams their Australian agent for Offenhauser parts.
He was very confident with his driving. One day at the shop he put his arm around Tattersall and said "Bob tell them who's the best" Tattersall said you are Jim!"
Until just a few years ago he was the youngest ever Champ Car winner after winning Del Mar in California.
Chris
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:11 PM   #12
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Default Re: USAC: Jimmy Davies & Larry Rice

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Originally Posted by Mitch G. View Post
Next to a Kurtis Offy midget, the Watson is my favorite race car of all time, I probably like them more than the Kurtis midget. The #14, #95 and the #39 all belong to Bob McConnel of Ohio, he also owns 4 more Watson roadsters, as well as dozens of other race cars.
what about a grant king champ car? hooo-yah
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: USAC: Jimmy Davies & Larry Rice

Further to my previous post about the Davies Offy being stolen, here's the link to the Motorsport Memorial entry on Ray Smith, the apparent 'thief'

http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/fo...p?db=ct&n=4631


GB
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:23 AM   #14
mmciau
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Default Re: USAC: Jimmy Davies & Larry Rice

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffB View Post
Mike:the answers to your questions are yes & yes.

The No 1 was originally built by Bob Pankratz and was stolen, The driver/'thief' was killed in the car and the car was recovered after Davies recognised a photo of it. He continued to drive the car for a number of years and died of injuries from an accident in it in June 1966. See Motorsport Memorial website for details.

Les Scott subsequently bought the car from Judy Linne Davies. He brought the car to Australia on a tour with Dave Strickland around 1972 (?).

The car was described as 'pearlescent white' during the 1963 Australian visit. I've only seen black and white photos of the car from that tour, so it's hard to tell. Tattersall in the black & gold Mattoon Offy and Davies in his car. No wonder they won just about everything here in 1963.

While on the subject of Jimmy Davies, I've heard him described as moody and arrogant, whereas Kym Bonython (Rowley Park promoter) remembered him as professional, polite and easy to get on with - see Bonython's autobiography.

Would any forum members have any opinions/views on Jimmy Davies?

GB
I was a regular at Rowley Park in the 1960s until I went to Darwin in August 1968. I remember the Offy as pearlescent white as you described it. It was a stunningly good handling car with a great driver. I think in part the good handling was due to its light weight. As I said earlier, it was really only the profile of a TQ (3/4 midget).

I never heard any bad vibes about Davies as a person - as a driver, as stated professional and focussed.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:32 AM   #15
Mitch G.
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Default Re: USAC: Jimmy Davies & Larry Rice

Here's some more info on the Jim Davies, Bob Pankratz built midget.

From Jack C. Fox's "Mighty Midgets" book, Pat Clancy had bought the midget from Pankratz, Mel Hansen was terribly injured in the car. Wayne "Fat Boy" Ewing, A.J. Watson's main body man, rebuilt the midget for Davies. I think that center photo where the car is #32, was taken a Lakeside Speedway. The crash photo is from the L.A. Times, it's the Ray Smith fatal.

From Dick Wallen's Book, USAC "50 years of Speed and Glory" Davies in 1962 on his way to winning the USAC national midget title, with the Pankratz car.

From Ed Watson's "The USAC Midgets 1968 year book"(covering 1967), Less Scott now has the Pankratz car, he finished 10th in national points with the ex Davies car.

From Watson's 1970 USAC midget year book(covering 1969), Less Scott has installed a Chevy II, he finished 9th in national midget points against dozens of brand new modern designed midgets. I found he was 8th in national points in 1968 with an Offy.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:25 AM   #16
Mitch G.
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Default Re: USAC: Jimmy Davies & Larry Rice

You make a good point Dave.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: USAC: Jimmy Davies & Larry Rice

[QUOTE=Mitch G.;10422]Here's some more info on the Jim Davies, Bob Pankratz built midget.

From Dick Wallen's Book, USAC "50 years of Speed and Glory" Davies in 1962 on his way to winning the USAC national midget title, with the Pankratz car.

[IMG][/IMG]

...'The correlation between these two pics is funny. Early in 1962, Jimmy Davies showed up for and won a BCRA midget race at Sacramento's Capital Speedway. Jimmy was towing his rig with an AMC Rambler station wagon. It's obvious that 1962 was a pretty good year as evidenced by later in '62 when Jimmy had switched to the "Caddy" for a tow car!

photo: courtesy of the Ron Albright collection.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:04 PM   #18
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Default Re: USAC: Jimmy Davies & Larry Rice

Thanks MitchG and LittleFauss for the pictures and the comments re the Davies midget.

Indeed, it was a magnificent car with a very significant history attached to it.

Mike
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