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John Graves and Dave Helmick - where are they now?


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#1 alfredaustria

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 08:11

Hi - a special question to IMSA-fans: Does anybody know what John Graves and Dave Helmick are doing today and possibly how I can contact them? John Graves and Dave Helmick won the Daytona 24 Hours 1977 together with Hurley Haywood. I met Hurley Haywood at the Festival of Speed, Goodwood last month and asked him, if he knows anything. He regreted he had no contact...
So possibly any of our specialists can help me?
Regards from Vienna (Austria) Alfred :wave:

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#2 URY914

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 12:26

I was at the 1977 Daytona 24 race and will look in my old race program to find out thier home towns. Maybe that will help.

Paul

#3 URY914

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 02:26

John Graves was listed three times and from a different town each time; Largo Florida, Miami and Key Largo. One listing has him named as John C. Graves II.

Dave Helmick is not listed in the 1977 Daytona race program at all. But I did find a bio of him in a Sebring program and it says he is from East Strodsburg, PA and 41 years old in 1978.
"A practicing physican and raced since 1963,......Seldom a regular, one of the best to step in and help bring it home high up in the standings"

#4 alfredaustria

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 08:01

Thanks for looking up, Paul.
But I am still confused where there are now?
Are they still alive?
I don't know anything about them after their short racing career.

#5 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 16:17

Daytona, 1977...was that the year of the contaminated fuel? I believe they drove for Ecurie Escargot.

Jack

#6 URY914

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 01:11

I took this shot at Rennsport reunion last year.

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#7 Lotus23

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 13:39

I've never met John Graves, but have known Dr Dave off-and-on for nearly 45 years now. iirc, he's a radiologist. He and I were about the same age, so he'd be around 70 now.

I haven't spoken with Dave for a number of years, but I do know that Mike Argetsinger has been in more recent contact with him: Mike interviewed Dave during the writing of his excellent biography on Walt Hansgen. Dave was on the scene at Walt's crash at LeMans and was instrumental in getting Walt to top-notch care in an American Army hospital.

There's a story behind the "Ecurie Escargot" name. The short version is that it was a loosely-organized group of American racers stationed in Orleans, France in early 1960. The original founders were Captain Max V. Hawkes (AC Bristol), LtCol John J. Killian (Jag 150) and MSgt Clarence E. ("Ed") Campbell (Porsche 356), all of whom I got to know very well after I arrived in mid-1960. I was the 4th member of EE. I know that Max and John are no longer with us, and have been unable to contact Ed in years; if still alive, he'd be well into his 80s by now.

I left France in Aug 63, and shortly afterwards, Dave arrived in Orleans as an Army doc captain. He brought with him a Porsche whose rollbar was liberally festooned with tech stickers from U.S. venues, and was inducted into the EE immediately. Dave carried the EE name with great honor for years afterwards, achieving honors the rest of us could only dream about!

#8 URY914

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 20:21

I always wondered about that. Thanks.

#9 alfredaustria

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 08:34

Originally posted by Lotus23
I've never met John Graves, but have known Dr Dave off-and-on for nearly 45 years now. iirc, he's a radiologist. He and I were about the same age, so he'd be around 70 now.

I haven't spoken with Dave for a number of years, but I do know that Mike Argetsinger has been in more recent contact with him: Mike interviewed Dave during the writing of his excellent biography on Walt Hansgen. Dave was on the scene at Walt's crash at LeMans and was instrumental in getting Walt to top-notch care in an American Army hospital.

There's a story behind the "Ecurie Escargot" name. The short version is that it was a loosely-organized group of American racers stationed in Orleans, France in early 1960. The original founders were Captain Max V. Hawkes (AC Bristol), LtCol John J. Killian (Jag 150) and MSgt Clarence E. ("Ed") Campbell (Porsche 356), all of whom I got to know very well after I arrived in mid-1960. I was the 4th member of EE. I know that Max and John are no longer with us, and have been unable to contact Ed in years; if still alive, he'd be well into his 80s by now.

I left France in Aug 63, and shortly afterwards, Dave arrived in Orleans as an Army doc captain. He brought with him a Porsche whose rollbar was liberally festooned with tech stickers from U.S. venues, and was inducted into the EE immediately. Dave carried the EE name with great honor for years afterwards, achieving honors the rest of us could only dream about!

Thanks for your interesting story.

#10 ReWind

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 21:00

Originally posted by Lotus23
Captain Max V. Hawkes (AC Bristol) [...] no longer with us

Was there a connection to the state of Montana?
If so he should be Max Verl Hawkes, b. 31 March 1926, d. 04 July 1994.

#11 Lotus23

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 00:06

ReWind, that is indeed my buddy and mentor.

Max was a larger-than-life member of the Greatest Generation. Originally from the Salt Lake City area, he lied about his age and joined the Merchant Marine during WWII. Not long afterwards, he joined the Army and served in the European Theater. I clearly recall him telling me of his hair-raising adventures in the infantry, going up against German tanks while still in his teens. He stayed on active duty after the war, and ended up getting a battlefield commission during Korea.

Max had a bit of a gimp when he walked; I intially assumed it was a battle wound, but it actually stemmed from an Austin-Healey slipping off its jackstand while Max's legs were under the car. He retired from active duty in the mid-1960s; I believe he'd made major by then.

When I returned from my first tour in RVN (67-68), I decompressed with Max and his family in Salt Lake City. It was the perfect environment to do so, as Max had been there/done that. Somewhere I have his picture with his beloved AC Bristol. Will post it if I can get my wife to help me do so.

#12 alfredaustria

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 09:32

Perhaps anybody has an address of John Graves and Dave Helmick? I just want to send them a letter. Your help is very much appreciated. Thanks Alfred

#13 EHelmick

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 15:28

Hi - a special question to IMSA-fans: Does anybody know what John Graves and Dave Helmick are doing today and possibly how I can contact them? John Graves and Dave Helmick won the Daytona 24 Hours 1977 together with Hurley Haywood. I met Hurley Haywood at the Festival of Speed, Goodwood last month and asked him, if he knows anything. He regreted he had no contact...
So possibly any of our specialists can help me?
Regards from Vienna (Austria) Alfred :wave:




Hello my name is Erich Helmick i am David Helmicks son and i have his contact information if you are interested in contacting him. Also John Graves is my god father and would be able to cantact him also. a friend of mine Bob Mauer sent me this and hope it gets you the info your looking for. My dad has been retired from racing and from his practice for a couple years now and is living comfortably in Pheonix Arizona. I used to go with my dad to all his SCCA E production and SSB and SSA races when i was a kid and i can tell you first hand he was a great driver.

#14 URY914

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 11:27

Erich,

Thanks for replying and glad to hear your father is doing well. Does you father have any photos that he would like to share with us?

BTW, I was at the 1977 Daytona 24 Hour race that was won by your father.

Paul