Motorsport

Dave has been around motorsport and vehicles of interest all of his life. His father, Reg, raced trials motorcycles and then hydroplanes when Dave was a child. It seemed inevitable that Dave would follow in his father’s footsteps and began kart racing as soon as he was old enough  – 13 at that time.

When he turned 16 Dave and Reg acquired a dragster rolling chassis and set about equipping it with a 2½ litre Daimler V8 and a Ford Thames gearbox, calling it ‘Wild Angel’. Dave first raced this car at Blackbushe, 3 months after his 17th birthday.

After 3 years’ experience, and feeling the need to go faster, they built their first car from scratch: a Fiat Topolino bodied competition altered, powered by a 283ci Chevrolet V8. This was the first of the ‘Rough Diamond’ race cars.

A further 3 years on, Dave decided to move on again to a much more advanced car. This time it was to carry a Ford Model T body and was powered by a 331ci Chevrolet motor and a ‘trans-brake’ equipped transmission – a first in the UK, and then, one of the earliest UK race cars to reliably use the added power of nitrous oxide.

Dave then retired from active competition in 1984 and sold the car into Germany.

In 1985 Dave went to work in the USA as a crew member on Jim Head’s professional Top Fuel Funny Car team. Dave was primarily responsible for cylinder head maintenance and preparing the engines prior to an event. He also developed an electro-mechanical fuel ‘lean-out’ system.

After a season in the US, Dave returned to the UK, limiting his motorsport involvement to assisting racers in various disciplines, including Special Saloons and Rallying, and writing about and photographing drag racing for several publications.

Dave returned to the driver’s seat when he and his wife Alli discovered the sport of Sprinting, first using a Van Diemen Formula Ford car and moving to a Formula Vauxhall Lotus. Sharing the driving seat, they now compete in a Formula 3 Dallara. More recently Dave re-purchased and restored the Rough Diamond T bodied competition altered he built in 1980 and now competes again in this car.

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