Bob Davidson, Sr. "The Ram"
Bob Davidson Sr. on the front stretch once again with current racer Bob Jr, and current starter Barry Davidson. (unidentified relative on the left) Everyone around racing at Merrittville Speedway knows the Davidsons - either for the exploits of young Bobby Davidson or for the judicious flagging of starter Barry Davidson. So here we are in the year 2000 with one Davidson ruling over the racing at Merrittville Speedway while the younger Davidson is in the thick of competition in the Sportsmen division carrying on the family tradition in the Ram's head # 73.
How did it all start? Well back in 1957 - a younger Bob Davidson - later to be called Senior embarked on a racing career. Bob was originally one of the first Hamilton boys to tow to Merrittville Speedway. His car was built along the lines of the infamous Hamilton car builder - Wimpy Nicholls. A 1936 Chevy Coupe with a GMC 6 Cylinder engine. This was again during the era of the Ford Flat head but none-the-less Nicholls would build cars for Ernie Knight, John Bezanson and Bob Davidson's # 73. The high-pitched whine of the GMC six cylinder engines was unmistakable and also very fast.
Bob along with Wimpy Nicholls and Collie MacDonald would keep his fast car race ready with the help of sponsor Hartzell Road Motors - this car would soon be nicknamed "The Hustler."
As the 1950's drew to a close the Chevrolet V8 became a weapon and with Wimpy Nicholls' help a new # 73 car was constructed with the first appearance of the Ram - the car now nick-named Ram Rod. Wimpy Nicholls along with Jack Munn, Junior High and Norphy Rosetto would crew on the #18 Drinkwater Motors '36 Chev Coupe of George Winger- 1959 and 1960 Points Champion at Merrittville. While the #18 dominated - the #73 was always a contender. The #73 was now the familiar blue and white color sponsored by R.C. Davidson Power Sweeping. The Hamilton boys and their Chevies would now tow to Speedway Park on Fridays and Merrittville on Saturdays.
Wimpy Nicholls' racecars were now in demand and Bob Davidson remained a constant competitor until he retired in the late 1960's.
All during this time his son's - Barry and Ralph seemed to follow in their dad's footsteps. At one time or another - whether it was a bomber, late model or sportsmen - a Davidson was driving it. Eventually Barry gave up his driving and became assistant starter to Ted Beaucock. When Ted would retire, Barry would assume his present position at the top of the tower. For almost 20 years, Barry has watched over every race and competitor at Merrittville Speedway - loving it all.
For most of the last decade the Davidson Family has remained actively involved in the sport with Barry's officiating and Ralph's crew chiefing the career of the 4th generation - Bob Davidson Jr and the familiar Blue & White Ram #73 sponsored by R.C. Davidson Power Sweeping and Pete Cosco Haulage. If the last couple of weeks are any indication the # 73 is back with a vengeance - so watch out for the 'Ram.'
So behind every man is an understanding wife and for Bob Sr he has to thank Muriel for her support. Behind a lot of individuals are their trademarks and for the Davidsons it's the Ram.
So Bob Sr as you enjoy watching the #73 race feverishly in the Sportsmen division - it's been a tradition for over 40 years at Merrittville - a Davidson racing the Ram Rod Special.
Sincerely, Rick Kavanagh