Classic 2CV Racing Club Ltd

Classic 2CV Racing Club Ltd Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: Martin Harrold on November 26, 2017, 18:10:04

Title: Jon Davis
Post by: Martin Harrold on November 26, 2017, 18:10:04

Jon Davis

I have to convey the very sad news that Jon Davis died today. It is believed that he was travelling back from the Mettet Circuit in Belgium. He was in some discomfort and pulled into a service area on the M25. There he had a massive heart attack.

Jon has been a Club member for many years and was a friend to lots of us and known to many more. He was always his own man. He raced 2CV's on and off for many, many, years, most recently in this years Snet 24 Hour and at the Spa 24 Hour. An accountant by training, he had an amazing technical knowledge of all kinds of vehicles, including our Citroen 2CV's. His extended garden was a treasure trove of old vehicles of all kinds. Lately he had given big USA cars a go with several outings in racing versions of the Mustang and similar.

We have passed condolences to his neighbour and long time friend, Tiggy Reeve.

He will be much missed.


Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Maisie on November 26, 2017, 19:03:16
Shocking and very sad news. I'd never had a chance to get to know him until Spa this year but he seemed like a thoroughly nice bloke.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Chris Hall on November 26, 2017, 19:34:32
What really sad news. I really enjoyed being a team member with him at Spa.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: wilbot on November 26, 2017, 20:01:30
Tragic news Jon was a great asset to our effort in the hybrid world knowledgeable reliable and undaunted by problems he will be sadly missed as friend and team member.

Family Wilson

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Chris Yates on November 26, 2017, 20:22:41
Very sad news. I didn't know him well, but we shared a car at this year's Spa race and I'd just got to know him a little better. A good man and a very interesting character. He'll be missed.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Pete Sparrow on November 26, 2017, 20:41:21
This is really sad news. Jon was a good friend and has helped me out of many deep holes in the past, that is the sign of a good friend.
He has been part of the furniture at Team Lion for years. Its not going to be the same.
RIP Jon, you will be very missed.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: gadget on November 26, 2017, 20:54:15
Very sad news indeed.
It is unbelievable that only a. Week or two ago he was in Spa and actively involved.
To learn this is quite shocking.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: coxm on November 26, 2017, 22:29:24
I'm very sad to hear this - he drove my car in 2016 the 24hr and was a great help getting everything ready for the race.

As Martin says, we will miss him.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Roy Eastwood on November 26, 2017, 22:33:55
Heíll be missed, sad loss , one of lifeís better characters.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Marty on November 27, 2017, 09:42:06
That 1990's article spoke well of your 24H race :

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Martin Harrold on November 27, 2017, 20:34:28
Marty: Thanks for finding that article. It was written by Ed Foster, who was then with Motor Sport magazine. He is now managing the websites for the Goodwood motoring festivals. He was an excellent driver. His words about Jon near the end sum him up very well. If in doubt, he would always 'go for it'.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Marc Fenner on November 28, 2017, 07:42:41
RIP Jon!

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Martin Harrold on November 28, 2017, 14:02:33
I will post arrangements for Jonís funeral here as soon as I know more.

Does anyone have any record of when he started racing with the Club? I recall him racing at Stowe. And has anyone any photos of him, rather than the car? Any other interesting or anecdotal info welcome. We want to do an obituary on the website, and send it to Autosport. I am sure Tiggy and his sister will like to read it.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Mick Storey on November 28, 2017, 20:42:05
I remember him being very "prominent" when we did the nude calendar at Silverstone. Not sure how you fit that into an obituary

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Trevor Williams on November 29, 2017, 10:55:13
Just seen this awful news.... RIP Jon

Title: Jon Davis
Post by: simon turner on November 30, 2017, 01:06:36
I only this evening heard about Jon and was with him at Spa this year.
I remember racing against him at Thruxton in my first full season in 2003 in a hard but fair race for many laps.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Francis Rottenburg on November 30, 2017, 10:29:57
Just learned this awful news.  I raced with Jon several times including one notably wet 24 hours at Snetterton in which we got onto the podium (in fifth if memory serves).  He was one of life's true characters and I loved spending hours on the phone discussing his latest bonkers exploit or car/bike plans.  I am smiling at some of my memories as I write this and I will miss him dreadfully.

