HIGHCROFT RACING'S DUNCAN DAYTON KEEPS THE ROMANCE OF A BYGONE ERA ALIVE IN A CLASSIC EWING/OFFY ROADSTER AT THE INDY VINTAGE CAR PARADE Thursday, May 24, 2007 - Danbury,...
HIGHCROFT RACING'S DUNCAN DAYTON KEEPS THE ROMANCE OF A BYGONE ERA ALIVE IN A CLASSIC EWING/OFFY ROADSTER AT THE INDY VINTAGE CAR PARADE
Thursday, May 24, 2007 - Danbury, CT -- Duncan Dayton will turn laps in the Joe Hunt Magneto Special, a Ewing/Offy from the golden years of roadster racing, at the famed track in the Vintage Indy Car Parade on May 25, 2007.
Dayton, who has been collecting vintage race cars for over 20 years, will mark several firsts with this outing. It is both his first time driving the car (which he co-owns with James King and Marnix Dillenius) and his first time around the celebrated 2.5 mile oval.
"It's a blast to race these vintage cars, which were groundbreaking in their day," enthused Dayton. "These drivers used to get out in an open cockpit, with short sleeves and a cloth cap. It's a far cry from how we race today. I'm really looking forward to opening it up on this great track."
The car is one of only two roadsters built by Wayne "Fat Boy" Ewing, a body man nonpareil, who worked with A.J. Watson, a top chassis builder in Southern California during the 1950s and 60s.
The roadsters, revolutionary in design when they first appeared in the early 1950s, boasted a lower front profile and wider chassis than earlier race cars. This innovative design allowed the drive shaft to pass alongside the driver, instead of beneath him, resulting in a car that could take corners 10 - 15 mph faster than previous models, and that maxed out at speeds close to 150 mph.
Racing vintage sports cars allows Dayton to visit, in spirit and machine, the era of sports car racing that he deems "the most romantic." Designers and drivers were constantly pushing the limits, paving the way for heightened performance and speed, but also increased risk and danger. The roadsters high center of gravity combined with the speeds they were capable of reaching resulted in a fair amount of flipping cars.
"When you're driving one of these machines, all your senses are fired up- it's really sensory overload," comments Dayton. "You've got to step back and admire these guys for their sheer gutsiness in pushing the limits. Although I plan on wearing slightly more protection that they did in the heyday of roadster racing, I hope to experience some of the same adrenaline-packed thrills they must have felt in these cars."
This car, among others, will be on display throughout the Indy 500 weekend in a tent located in the east parking lot of the Speedway's Hall of Fame Museum. For more information, please call (317) 492-6784 or visit www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.
Engine: Offenhauser 4 cyl. 255 cu. in
250 bhp at 5500 rpm torque 280 ft lbs
Transmission: Meyer Drake 2 speed
-credit: highcroft racing