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Can anyone tell me about Dale Duncan?


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#1 Barry Boor

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 14:15

This gentleman drove a Maserati in the 1959 Aintree 200 but I can't seem to find out anything about him other than that he was Masten Gregory's brother-in-law.

Can anyone add anything?



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#2 arttidesco

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 15:27

Never heard of him before but he seems to have driven a variety of sports cars with varying degrees of success including a Maserati 300S.

#3 Jerry Entin

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 15:45

Dale Duncan was a Kansas City-based commercial airline pilot. In the U.S. he raced various cars including his own Jaguars and Ferraris, as well as A.V. Dayton's Maserati 300S.

After his divorce he moved to Houston where he raced Ferraris for his friend Big Jim Hall.

all research: Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 22 November 2010 - 18:10.


#4 Barry Boor

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 15:53

Thank you, Gerry, that helps a lot. The Kansas City connection confirms, to a degree, the truth of the Masten connection.

I wonder if he is mentioned in Mike Cox's book on Masten.

#5 Tim Murray

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 16:12

I wonder if he is mentioned in Mike Cox's book on Masten.

He is indeed, Barry. He apparently played a significant role in getting Masten involved in racing. There's also a great story about Dale and Masten winding up the local plod by fooling them into thinking that Masten was driving Dale's Allard through Kansas City (when he was banned from driving) and pouncing on him gleefully, only to find that the car was right-hand drive and being driven by Dale.

He also gets a passing mention in a number of earlier threads, including this gem from the 'On this day in motorsport history' thread:

January 24,

(etc)

1954, Dale Duncan puts out a fire in his Allard's engine compartment during the 1000 kilometer endurance race in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by urinating on it. His co-driver, Carroll Shelby,
had thrown the fire extinguisher out of the car to save weight. They would finish tenth. Shelby's driving skills were noticed by John Wyer, who would later hire him to drive for Aston Martin. (Typical Carroll...) Am I correct in finding that Maston Gregory shared the win in that Argentine 1000km event with Eugenio Castelloti and Luigi Musso?

(etc)


Edited by Tim Murray, 22 November 2010 - 16:19.


#6 Jerry Entin

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 18:11

Posted Image
Dale and Betty Duncan in 1955

When Dale Duncan wasn't flying for Braniff Airlines, he could often be found in the winner's circle, like here at Kansas City on September 1955. The car is A.V. Dayton's 4.5 Ferrari, the girl his wife Betty, who was the sister of Gregory's first wife.

all research: Willem Oosthoek
photo: Willem Oosthoek collection

Edited by Jerry Entin, 22 November 2010 - 18:57.


#7 Jerry Entin

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 19:24

Posted Image
Sebring 1958, drivers Mike Hawthorn, Briggs Cunningham and Dale Duncan waiting for the start
The fellow on the ground resting is Phil Hill.

Dale Duncan drove the Blue #7 Maserati 300S of A.V. Dayton

all research Willem Oosthoek
photo: Willem Oosthoek collection

Edited by Jerry Entin, 22 November 2010 - 19:33.


#8 David McKinney

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 19:52

Posted Image
The car is A.V. Dayton's 4.5 Ferrari

Wasn't that the car Gregory raced in Europe in 1954?


#9 Jerry Entin

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 20:46

David:

It is the same Ferrari: the 4.5-liter 375MM, chassis 0370. Gregory sold it to A.V. Dayton, who sold it to A.D. Logan early in 1957. A.D. Logan sold it to Dean Knight later in 1957.

all research Willem Oosthoek

#10 Sharman

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 07:55

Any connection between A.V.Dayton and modern historic driver Duncan?

#11 Barry Boor

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:50

I wondered that, too.

#12 Jerry Entin

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 13:28

A.V. Dayton was an Oklahoma-based manufacturer of electrical and seismographic equipment for the oil and gas industry. We have no idea if he is in any way related to modern day driver Duncan Dayton.


all research: Willem Oosthoek

#13 Barry Boor

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 13:59

I guess that Masten's connections to Centro Sud in previous years paved the way for his brother-in-law to get the drive at Aintree.

Not surprising that he never got another.

#14 Tim Murray

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 14:20

Sadly, there's no mention of Dale Duncan's Aintree drive in Totally Fearless.

It seems unlikely that there's any close family connection between A.V. and Duncan Dayton. According to this profile of Duncan, he grew up in Minneapolis, his father Ken being CEO of the retail empire now known as Target.

#15 Jerry Entin

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 14:34

Unlike Gregory [who did not need one YET], Duncan had a regular day job. Any Formula One adventures in Europe must have taken place on vacation time and as a result, unlikely to be repeated.

Didn't Duncan test a 250F in Modena around that time?

all research: Willem Oosthoek

#16 Jerry Entin

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 21:21

And of course by early 1960 Dale Duncan ceased to be Masten Gregory's brother-in-law. That is when Luella Gregory filed for divorce claiming "extreme cruelty". She asked for the Kansas City family home, $500 per month in alimony, $1,000 per month in child support [four kids] and a half-interest in stock and other properties.

Not sure if all her demands were met, but Masten avoided visiting Kansas City for quite a while. At the time his annual income was estimated to be over $50,000 by Luella.

all research: Willem Oosthoek

#17 David McKinney

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 21:22

Didn't Duncan test a 250F in Modena around that time?

Haven't hard that, though it's perfectly believable
Perhaps he signed up for the Centro-Sud school?


#18 Jerry Entin

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 21:48

Since Duncan raced a variety of competition cars for almost a decade, I doubt that he would have signed up for the Centro-Sud drivers school. I think it was the kind of visit that Lance Reventlow and Bruce Kessler paid in 1957, testing a number of the Trident cars. Maserati was always eager to please visitors from America.

Incidentally, Gordon Pennington went through the same thing while visiting Modena. He was invited to test a Maserati sportsracer with Bertocchi in the passenger seat.

all research: Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 24 November 2010 - 02:01.


#19 Barry Boor

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 21:57

Thank you, Jerry. Thank you, Jerry. :)

We certainly have catalogued Mr. Duncan's racing career. Let's hope anyone else searching for this driver comes upon this thread.

BTW, why is he not on Darren's F.1 Driver information list?

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#20 David McKinney

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 23:12

Is it limited to WDC drivers?

(Most website seem to be)

#21 Barry Boor

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 23:16

Good point, David, but then he should have shown up in the Others section - but he doesn't.