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1969 - Ivan Crawford

1969 - Ivan Crawford (right) talks with Dan Parkinson (left) before the first practice for the 1969 American Road Race of Champions (ARRC).

Ivan Crawford was a little known Datsun roadster racer from Detroit Michigan. In 1969, racing his 2000 sponsored by local Datsun dealer Joe Haney, he enjoyed many close dices with Dave Eagleson in the SCCA's CE Division. Ivan finished third in D Production that year just behind Dave in second, and both qualified for that season's ARRC at Daytona Speedway.

In the race, Ivan qualified 8th behind Dave in 5th, although Ivan spent most of the time swapping places with another Datsun driver, Col. George Franklin. On nearly every lap, Ivan came off the Daytona Banking slightly faster than George and passed him. George, who had the faster car, passed Ivan again on the same corner later in each lap. Col George commented: "It was a close race and plenty of fun. Ivan knew how to use that banking which was new to many of us." On the last lap, George again passed Ivan to take 5th place, leaving Ivan 6th. Ivan finished just three seconds ahead of another Datsun driver, Jack Scott. Winning the championship was Jack Scoville in his Datsun 2000, while Dan Parkinson (pictured with Ivan above) placed second. Corky Bell, whose red 2000 can just be seen in the above photo, finished 8th. Favourites for that year's ARRC were the two BRE cars of Frank Monse and John Morton, who qualified first and second, but the team used the wrong fuel mixture, which vaporized on the Daytona banking at speed. Both cars retired within three laps of the start.

The following year, Ivan teamed up with J Byron Walker in Byron's Datsun 1600 roadster for one memorable race at Michigan International Speedway. The pair entered the 1600, which was also sponsored by Joe Haney Datsun with some Bob Sharp preparation, for the 2 1/2 hour "Cask Wines and Cold Turkey" endurance race. Competing against Mustangs and Corvettes with engines up to three times the size of the little 1600, the pair captured an amazing 1st place overall.

Image courtesy Frank Cornell - thanks also go to Col. George Franklin

January 2009 - 1968 - Doc Foerster and Bert Jones press photos

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