Many of you reading these pages have probably never heard the name Dave MacDonald as it relates to the Chevy Corvette. But ask any old timer who followed the racing world, and the name Dave MacDonald will bring on tales of raw driving talent and a career cut tragically short. MacDonald could have been one of racing’s all-time greats, had he just lived a bit longer.
Hemmings Auto Blog reports that the National Corvette Museum has decided to induct MacDonald into its Hall of Fame, along with John Heinricy, an 11-time SCCA Champion who drove and helped develop racing Corvette programs.
MacDonald got his start racing in 1956 behind the wheel of a Corvette, amassing more than 100 wins in the 1320 before looking for other challenging venues of speed. MacDonald entered his first professional road racing event in 1960, coming in a surprisingly-good fourth place, losing to the likes of Bob Bondurant. Bondurant said of MacDonald “He was very aggressive and he had a lot of car control. He’d put that Corvette sideways and drive it all around the corner that way.”
In 63 races behind the wheel of a Chevy, MacDonald racked up some 28 wins. Carroll Shelby poached him for the Ford racing program, which would ultimately prove to be MacDonald’s demise. On the second lap of the 1964 Indy 500, MacDonald’s Indy car spun out and hit the inside wall, catching fire before another racer, Eddie Sachs, broadsided the burning race car.
Sachs died on the scene, and MacDonald later died of his wounds at the hospital. He was just 27 years old, and in 108 career race starts, MacDonald won 46 times and placed on the podium 68. It was a sterling career cut tragically short, and he is a well-deserving entrant into the Corvette Hall of Fame… once they finish fixing that massive sinkhole in the Skydome, where the Hall of Fame is located.