Volunteer Spotlight: Alan Davol
Q: When and how did you become a motorsports enthusiast?
A: In the mid ‘60s, when I was 15 or 16 years old. I was kind of born with it. I really have always liked cars; I really did get into drag racing in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. We had Beeline Dragway in Phoenix, and that was the NHRA Winternationals. I’ve seen Don Garlits, Prudhomme, and Jungle Jim. So that was really it … and then I got really into boats!
Q: What kind of influence has that had on your life?
A: It’s a big influence. I really like it all, all forms of racing. I didn’t really get into European racing too much, but some of the sports-car racing and boats. I used to do some of the dirt ovals, sprint cars, and stuff. I used to go out there every weekend. To be honest with you, I kind of got away from most of it for many years. I just got kind of caught up in making a living, and didn’t even think about a lot of racing until maybe four or five years ago when I had more time.
I kind of stopped and stepped away, and I realized I had all of those interests early on and at this point it’s kind of like rekindling that. On a daily basis, the world has a lot of nostalgia for me and even talking with people is really neat. I learn something every time I’m here. So yeah, it’s great and I’m really enjoying it.
Q: What do you enjoy about volunteering at World of Speed?
A: Learning and interacting with people. I really enjoy seeing people happy and laughing, especially young people in the simulators. It really makes my day. Seeing the smiling faces is a big deal. In this day and age, we need more of that, or at least to fill our lives with a lot of positive happiness.
Q: If you could choose a vehicle to be displayed in the museum, what would it be?
A: I built an off-road rail back in the late ‘60s. A mid-engine Pino. I had about $2,700 in it; it was killer. I built the whole thing from the ground up. Me and a couple of buddies in Phoenix were into it for years. While I stepped away from it and moved, one of them developed a company called S&S Sand Cars. He actually just got back from spending Thanksgiving week at the Imperial Sand Dunes in California. He and his son have developed a company that builds $150,000 to $200,000 sand cars. They have like 2,000 horsepower.
I would give anything to have one of his cars in a small display here because that’s a form of racing that so many people are involved with. I would love to see one of his cars here because they are amazing.