Title: Re: Jon Davis / His sister
Post by: Martin Harrold on December 03, 2017, 15:02:35
I have today had a very warm conversation with Jon's sister, Sheila Hamilton. She has gained much solace from reading the tributes and comments posted here. She has asked me to thank everyone who has done so, on her behalf. She is very touched.

She also said that she will not take any action on the 2CV cars and parts in in Jon's 'yard' without discussion with the Club. The legal process means that it may be some time before anything can happen.

Sheila has enjoyed talking with people who have called her about Jon. She is happy to talk with anyone else who would like to do so. For obvious reasons, it is not wise to post her contact details here. She has asked me to pass them on, on request.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Aubrey Brocklebank on December 05, 2017, 16:35:52
How sad, such a lovely kind and generous man.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Andy on December 13, 2017, 17:59:38
Hello Classic 2CV Racing Club readers
My name is Paula Powell and my husband is Andy.  We felt we wanted to register on this forum so we could add a comment about Jon Davis. 
We hope that members do not mind.
We have known Jon Davis for around 15 years.  We are just stunned to hear about his passing and cannot believe that we will never see him again.  We were having a few problems with our BX and Jon was recommended to us as the man to go to!  We soon learnt that if Jon could not fix the fault then it was probably a "no hope" scenario!
From the time we were first introduced to Jon, nobody else has ever worked on our cars or in latter years our camper van.
In 2013, Andy volunteered to take a trip to The Gambia - Bansang Hospital to be precise.  The purpose of the trip was to ride and deliver little Honda C90 motorcycles to the hospital to be used to access remote villages.  The missing link in the group was somebody to drive a back up vehicle  carrying spares, food and camping equipment.  Andy and I thought of Jon straight away and spoke with him.  He agreed to come along to a meeting with an open mind and yes he did agree to take on the role. He was the perfect candidate - good driver, used to driving long distances in challenging terrain and - the icing on the cake - an excellent mechanic.  Although camping in tiny one man tents was the order of the day, there would be opportunities in some locations to have a proper room - he and Andy shared when this accommodation was available - Andy had the chance on this trip to get to know Jon.
During that 4000 mile journey, Jon repaired quite a few punctures and employed his "make do and mend" expertise on a number of occasions - and, as you would imagine, all carried out calmly and quietly. 
On arrival at the hospital, Jon helped with the many tasks needing attention.
I collected Jon and Andy from the airport after their flight home.  I drove them home with Jon sitting in the back.  I could feel him thinking "why is she driving so slowly?". I am sure if Jon had been driving we would have been home in half the time!
Jon was a "one off".  How many people do you know who is that clever with their hands, so well read and an expert on so many topics - including how to care for a real fur coat!
A true gentleman, with so much to give - taken far too soon.
Our thoughts are with his family and also Tiggie Reeves and her family - Jon was  in their lives for over 30 years - his loss will be felt by them all. 
Rest in Peace Jon - the world is a worse place without you.
We have a number of photographs of Jon on the Gambia trip and would be happy to pass a selection if we have an email address to use.

Title: Re: Jon Davis - Funeral
Post by: Martin Harrold on December 19, 2017, 23:06:08
I have just heard from Jon's sister, Sheila Hamilton, with the details of his funeral.

It will be held at Taunton Deane Crematorium on Friday, September 29th, at 11am.

There will be a wake at an inn nearby, details to be advised shortly.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Martin Harrold on December 20, 2017, 09:26:01
Whoops, me.

The above should read December 29th

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: 2cvJim on December 23, 2017, 09:00:36
Very sad news, Jon will be greatly missed. Anyone know how to let Jon's Mustang friends know about the funeral and wake? - will be taking my old car and hoping to see lots of 2CVs there.

Title: Re: Jon Davis / Funeral & Wake
Post by: Martin Harrold on December 27, 2017, 15:06:15

Jon's sister, Sheila, has told me how much she and his family would love to see some 2CV's and other racers at the wake. She selected the venue:

The Maypole Inn, Thurloxton, Taunton TA2 8RF

very much with that possibility in mind. It is often used for car meets.

