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British Industrial History

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Sydney Charles Houghton Davis

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Sydney Charles Houghton "Sammy" Davis (9 January 1887, London - 9 January 1981) was a British racing motorist, journalist and clubman.

While best known as Sports Editor of The Autocar, writing under the pen-name Casque (French for helmet), Sammy Davis also competed in many forms of motor racing in the 1920s. Davis was a member of the famous Bentley Boys of the late 1920s. Aside from many awards earned in the popular trials competitions of the day, he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1927.

In 1930 Davis was partnered with the Earl of March in an Austin Seven and they won the B.R.D.C. 500-mile race at Brooklands outright.

He had a spectacular accident in an Invicta S-type at Brooklands in 1931.

He was one of the founders of the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain in 1930, and the first Vice-President of the Aston Martin Owners Club in 1935 and designed the Aston Martin "wings" badge. After the war, he did much to promote the revival of motor-sport in Britain, both as Vice-President of the Vintage Sports-Car Club and as President of the new 500 Club (later the Half Litre Car Club).

Sammy lived his later years in Guildford, never losing his boyish enthusiasm for life. He was a great storyteller and made a modest living writing articles and painting oils. He was an excellent driver and even as his years advanced he trained police drivers at Hendon. He owned a white Bug-eyed Sprite, and an 1897 Léon Bollée tricar, called "Beelzebub," that he took on the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

He died in a fire in his home, likely caused by his ever-present smouldering pipe.

His son Colin Davis also became a driver.

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