The diecast brand GMP (Georgia Marketing and Products) in the beginning of 2000s have produced the “Gilmore Stadium Midget Series” set of models in 1/43 scale to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stadium demolishing. The set included a stadium diorama and 5 midget cars of Roger Ward, Danny Oakes, Perry Grimm, Bill Vukovich, and Walt Faulkner, all were sold separately. Offy midget driven by Danny Oakes is the second model in the series.
Danny Oakes was born in 1911 in Santa Barbara, California. He began racing in stock cars in 1932, switching to midgets in 1936. Oakes won first post-war Turkey Night Grand Prix at Gilmore Stadium in 1945. In 1947 he won the AAA Pacific Coast Midget Championship and twelve years later repeated the feat under the banner of USAC 1959 Pacific Coast Midget Championship. In the 1950 Turkey Night Grand Prix in his Kurtis Kraft – Offy midget #65 entered by Fullerton Racing Team, Oaks retired in the 25-miles semifinal. However, he was 3rd at Gilmore midget race of January 1st. Oaks continued racing midgets for 25 years until the 60s. After the sanction of the National Midget Championship went from AAA to USAC in 1956, Oaks won three midget events in the USAC National Midget Championship (Detroit and Gailsburg in 1956 and Gardena in 1957). In the 1950s Oaks tried his skills and luck in the big cars as well. He has 6 starts in the AAA National Championship in 1952-1954 with 11th at Springfield in 1954 as his best finish. Oakes failed to qualify for Indy-500 in his three attempts in 1952-54. In 1952 Oakes was entered in Indy-500 with Meyer – Offy and also he stood by as a relief driver for Alberto Ascari in Ferrari. Oaks recalled in one of his late interview in Speedsport Magazine: “I bet I drove 1,300 laps at Indianapolis, but never made the race. One year I was get $500 for being Ascari’s co-driver. I showed up, they disappeared and Ferrari still owes me 500 bucks”. Oakes usually drove in his blue and white jacket, as GMP reproduced it in the scale model.
See more details about midget racing and GMP Gilmore Stadium set here.
|1950||AAA Midget Nat’l Champiomship||Gilmore Stadium|
|Danny Oakes||65||Hart Fullerton|
|Kurtis Kraft||Offenhauser V8-60||Fullerton Racing Team|
|1:43||GMP||Gilmore Stadium Midget Series|
|1814 / 7682G|