She, her family, and Sarah, Jon's partner, are looking forward to meeting his friends, including the racing community, there after the funeral.

Title: Jon Davis - An obituary by his sister, Sheila Hamilton
Post by: Martin Harrold on January 18, 2018, 21:50:09
    Jonathan Douglas Davis

Jon was born in Edinburgh on 20th April, 1950. It was a long and difficult birth, during
which the king's surgeon attended.

Mother, a Scot, and father, English, both having served in the army during the war, had
become teachers. The family moved from the somewhat grand doctor's house (of the
grandparents) to a cottage in the village of Catcott in Somerset the following year,
where sister, Sheila, was born in 1952.

Jon learnt to read before he went to the village school and this led to a love of reading
throughout his life. He became knowledgeable on a wide variety of subjects. Many
holidays were spent in Edinburgh, having the run of the large house and walled gardens,
only refraining from sliding down the banisters during surgery hours. Picnics out in the
Pentland Hills meant building dams in the trout burns. Seaside holidays involved a lot of
digging of big holes to Australia on the beach.

Jon showed great interest in cars from an early age, watching closely as his parents
built a Fairthorpe from a kit. He collected toy cars and built from Meccano, but Jon's
greatest enjoyment was designing, building and modifying go-karts, which he called
'trolleys'. These were sturdy and were tested out on the steepish lanes in the village.
Sheila thought Jon very clever to be able to use their father's workshop tools to
produce such vehicles, which were named 'Bluebird' and 'Green Dragon' according to
the paint available. The interiors were comfortably padded and upholstered, the brakes
reliable, and Sheila, younger, provided the power, as they sat back to back and her legs
pushed them up the hills and along. Jon controlled the all-important steering, braking
and instructions. All great fun.

Jon and Sheila went to Elmhurst Grammar School and the family moved to an old,
derelict, farmhouse, Rich Furlong, on the edge of Catcott. There was a great deal of
clearing and building work to be done, partly achieved by Jon. He also loved helping
with the animals: horses, young cattle and geese. Haymaking was carried out using
vintage tractors and farm machinery, and by hand. Off to college next, where mostly
Jon studied Science and Engineering. He trained as an accountant with Kodak near
London, but his love of mechanical things took over and he chose to return to Somerset
and spend all his working time living and breathing cars.

He was soon established with his own business, repairing cars and keeping a great many
people mobile. Family, friends and customers always knew that should their vehicles
fail them, Jon would not. He and his rescue trailer meant peace of mind, the drama was
over, they would be safe. Recently, he was on his way on one mission, when diverted to
another. Things later became even trickier when his Discovery, 1FYA, itself broke
down. But true to character, he took all this in his stride.

Jon enjoyed travel and to some extent, some time off. He learnt to play Bridge from
his grandparents and for a number of years enjoyed belonging to a Bridge Club.

Jon started 2CV racing around 2000 and drove in the Championship and the 24 Hour in
most years from then. It's fair to say that his style of driving in the early days was
rather positive. Gradually his natural skill started to show through and he became a
highly respected competitor.

He raced as 'Two Smoking Barrels', which was appropriate given that his early engines
were not always super reliable. Like all 2CV racers, he found tuning the engines to be
something of an all or nothing task.

His focus was on racing, everything else was a means to that end. Fellow racers were
always amused by his race trailer. A motley collection of lengths of rusty steel and
wheels, with the car tied on with rope. And the caravan he took to the 24 Hour was
usually a very second-hand eBay reject, which quite often he would sell in the paddock
and make a profit. He always loved a deal.

Jon was a fascinating person and always good company. Around 2010, he started doing
some races with the team, now known as 2CV Team LION. By then, he had recognised
that racing was more fun in a fairly well-organised team. And Jon brought a lot to that

He was very good on the technical side, often helping prep the car prior to the races.
Team members will remember him for the care, knowledge and experience he would put
into prepping engines in the pit garage. Oil seals are often a problem in the little
engines and he was a master at fitting those. His work rate was astonishing and he
usually had to be persuaded to stop work to eat.

