It was youthful spectator visits to the Dragstrip that would spur on the engineer and businessman Nick Davies to distinguished participation and intercontinental success. Passive attendance became active involvement with a 1993 foray into Super Gas, followed by a step up to Pro Modified two years later. If his association with doorslammers has defined his engagement with drag racing, it has been Nick’s ventures into more recondite regions that have fully stamped his prominence on the sport.
The foundations of Nick’s success lie at a racing venue of a different kind. In 1997 he joined forces with another future Hall of Fame member, Rob Loaring, to acquire the parts company Rooster Racing Equipment, combining it with a near-bankrupt ICE Automotive Racing Engines and transferring the new business from a farm building to a 2,500 sq./ft. facility at Silverstone circuit, where it still resides.
In 1999, the partnership won its first UK National Pro Mod championship, with Nick at the wheel, and retained the title the following season. At the same time, they played a pivotal role in the development of Super Modified Eliminator, a lower-cost but highly competitive doorslammer class which would enjoy success for a decade and which forms the backbone of Competition Eliminator today.
In 2004, Nick began managing and tuning a Street Eliminator entry for Steve Nash which, four years later, would be the first turbocharged car to win the class championship. Meanwhile, 2005 began the venture beyond the doorslammer bounds into blown, open-wheel territory with the construction of Havoc, at first propelled by methanol, later by a tip of the nitro can. Over the next several years, Nick campaigned Havoc in the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association series, setting the blown methanol speed record at 205mph in 2005, and later drove Lawrie Gatehouse’s Chaos Altered, this time with nitro in the tank. In 2013 he managed the construction of Tim Garlick’s Apache Funny Car, helping launch the Nostalgia Funny Car movement.
In 2015, following a famous Dragstalgia match race against Pure Hell, the legendary American Fuel Altered, Havoc switched to nitro. The upshot, two years later, was a four-race tour of America with Ron Hope’s Rat Trap Racing, culminating in victory at Bakersfield’s California Hot Rod Reunion, the only British blown nitro win achieved on US soil.
In 2011 Nick had managed, tuned and driven Britain’s first turbocharged Pro Mod entry for car-owner Graham Ellis, earning a runner-up finish and the then-fastest speed by a UK Pro Mod, 239mph. This exercise would pave the way for ICE Automotive’s own turbo Pro Mod venture. Unveiled in 2018 and still a work in progress, the Pontiac Firebird has already set a UK speed record of 249.05mph, the first British mark to top 400 kilometres per hour.
It is for his exemplary racing successes in two classes, and on two continents, and for his engineering achievements at the forefront of our sport, that Nick Davies is hereby inducted into membership of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Profile By Robin Jackson