David was born in 1930 on tour with his singing parents. Being dyslexic he attended sixteen schools, leaving to travel with his mother's wartime ENSA show. At sixteen he joined the Merchant Navy as a deck boy, emigrated to Canada and returning did National Service.
He designed a stage musical then for two years was a chief theatre electrician. He started motor racing in 1957 and was a F1 trainee for Cooper Cars.
An accident in 1968 he lost the sight in one eye. After numerous facial operations, he bought a dairy farm in Wales until advanced cancer was confirmed when he lost a lung and part of his heart.
In 1981 he sailed a 26ft yacht to South Africa, then built a copy of Slocum's Spray, circumnavigated via Cape Horn, becoming the first solo disabled sailor to do so. He was Commodore of the Slocum Spray Society and awarded their centennial award. After sailing 58,000 miles Zane Spray sank, numerous salvage attempts failed so he built a copy of the Liberdade and re-enacted Slocum's epic 1888 voyage. He was awarded the Terra Nova and Voss trophies twice. Documentary films were made of his adventures and at seventy-four takes part in motor sport.