Happy 77nd B-day To Racing Legend, Dave MacDonald
Listen HERE. Dave MacDonald was on course to become one of the great racecar drivers of his time before he was killed in a racing accident in 1964. To celebrate what would have been Dave MacDonald’s 77th birthday,
Sherry MacDonald (Dave’s wife), his son Rich, and daughter Vicki are our guests for a look back at the life and times of Dave MacDonald – Corvette racer, Corvette man, Family man.
The 1950s and 1960s were arguably the most exciting time in sports car racing history. The ingenuity of the post WW II era was astonishing and cars developed at a staggering pace. For a time, as quickly as new cars and designs were being developed, they were just as quickly being replaced with faster, better cars. But it was also the deadliest time in racing.
El Monte, California resident Dave MacDonald came of age in the perfect place and time of America’s car culture – Southern California. He was a fearless natural and took to racing sports cars like a duck to water.
By his third season racing in 1962, Dave attracted the attention of two of the most powerful people in sports car racing of the day – Carroll Shelby and Corvette chief engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov. MacDonald was offered a golden opportunity, a chance to work for and drive Carroll Shelby’s Cobras. While Dave’s first love (besides his lovely bride, Sherry) was Corvettes, the Cobra was THE hottest ride available in ’62 and ’63.
While working for Shelby, Dave got to not only drive some of the fiercest cars on the track, he helped design and develop the cars. Of course, every racecar driver wants to win the biggest race in America, the Greatest Spectacle in Motor Sports, the Indy 500.
Dave’s shot at Indy was driving the controversial Sears-Allstate Tire Special, designed and owned by another American racing legend, Mickey Thompson. The car had problems and in retrospect should NOT have been allowed to race. But it was, and drivers Dave MacDonald and Eddie Sachs were both killed in a fiery crash on the fourth turn of the second lap of the big race.
An investigation after the race concluded that there was “NO DRIVER ERROR,” Thus clearing MacDonald’s name.
Racecar drivers of the day were often ham-fisted dare devil types, but this was NOT Dave MacDonald. Dave married his sweetheart, was a family man with two children, soft spoken, respected by his peers, and is even today, sorely missed by his family, friends, and fans.
MacDonald was one of the best of his generation and was on course to become one of the great racecar drivers of his time. To celebrate what would have been Dave MacDonald’s 77th birthday, Sherry MacDonald (Dave’s wife), his son Rich, and daughter Vicki are our guests for a look back at the life and times of Dave MacDonald – Corvette racer, Corvette man, Family man.
Dave MacDonald’s tribute website (built and maintained by Rich MacDonald) is chock full of pictures, art, and tributes to a real man.
"I think Dave had more raw talent probably than any race driver I ever saw" – Carroll Shelby