"The Don"

(Don Pike, Horst Kwech and John Morton)

The scene is from a photo shoot at Riverside International Raceway toward the end of the 1971 race season. It was for an upcoming article by Road & Track where they compared three B-Sedan race cars: the Datsun 510, Alfa GTV and BMW 2002. Fun fact: Per Joel Martin, Jack Fredricks of Hyde Park Motors was asked to represent the BMW 2002 but declined. That left the door open for Don Pike to be included in the article. As Crew Chief and head of the parts department for Hyde Park, Joel thought it was a missed opportunity.

While most of us are familiar with Horst and John, I am pretty sure many readers (including me before this article) might not be as familiar with Don Pike’s racing career. That being said, we are taking the opportunity to highlight this piece of B-Sedan history and refer to the T-shirt as “The Don”.

Done Pike’s Race History:

Before racing a B-Sedan, Don campaigned a Ford Falcon in A/Sedan in 1964, entering 12 races and winning 11 of them. In 1965 he won all 18 of the races he entered. Ford did not want to see Pike’s Falcon beating their new Mustangs, so prior to the 1966 season Shelby was told to find a buyer for the car outside of the country. As a result, Pike got a new Shelby-built Group 2 Mustang. In 1966 he won 17 of 20 races entered.

In 1967 he drove a Shelby Group II Mustang (car #19) owned by James Hilton. He finished 1st in two races, 5th in one and failed to finish once.

In 1968 Pike raced a Porsche 911 sponsored by Kendon Porsche. He followed that up in 1969 by driving a 911 Porsche for Vasek Polak in three Trans-Am races, finishing 2nd twice and fourth once. Pike switched to a BMW 2002 for 1970, driving for Gregory Racing Team in the Under 2-liter class. He entered eight races, qualifying in the top 10 of all of them. Don continued racing a BMW 2002 for Gregory Racing in the 1971 Trans-Am season, again qualifying in the top ten in all seven races entered. He had two 2nds, one 4th, one 5th, and three DNF’s due to engine failure.

In addition to an illustrious racing career, Don had a successful career in Hollywood as a stunt driver. When Elvis wanted to use Cobras for the film “Viva Las Vegas”, Carroll sent Don to drive, thus setting off what was to be a second career in motion pictures. It was because of his good looks and driving skills that he was in high demand while not on the race track. Above all, we have been told he was an amazing family man and genuine friend to those who knew him.

Donald Roy Pike November 28, 1929 - July 28, 2018
(The Shelby American magazine, Winter 2013)