The focus of that team has always been the 24 Hour, which is a great team exercise.
After fourteen years of trying, and with Jon one of the race drivers, they won for the
first time, at Anglesey, in 2014. It was very emotional, as it was Jon's first win as well.
He was also one of the driving team, when the car won again in 2016.

Jon brought something unique to the Club and the team - a gigantic store of 2CV cars
and parts on his back lawn/orchard. He had accumulated these over many years.
Whenever anyone in the Club needed a part, he could usually be relied upon to help.
In recent years, he tried racing cars with bigger engines, starting with a 2CV with a
BMW engine at the 24 Hour race on the Spa F1 circuit and going on to Ford Sierras and
big American Mustangs. Cars like that are quite a different challenge and Andy, always
his friend and often his mechanic on those, can tell lots of stories about them -
including closing the M25 for three hours.

All Jon's racing friends will remember him as one of a kind, a great competitor, great
company and very generous with his time and skills.

In 2013, Jon embarked upon possibly his greatest adventure with 'Scooters in the
Sahara'. This involved driving (in a Pajaero) with the team of eight south through Spain,
over the Atlas Mountains and on southwards through Morocco, Western Sahara,
Mauritania and Senegal to The Gambia. The objective was to deliver the convoy of
Honda scooters and spare parts to Bansang Hospital to enable doctors to ride out into
the bush to their patients. Although one of the scooters didn't make it, the rest did.
Despite the difficulties encountered at borders and various mechanical and other
mishaps, Jon and the rest of the team arrived safely at the hospital and handed over
the scooters. This was a huge undertaking but not out of character for Jon, who had
spent many years coming to the rescue of stranded motorists.

Jon had been married and divorced. In 2005 he met his lovely partner, Sarah, with
whom he spent the next twelve years. They were very, very happy and Jon, truly
content. Their last weekend together included a gathering at the family home, where
they were planning to build a cottage and run a small-holding in the orchard and
gardens. Very sadly, Jon became ill during a short visit to France and Belgium, and died,
suddenly, on his way home. Sarah's family and Jon's family (his sister, Sheila, nephew,
James, and niece, Katy, their families including five great-nephews and great-nieces)
miss him more than words can express. They are extremely grateful for all the support
and moving tributes from so many of Jon's friends.

Jon inherited his love of cars from his father, Charles Davis, who was also full of ideas,
enthusiasm and car and building projects. The last time she was with Jon and Sarah,
the Sunday before he died, Sheila mentioned the Christmas present she had ready to
wrap up for his great-nephew: a Haynes build-your-own model of a working 4-cylinder
internal combustion engine. Perhaps he, Jon, might like one, she suggested, with a smile.
'Why? I build the real thing,' Jon replied.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Title: Jon Davis - a message to Ckub members from his sister, Sheila Hamilton
Post by: Martin Harrold on January 18, 2018, 22:02:37
Jon Davis' Funeral

Jon's sister, Sheila, has asked me to pass on her sincere thanks to all those members of the 2CV Racing Club who attended Jon's funeral. "It was such a pleasure to meet them and to hear them recounting their stories, despite the sadness of the occasion. My only regret was Pete's non-arrival and his traumatic day, but hopefully we'll meet sometime".
She has also asked that we correct Jon's cause of death. In the confusion immediately after his demise, a suggestion was made, which soon spread, that he had had a heart attack. That turned out not to be true. The accurate cause of his death, coming from the Coroner on the 14th December, was a ruptured aortic aneurysm. She hopes that more people knowing this may encourage a greater awareness of the condition for the well-being of others.

Title: Re: Jon Davis
Post by: Francis Rottenburg on January 23, 2018, 18:56:58
Thoughout my time racing with and against Jon, I will always remember his faithful riding mechanic Tiggie.  At race meetings they were inseperable and bickered and shouted at each other without making the slightest impact on their regard for each other.  I have no idea what they shared but what I can say is that she is one of the nicest people I have met in many, many years and I know she misses Jon very deeply.  As and when I start racing 2cv's again (age and pocket depth allowing) I for one will miss her presence at the circuits very much.