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.
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
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