Ex - Fred Davies 1962 Davies Special 'Can-Am' Sports-racer Chassis no. 12790
The unique car offered here was built in the USA by Fred Davies, an English engineer who had first moved to Canada in the 1950s, ending up working for racing car manufacturer Bill Sadler. He was involved with building the Maserati 'Birdcage'-like Sadler Mk3 sports-racer and the Sadler Formula Junior monopostos. On file is a six-page Sports Cars Illustrated article about the Sadler Mk3, which includes a picture of Mr Davies.
Fred Davies eventually left Sadler and moved to California, finding a workshop near Los Angeles in 1961. It was there that he constructed a sports-racer of his own design using a beautifully made tubular spaceframe, aluminium body, Chevrolet V8 engine and Huffaker gearbox, the latter being one of very few suitable transmissions available at that time. Ratios could be changed quickly from the rear of the Huffaker 'box, and the car's rear panel was designed to facilitate this. By the time his car was finished in 1962, Davies' priorities had changed and he never raced it. Using on the road occasionally, it was stored until 1975 and then sold to dealer Brian Classic in the UK.
Brian Classic sold the Davies to a Dutch collector from whom it was purchased in 1978 by a Belgian neurologist and gentlemen driver, Pierre Haverland. Unsure of what the car was, he registered it with the FIA as a Genie, an understandable mistake as the Joe Huffaker-built Genie sports-racers do resemble the Davies car. Haverland had the Davies completely restored by Peter Denty in the UK and raced it in European historic events until 1983. He then sold the car to Sweden where it raced until 2004 before being sold to the current owner in Belgium.
The Davies comes with sundry invoices to Haverland; the 1983 bill of sale to Sweden and Swedish road registration papers; FIA papers (issued 1984); a colour film of Fred Davies driving it in 1967 (on DVD); and a 1975 copy of Motor Sport containing Brian Classic's advertisement. A box of alternative Huffaker gears is included in the sale. Described as in generally very good condition, the Davies Special represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a unique car belong to the pioneering days of rear-engined, large capacity sports-racers.