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The Ray Brewer/Brewer's Datsun Pages

Ray Brewer

Ray Brewer ran the most successful Datsun Roadster race team in the MidWest.
His drivers included
Elouise Norris, Bert Jones
D W (
Doc) Foerster.

These pages chart the history of the team and include a Gallery of images never previously seen.


 The MidWest perspective
by Jim Kellar

It is important when considering these pages (and those on Dick Roberts and Bob Hindson, as well as other pages planned for the site) to put the background to the "unsung heros" from the Midwest Division in perspective. In the early 1960s the US West Coast was "where it was at" as far as SCCA racing was concerned. The Cal Club (California Sports Car Club) existed on its own before the SCCA. All of the US auto enthusiast magazines originated on the West Coast and they naturally tended to write about the topics close to hand. Foremost in sports car circles was the late Jerry Titus, a successful racer and the Editor of Sports Car Graphic. There was also a lot happening on the East Coast. Penske, Bob Sharp and the like were themselves enjoying a lot of press. At that time the SCCA listed champions from each of the divisions and then determined the National Champion purely from the total points scored. The poor guys in the middle were hardly noticed until the SCCA developed the American Road Race of Champions (later "The Runoffs"). Alternating between Riverside and Daytona, it was only now that the Midwest drivers started to receive any press coverage. This is how drivers like Doc Foerster and Elouise Norris, who are discussed below, and others, like John McComb and Dick Roberts, got themselves on the map. By then however, Elouise, Doc and the Brewer gang seen here, had started to age. From the following text you will see that these guys attended and won race after race, with very little recognition. These pages hopefully go a little way to rectifying the situation.


 Ray Brewer

Ray Brewer
Brewer's Datsun

Ray Brewer was the owner of Brewer's Datsun of Oklahoma City, one of the first Datsun dealerships in the MidWest. From the start, he was determined to run a race team, both to satisfy a hobby and to help sell more cars.  The Datsun 1500 Roadster, which was only just beginning to show up as a contender on the East Coast under Bob Sharp, had the potential to win, and this was to be Ray's first venture into Datsun racing. His campaign started just a few months, if not weeks, after Bob Sharp and Paul Jaremko started their racing efforts. Ray's first regular driver was Elouise Norris and her story follows. After a successful spell with Elouise at the wheel Ray took on DW (Doc) Foerster to race the newly announced Datsun 1600 Roadster. Doc was to be Ray's most successful driver - little known outside the MidWest he qualified various Datsun roadsters for no less than seven ARRCs, across three production classes.

When Elouise switched to her D/S Mini, after reliability problems with the 1500, Ray offered her seat to Bert Jones. Bert's 1500 and Doc's 1600 were a regular sight on the back of Ray's 40 foot rig right across the MidWest, although the team enjoyed just one year when both drivers qualified for the ARRC.

Ray gave his all for the team, weekend after weekend. Brewer's had little or no support from Datsun, unlike their West/East Coast counterparts, and any development was conducted by the team themselves. Ray did most of the wrenching and he always drove the car hauler. Jim Kellar, an independent Datsun racer in the 1960s, remembers when the team went to Roswell:

"I was with a fellow in a '66 Ford sedan towing a trailer with a Bugeyed Sprite onboard. It was an eight hour drive from Tulsa and we drove all through the night through 'pea soup fog' that would intimidate a Londoner. Anyway, we were able to navigate because Ray was in front of us with that two car hauler. We followed his tail and clearance lights the whole time at about 30-35 MPH. Obviously Ray had to be the one to peer out ahead through that fog. Ray drove all night then worked all day in the desert sun - at that time he was already into his fifties."

When Brewer's was repossessed by the bank, Ray continued to crew for Doc for around two years. He then got tired of racing, moved to Arkansas and remarried. Little has been written about the team's exploits, until now.


