Halliday Special: Dr. Paul Winters Background

1957  Halliday  Renault  Special
Dr.  Paul  Winters  Background

Paul Winters Racing Profile

We know for the only photo found of Dr. Paul Winters, that by 1953 was competing in what was billed a fun motoring event on July 5th of 1953.  His wife was in an open roadster with him, and neither were wearing a helmet.  He would have been either 46 or 47 years old at the time.  Not the typical age of someone just getting into racing but we have found no earlier evidence to the contrary.  He signed up for his first race, almost a year to the day later driving a Ford Anglia owned by none other than Dale Halliday.  While the car nor Winters participated in the Orange Empire races.  The following year, he made his official debut in a modified Renault 4cv at the Willow Springs Road Race on February 13th in which he finished second in the H Modified class.

It would be less than three months until the good Doctor, moved up from a sedan to a custom-built racer that would become known as the Halliday Special.  With the livery number 45, that first race took place at the SCCA Nationals at Bakersfield, where he moved up from second to class winner again in HM.  The following month, he was schedule to race in the L.A. Road Race at Hanson Dam, but his Renault powered special did not compete.  There was a total of seven Renault signed up for the event, organized by Renault West Coast Distributor, John L. Green.

Finally in July, Winter and the Halliday Special took part in the Torrey Pines Sports Car Race, but he did not finish due to a mechanical failure.  Then the duo of Winters and Halliday returned to Torrey Pines in October for the Road Rally, in which Halliday finished 13th overall.  He followed up that performance with a 19th overall finish at the Glendale Nationals in November, and rounded out the season with a 16th and 22nd place finishes at Palm Springs in December.  While being the smallest displacement car in every race that they had competed in.

To start the 1956 season, the Halliday Special ventured back to Palm Springs in February, however he was not able to complete this event.  The rest of the season, consisted of working on the Halliday Special #2.  However, a match race, was scheduled to take place at the Santa Ana Dragway on the last Sunday in April, however no record can be found of this race taking place.  Though it had been announced in the previous day’s paper and it stated that a well-known local mechanic at Brewster Gray Imports, named Chuck Marshall would have been the pilot of the Halliday Special #2 which still lacked its bodywork.  Later that summer, it was noted that Doctor Winters had competed in an unknown event with a stock Renault 4cv owned by Halliday’s former employer, Import Auto Sales, but no other details were made available.

Also of note, in April of that year Paul Winters was awarded a trophy from Renault for his success in both driving the Halliday Special as well as Renault 4cvs.  The Renault representative who had delivered the Doctor’s Trophy, also gave Halliday official permission from the factory to continue his efforts in building sports cars using Renault components.

As it turned out, it would be until May of 1957, in Santa Barbara, that the second Halliday Special would make its official debut.  Winters finished seventeenth in the preliminary race, and did not finish in the feature due to an overheating problem.  A month later, Winter competed at Paramount Ranch where he went on to finish eighth in the preliminary race, but he did not qualify for the feature.  Then that November Winters was scheduled to compete in the SCCA Nationals at Riverside, but he did not participate.

In February of 1958, Doctor Paul, made his next appearance, this time in the Vines Special.  While this change of vehicles would be quite significant, if not for the fact that Dale Halliday had become the service manager at Vine Motors that very same month.  While to date, we have not determined which car he competed in or even the class as it was not a SCCA sanctioned event.  Winters finished sixth in the preliminary but again did not qualify for the main event.  This is the only mention of the Vines Special, so more than likely it was the renamed Halliday Special as there is not even a number change on car.

In April of that same year the Halliday Special was again signed up for the SCCA Regional in Palm Springs, but Winters did not compete.  Then in August, he did get back out on the track in Santa Barbara.   Unfortunately, coming home a disappointing twenty-first.  This is the last known sanctioned event for the Halliday special though we know that it competed in some Slalom events in the early 1960s.  As for Paul Winters, his last sanctioned race was in a F Production MGA in 1960, though he did not finish on that occasion.

However, we know the competitive spirit stayed with the physician, as he won two bicycle races in 1964 at the age of 58.  At that point any further info on Winters has yet to be found.  Like Halliday, we know he had no children, so finding a close relative at this point is in not likely.

Newspaper  Articles

1964, November 23 – (unknown but have the clipping)  Article on 58 year old Dr. Paul Winters senior bicycle race