Gary Davis has a problem that other car guys can only dream about…he has a world-class collection that’s so good its location is top secret.
Gary has a fondness for racing memorabilia and that, combined with the connections he’s developed over the years has made his collection the envy of car guys across the globe.
That concept played itself out with the Dan Wheldon side of his collection as Gary explained, “I got a call from a collector who asked about the Dan Wheldon Indy 500 helmet and fire suit. I told him it’s not for sale and he told me my customer says it’s for sale. That’s when I told him that this hick town redneck says it’s not for sale because they’ll only be one Dan Wheldon and he’s connected by marriage to this area”.
Clearly Gary is building this collection for the right reasons as he explains, “It’s not really about me, my daughter Amanda is a special needs kid and she loves racing so she buys the racing stuff. In fact, John Force jumped off the podium to see her. She’s the one with all the celebrity racing friends, I just tag along”.
Gary and Amanda are fans of all forms of racing and this collection truly reflects that philosophy because it encompasses NASCAR, NHRA and Indy Cars. They are the proud owners of some very unique pieces of racing history.
The list encompasses so many racing legends that it’s hard to summarize but Richard Petty’s last helmet is at the top of a storied list, “It was the last helmet Petty ever wore and he never wore a full face helmet until the end”.
There’s another “last on the list“ NASCAR helmet as Gary explained, ” It was Davey Allison’s last helmet”. That one is obviously another prized piece of the collection.
No NASCAR collection would be complete without the famous Earnhart name and this one has that covered in a big way, “We’ve got a Dale Sr. helmet and Junior’s fire suit plus a wheel off Junior’s car”.
The collection encompasses a Hall of Fame list for NASCAR as Gary added, “There’s Rusty Wallace, Terry Labonte, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch. Labonte’s is held together with Bondo because these guys were superstitious so they never got rid of helmets”.
Drag racing is well represented with, among others, a 240 Gordie Bonin helmet and fire suit among others…that ‘s understandable given the fact that Gordie is good friends with Gary and Amanda.
Indy Cars are a big part of this collection and it includes some big pieces of history as Gary explained, “ there’s the Dan Wheldon stuff but there’s also the helmet that Greg Moore was wearing when he won the ’98 Indy 500. That’s my favorite. We’d like to round out the collection with Moore, Alex Tagliani, Patrick Carpentier and Paul Tracy so Carpentier is the last one. I like the Canadian side of racing so that’s why indy Car guys like those are in it plus others like Ron Fellows, Al Lee and 240 Gordie Bonin”.
This is one of those iconic collections because it encompasses so many unique pieces including a Russian Mig helmet, an F-18 helmet, a Blackhawk helmet and Evel Knievel’s personal helmet. Gary and Amanda clearly have a wide range of interests when it comes to speed.
The location is one of those best-kept secrets but so far Amanda hasn’t quit looking for the next addition to the Davis collection.
For a look at another top-secret collection take a look at this link.