 Ray's Drivers

Elouise Norris - 1500 campaigner
Elouise Norris
Elouise Norris

Doc Foerster - 1600 & 2000 campaigner
Doc Foerster
D.W. (Doc) Foerster

Bert Jones - 1500 campaigner
Bert Jones
Bert Jones

 Elouise Norris

Elouise Norris, of Oklahoma City, was Dave Dooley's secretary. Dave was a Professional Civil Engineer in Oklahoma City who enjoyed a number of successful years driving a Jaguar XKE, a Lotus Cortina and Triumph GT6.  Elouise got the bug for racing when she drove Dave's XKE in practice/warm-up sessions in the early 1960s.  She soon started racing a Triumph TR-3 in her own right, and after a successful season in 1964, when she placed 5th in the MidWest division, she was invited to the inaugural ARRC at Riverside. She repeated this form the following year and travelled to Daytona for the 1965 ARRC. After an approach from Ray during 1965, she moved to the Datsun 1500 and again enjoyed a successful season, taking the Datsun to the 1966 ARRC. Frustrated by reliability problems, and seeing how easy the Mini was to work on and race, Elouise bought her own 970cc Mini Cooper S.  Competing in D Sedan, in a car prepared by Jerry Maxwell, who also prepared Dave Dooley's cars, she enjoyed further success, including her best placings at the 1967 and 1968 ARRCs when she finished 3rd and 2nd respectively. Her 1967 2nd place was behind Dan Parkinson, campaigning an Abarth in back-to-back races with his Datsun 1600 in FP, when he placed 3rd.

Elouise Norris - Triumph TR3 1965
Elouise's TR3 - click above for larger image

In her time racing the Datsun 1500, Ray Brewer and Elouise opened a lot of eyes. Jim Kellar comments: "The sight of a "dumb girl" racing a "Japanese Beer Can" and "whooping the asses" of the British Sports Cars (Sprites, Spitfires, MG Midgets, and Morgans) which at that time dominated the scene, was one to remember. Very few people knew what a Datsun was in 1965!"

Jim continues: "Elouise probably weighed around 110 lbs. To see a little grey-haired old lady of this size drive so aggressively, yet always in perfect form, was a sight to behold. She and her Datsun were always noticed. I recall that the Oklahoma City SCCA drivers once held a high speed drivers seminar for the Oklahoma City Police Dept. Just imagine a person of her stature demonstrating to a big burly Cop how to drive his car at 120mph sliding sideways through a turn."

Elouise's time at the wheel of the Datsun had it's frustrating moments, but she showed great resolve: Don Gwynne, Assistant Editor/Photographer of the Oklahoma Region SCCA newsletter, wrote the following in March 1966:

"NEVER A DULL MOMENT AT THE FROSTBITE – Green Valley Raceway – February 12-13, 1966

ELOUISE NORRIS did well in her first drive for RAY BREWER’S ‘Team Datsun’, placing second in both her races behind the Alamo Spitfire, which always looks jet propelled. In the second race the shift lever came off in her hand, but she stuck it back in the hole it came out of and found a gear (2nd). The fact that after spinning out when losing the lever, putting it back in, driving the rest of the race in second gear, and still coming in second speaks for itself as to how far ahead of most of the other cars she was. Thinks fast, does ELOUISE."

Writing in 2006, 40 years later, Don remembers: Elouise Norris’ mother, long dead now, was a sweet woman who took it upon herself to knit bulky white sweaters with the Oklahoma Region SCCA logo (a stylized American Indian in a red sports car) on the back. In Oklahoma Region SCCA, you really knew you were somebody special if Elouise gave you one of those sweaters. I hope I haven’t lost mine, as it was a prize possession back in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s!"




1964 (F Production - Triumph TR-3)


1965 (F Production - Triumph TR-3)


1966 (G Production - Datsun 1500)


1967 (D Sedan - Mini Cooper)


1968 (D Sedan - Mini Cooper)


Elouise Norris sadly passed away in 1986, aged 65. In 2001 Elouise received a mention on the www.miniusa.com website for her exploits.  

 D W (Doc) Foerster

David W. (Doc) Foerster, of Oklahoma City,  started campaigning for Ray in the MidWest division in 1966 after a season at the wheel of a Datsun 1500 in the SCCA's South West Division. He had previously qualified the 1500 at the 1965 ARRC although he placed a DNF. For the 1966 season, with Elouise campaigning the Brewer 1500, Doc was given a Datsun 1600. The only Datsun in his class in the MidWest division, Doc enjoyed some close racing with Ray Post in his MGA as well as the TR-3s of Bill Boemler and John Stafford, finishing second in the Division and qualifying for the 1966 ARRC. Here he enjoyed what was to be his best ARRC result, taking 6th in F Production.

