Jack “Doc” Watson: 1940-2015

Biography, What’s Happening

Jack “Doc” Watson. Most widely known as Doc from his days at Hurst where he was the “Shifty Doctor” in ads and at the shows. He will be remembered for his enthusiasm, wit, and ingenuity.

August 2, 2015, by No Limits staff

Those of us who went to a drag-strip event in the 60s have several indelible memories. As a spectator, we recall the Hurst Hemi Under Glass Barracuda and Hurst Hairy Olds dual-engine all-wheel drive Cutlass exhibition cars. And if you were a competitor, running a Hurst-equipped shifter for your transmission, the sight of the Hurst “Shifty Doctor” and his repair trailer was welcome.

As a muscle car enthusiast, you may recall the first of the famous Hurst Olds in 1968. Those 1968 442’s were equipped with a mammoth 455 cu. in. engine from the Toronado in spite of the edict by GM that engines no larger than 400 cu. in could not be installed in their “A” body cars.  Editors note: By claiming that the Olds engines were installed at Demmer Industries for Hurst, Olds got around the restriction. Years later, Doc Watson admitted that Oldsmobile did in fact install the 455’s on the assembly line. All of these memories had one thing in common – besides the name Hurst – many were the brainchild of Jack “Doc “Watson. – the original Hurst “Shifty Doctor”.

Doc Watson passed away on August 2nd leaving behind a legacy far greater than his days at Hurst. Here is the statement from the Watson family:

It is with heavy hearts that we sadly announce the passing of husband, father, and friend, Jack “Doc” Watson. The renowned high-performance automotive developer quietly passed away Sunday morning, August 2 at his home.

An intimate committal service is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 5th at White Chapel Memorial Cemetery, 621 West Long Lake Road, Troy, MI 48098. A special memorial is scheduled from noon to 2:00 p.m., Saturday, August 15th during the Back to the Bricks show to provide an opportunity to celebrate, share and commemorate Doc’s life and accomplishments.

Doc was a determined man, with a reputation for safety, performance, and continuous improvement. He cut through the red tape to get things done right the first time. We are comforted by the knowledge of the many lives he touched and the numerous accomplishments he attained. One of Doc’s proudest accomplishments was his involvement with the JAWS of Life Rescue Tool. The product takes its name from Doc’s initials.

In lieu of floral arrangements, please consider donations to Reality Resources. This charitable organization will continue to honor Doc’s legacy by providing funding for programs through the development of services, products, and technologies.

Donations to Reality Resources will support numerous programs:

  • acquiring JAWS of Life rescue tools for safety crews in need of equipment
  • accessibility components for mobility-disabled military service personnel
  • literacy programs and educational materials for underprivileged children.

Please make checks payable to: Reality Resources, Inc. 7111 Dixie Highway, #125 Clarkston, Michigan 48346

Several of the staff at No Limits and in the Society had the privilege of meeting with Doc Watson and (as always) he was a pleasure to talk with and a true gentleman. We will miss you Doc, you made this world a better and safer place.

Eric White Digital Library

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