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October 27, 2018 Old Race Drivers Reunion in Fort Worth


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#1 Jerry Entin

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 22:43

R. David and Sherri Jones were again the gracious hosts at Soldier Creek Ranch. Among the old drivers present were Willis Murphey and Bill Janowski, and Lonnie Rix and Carol Morrow as well as team owner John Mecom Jr and former Mecom mechanics Frank Lance and Steve Spencer. After a week of heavy rain, the weather finally cooperated.

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#2 Jerry Entin

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 22:51

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John Mecom and former Mecom mechanic Steve Spencer made the three-hour trip from Houston to admire the large frame with eight start photos taken at Sebring in 1965. They showed the Lola T70 and Ferrari 330P that John entered, as well as the meteoric start by Delmo Johnson in the Corvette Grand Sport that Mecom had sold to a 19-year old Alan Sevadjian a few months earlier.



Photo: Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 07 November 2018 - 22:53.


#3 Jerry Entin

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 23:21

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Frank Lance [on the left] brought his own exhibits to the Reunion. Frank worked as a wrencher for Jim Hall, Carroll Shelby, John Mecom and A.J. Foyt. Here he shows images of some of the cars he worked on: Jim Hall’s Birdcage Maserati [with Bob Schroeder] and Carroll Shelby’s Ford GT 40, seen as raced by Ken Miles and Bruce McLaren at Sebring in 1965.



Photo: Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 07 November 2018 - 23:33.


#4 Jerry Entin

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 03:06

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John Mecom with the Reunion hosts, Sherri Jones and R. David Jones is seated in front of them. David used to be a top official with the SCCA.



Photo: Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 08 November 2018 - 03:15.


#5 Jerry Entin

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 22:47

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R. David Jones about to give Anette Connell, Alan Connell’s widow, the grand tour of the 55-acre ranch. Alan was a Fort Worth resident and would have been 96 years old that weekend.
In the early 1960s David was employed by Alan Connell, working on the two Birdcage Maseratis that Alan raced.



Photo: Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 08 November 2018 - 23:05.


#6 Cynic2

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 23:30

Hi, Jerry,

 

If my memory is correct (and THAT'S a big if) R. David Jones was also the Chairman of the Sports Car Club of America in the rather distant past (like the 1970s, perhaps?).

 

Really nice guy I haven't seen in years. I wish you could have said "Hi" for me.

 

David

 



#7 Jerry Entin

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 18:03

David you are right:Starting as a volunteer corner worker at Eagle Mountain, R. David served for 18 years with the SCCA’s Board of Directors, seven of them as its Chairman. He received the Club’s highest honor, the Woolf Barnato Award and is still involved in vintage racing with a Lotus 23 and a Formula Vee.



All research: Willem Oosthoek

#8 Jerry Entin

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 20:51

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R. David Jones [center] in much younger years.



Photo: Willem Oosthoek Collection

Edited by Jerry Entin, 09 November 2018 - 21:03.


#9 Jerry Entin

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 23:58

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John Mecom, Frank Lance and Steve Spencer reminisce about John’s days as an entrant of sportsracers [remember the Hussein?] and Indy cars.

Graham Hill won the Indianapolis 500 for him in 1966, with the American Red Ball Special, a Lola/Ford.


Photo: Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 11 November 2018 - 00:02.


#10 Jerry Entin

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 00:39

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Barry Smyth [on the left] brought his McLaren banner and everybody was eager to line up behind it. Barry said he had the banner since 1972 and that the only other one was at McLaren in England. Obviously a banner dating back to better times for the marque.



Photo: Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 12 November 2018 - 00:43.


#11 Jerry Entin

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 00:04

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The day after, with R. David Jones and Willem Oosthoek discussing the event. David mentioned his plan to donate his extensive racing archives, dating back to the 1940s, to the International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen. In addition to his own SCCA archives, the collection includes the one put together by an old friend, Big Jim Hall of Houston.



Photo: Laurie Williamson

Edited by Jerry Entin, 13 November 2018 - 00:08.


#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 08:24

If only Willem were posting on here...

The McLaren logo changed a bit over the years, this is the original:

1118originalmclarenlogo.jpg

I don't know whether it was first used in the '64 Tasman Cup or if was on the Zerex Special when Bruce ran it during 1963.

#13 Jerry Entin

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 00:16

It is with great sadness that we have to report losing R. David Jones, the host of the popular Old Race Driver Reunion at Soldier Creek Ranch in West Fort Worth. David died age 80 at the ranch on April 10, 2019, after a 6-week hospitalization because of Pneumonia.

R. David was a true Renaissance Man, who knew how to worked his hands as well as his brain, as his multi-disciplinary career would show. But his real passion was competition cars, although he raced sail boats as well.

Having graduated from Arlington Heights high school in 1957, he discovered road racing at Eagle Mountain in 1958 and volunteered as a corner worker for the local SCCA club. College and a competition license followed in 1960, mostly for gymkhanas [running an Elva Courier] and a few racing appearances with a Lotus 11 owned by Bill Parham, his part-time employer and owner of International Motors, a used foreign car dealership.

According to his close friend Willis Murphey, R. David continued working as a course marshal, marking out the course confines with sand-filled grocery sacks and haybales. While still in college, he began working with John Miller at Alan Connell’s Mercedes-Benz dealership, mostly on cars raced by Connell. It was R. David whose job it was to sand down the two former CAMORADI Birdcages that Connell acquired in Modena, and who modified one of the long-tail cars to a bobtail version for shorter courses.

The new part-time job allowed him to travel to famous locations such as Road America, Daytona, Nassau and Watkins Glen. But with degrees in accounting and commercial law, a successful career with various Texas law firms and banks would bring home the bacon from 1966, and the funds to compete himself in Formula Vee.

By 1974 R. David followed his entrepreneurial instincts and founded Progressive Concepts Inc., an electronics business. It involved car stereo systems installed in new cars out of a service station. The owner grew the debt-free company to $150 million in sales in 1997, worth a Better Business Bureau Award for business ethics.

R. David’s commitment to the SCCA remained. He spent 18 years on its Board of Directors. First as Treasurer, than Vice Chairman and finally as its Chairman. After a record seven years in the top position, he finally stepped down in 2013. The Club did appreciate all his hard work and in 1986 he received the Woolf Barnato Award, followed in 2010 by his induction in the SCCA Hall of Fame.

Having sold his electronics business and now in his seventies, R. David embraced a new life of competition on the tracks, in Formula Vee as well as Formula Mazda, and for vintage road racing, a Lotus 23.



What a remarkable man he was. We will miss him trackside and as a host at the Reunion, and offer Sherri, his wife of 54 years, our sincere condolences with her loss.

Edited by Jerry Entin, 13 April 2019 - 00:19.


#14 JacnGille

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 02:11

Sad news



#15 Jerry Entin

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 15:41

https://scontent-iad...332&oe=5D021AB4
Texas World Speedway The Finish Line

This is an interview of R. David Jones who is a past chairman of the SCCA.

#16 Michael Ferner

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 14:26

Sorry to hear the news, thanks for letting us know. Condolences to Sherri and all who knew him.

:(