In 1967, Doc again campaigned the 1600, as well as a silver Solex-equipped Datsun 2000, which he campaigned in C Production. He was joined on the team by Bert Jones (see below) who took Elouise's seat in the 1500. Doc's 1600 for this season sported a 'red cross' motif on the rear quarter panels, reflecting his profession. The two enjoyed a successful season, with Doc receiving the third biggest purse from Datsun, after Dick Roberts and Jim Fitzgerald. He took both the 1600 and the 2000 to the ARRC at Daytona. Qualification that year was to rank him with Bob Sharp as one of only two race drivers to take the Datsun 1500, 1600 and 2000 to the Runoffs. Doc and Bob Sharp were the only two to qualify the Roadster for the C Production ARRC in 1967, the year that the 2000 was launched. Doc finished 9th beating BobSharp into 12th place.

For 1968, with Bert Jones qualifying the Brewer's Datsun 1600 in F Production, and Doc again competing well in C Production, Ray was able to take two cars to the ARRC for the third time. Unfortunately, Doc recorded a DNF at the event, held that year at Riverside.

Right: Doc's 'Red Cross' motif.


Doc's Red Cross

Doc Foerster

Around this time, at Bottomless Lakes, Doc Foerster made the news in a different way ...

Jim Kellar tells the story.

The Bottomless Lakes course was carved out in very rugged terrain in the New Mexico desert. It was very rocky there with no vegetation, looking like the moon. Any off-course excursion, therefore, was bad. During the race, the driver of an Alfa Romeo went off course and had a very serious situation (including a fire). Doc was just coming up to lap the Alfa when it happened. Seeing the gravity of the situation, Doc unselfishly stopped his car, risking injury to himself to pull the guy out of the burning wreck. He rendered aid right on the ground, including CPR as well as performing an emergency tracheotomy with a pen knife and the barrel from a ball point pen that he happened to have in his race car.


The wrecked Alfa
The wrecked Alfa Romeo

I talked to Doc immediately after he came in off the course. It was obvious that the incident was serious as Doc had a considerable amount of blood on his Nomex suit. He explained the whole thing to me in detail, unaware of his heroism. I’m not sure if he ever got adequate credit for his unselfish act.

Unfortunately, despite Doc's valiant efforts, the chief steward announced at the drivers' meeting the following day that the driver had passed away during the night.

When Ray Brewer lost his agency to the bank, Doc bought the Alfa Romeo franchise and set up International Motors, racing a Datsun 2000, a Camaro and an Alfa. Ray still helped out but eventually got tired of racing. Doc was to qualify the C Production 2000 twice more for the Runoffs, having qualified his 'King Sized Clothes' sponsored car, racing in the South West Division once more. He placed 12th in 1973, racing the only Datsun 2000 in the field (by this time the 240Z was dominating the scene) and he suffered a DNS in 1974.




1965 (G Production - Datsun 1500)

DNF (15 laps)

1966 (F Production - Datsun 1600)


1967 (F Production - Datsun 1600)

DNF (13 laps)

1967 (C Production - Datsun 2000)


1968 (C Production - Datsun 2000)

DNF (7 laps)

1973 (C Production - Datsun 2000)


1974 (C Production - Datsun 2000)


Today, Doc has built up quite a name for himself as plastic surgeon in Oklahoma. He is also a successful Seniors athlete, winning the state championship at shot put and discus several years running.

 Bert Jones

Bert Jones, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, had already enjoyed some success in his Triumph TR-4 before he took Elouise's place in the Datsun 1500, which Ray had now painted in the new team colours of white. In 1966 he had finished third in D Production in the SCCA's Midwest division behind Ray Pickering (TR-4A) and John McComb (MGB, later of BRE fame). He qualified for the ARRC that year but DNF. Doc was already campaigning the 1600 when Bert joined Ray Brewer's team. From the first season, driving #46, Bert's 1500 was easily recognised by the 'scales of justice' motif, reflecting his profession as a lawyer, which adorned the rear quarter panels.


Bert's 'Scales of Justice'

Bert campaigned the 1500 from 1967, qualifying once for the ARRC, in 1968, by which time his car, like Doc's, was painted silver. Here he put up a good performance, finishing 10th, a split second behind Richard Pence in an Alfa Romeo, and just 11.6 seconds behind 7th placed man Jim Fitzgerald, who was racing the only other Datsun 1500 in the line-up.


Left: Bert's 'Scales of Justice' motif.




1966 (D Production - Triumph TR-4)


1968 (G Production - Datsun 1500)


Bert went on to have some success in an Austin Healey Sprite. He gave up racing in 1971.

Today (2001) Bert Jones is a successful product liability defence lawyer, of many years' standing, winning a number of high profile cases, many of them defending the likes of VW, Audi and Subaru.

 The Brewer's Datsun Gallery
Unless otherwise stated the following excellent images are from Jim Kellar.
 These images chart the team's exploits during the 1960s and early 1970s. (Click on thumbnails for enlargements)
Elouise and Ray 1966 Green Valley Raceway - Ray sits on the rear deck of his 1500 after a Elouise scores a 2nd in her first race at the wheel of a Datsun - Don Gwynne photo

Elouise Norris and her 1500 Elouise Norris stands next to Ray's first racing Datsun, a Fairlady 1500 - Don Gwynne photo

Elouise Norris Elouise makes some final adjustments before a race - Don Gwynne photo

Doc Foerster's 1966 car 1966 - Doc Foerster's Datsun 1600 can be seen behind Datsun and Porsche campaigner Tommy Allen's Porsche 356 - Don Gwynne photo

Ray Brewer

Ray Brewer under the hood of Bert Jones' 1500, Elouise's car after a colour change to white

The 1500, 1967 Roswell New Mexico, 1967 - Bert Jones' 1500  

Doc Foerster War Bonnet, Doc Foerster and his 1600 

Both cars at War Bonnet War Bonnet, Doc Foerster's 1600 and Bert Jones' 1500

Doc Foerster's 1600 Roswell New Mexico, Doc Foerster's 1600 

Ray Brewer's hauler Roswell New Mexico, 1967. The Brewer's Datsun hauler

The rear fender Roswell New Mexico, 1967 - Doc Foerster's 1600. Note the shaped rear fender - Ray is bending the rules on the width of the 1600's rear wheels

Bert chasing Elroy Ponca City, 1967. Bert Jones and Elroy Goto go head-to-head. Elroy is racing Jim Kellar's 1600. Jim is the photographer here.

Doc chases Dick July 1968 - War Bonnet Raceway, Tulsa Oklahoma. Doc chases - Dick Roberts can be seen up front    

Doc at the limit July 1968 - War Bonnet Raceway, Doc at the limit  

Bert chases Elouise July 1968 - War Bonnet Raceway, Bert Jones chases Elouise Norris, now racing in D Sedan  

Doc at the limit again Doc Foerster, now at the wheel of the C Production 2000, at Continental Divide Raceway  

Dioc lifts off Another shot from the same race

Mixing it with the big boys Doc on the starting grid at MAR mixing it up with the V-8's. #14 AP is the rare E67 L-88 Stingray that was driven by Dave Morgan and others at Sebring and Daytona

Ponca City Doc at speed at Ponca City, 1968

Doc chases John McComb Ponca City, Doc chases John McComb in his #33 Mustang

Doc at Stuttgart 1969 - Stuttgart, Arkansas

Doc with Pete Brock 1969 - Stuttgart, Arkansas - Pete Brock talks with Doc Foerster (second from right)

Head to head with Dave Dooley 1973 - Doc at the last turn at Ponca City head to head with Elouise Norris' boss, Dave Dooley, in his Triumph GT6. Doc won the race. Joe Hebert's Datsun 2000 follows in the main pic. Image courtesy of Charlene Lee.

Doc - the victor 1973 - Doc and his 'King Sized Clothes' sponsored Datsun 2000 after the win at Ponca City.
Joe Hebert's Datsun 2000 can be seen in the background.
Image courtesy of Charlene Lee.


I am also grateful to drivers Doc Foerster and Bert Jones, who added iimportant information to these pages. Many thanks also go to Jim Kellar and Don Gwynne for the excellent images you see on these pages, as well as the stories and captions - Jim raced Datsuns himself in the 1960s while Don raced a Ford Anglia in the mid-1960s (racing against Elouise in D Sedan) before enjoying some success with a Lotus Cortina, making a reserve slot at the ARRC two years running, and racing a Camaro in the FIA 24 Hours of Daytona and the FIA 12 Hours of Sebring in 1970 and 1971, including a 5th and 6th in class. Images of Don's Lotus Cortina can be found here. Don was also Editor of the Texas Region SCCA Roundup newsletter (see the Corky Bell and Jack Scott pages). 

The results are provided by Pete Hylton at the SCCA - further research by Rob Beddington.

Should you have any further information or images which you think would benefit these pages please E-Mail me.

Rob Beddington

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These pages and images, unless otherwise stated, are copyright ©1999, 2000 and 2001, Jim Kellar, Rob Beddington & The Classic Fairlady Roadster Register. No part to be repoduced in any form without the prior permission of the owners.