Friday, February 29, 2008

a couple old photos to close the working week

A couple Pacific northwest drivers from the 1920s/30s. Art Hines and George "Swede" Smith.

Both came up to race at Hastings Park.

The unfortunate part is that both were killed in racing accidents. Hines at Portland and Smith in California.

The photos come from the Scovell collection which has been in the care of Jack Snyder in recent years. Don Radbruch made copies and passed many on to me.

Thanks to all for preserving the history.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Langley Speedway, June 13, 1965

It's amazing to find out how much I don't really know about things like Langley Speedway's opening day.

I suppose I should add that this is the Official Opening Day, June 13, 1965. If there were earlier races (some tracks do that to get the bugs out) I haven't come across any information on anything like that.

So I'm taking Sunday, June 13, 1965 as the first race at Langley (until proven otherwise).

The information comes from the Vancouver Sun, June 14, 1965; the Surrey Leader, June 17, 1965; and the Langley Advance, June 17, 1965.

3000 people attended the races, 32 cars timed in. The official starter for the races was Wally Feaner of Bellingham, WA.

Len Jones of Cloverdale was fast time. A bit of confusion whether his time was 16.2 seconds or not.

The first winner of the first race at Langley, according to the Advance, was George Cook in a modified stock.

Len Jones won the 20-lap A main.

Gary Destobel, North Vancouver, won the B main.

Reinhard Unruh, New Westminster, won the stock (modified) main.

Zeb Godfried, Ladner, won the jalopy main.

Doug Thompson (no. 100s) tested the wall with his machine and found it satisfactory.

And additions or corrections are most welcome.

For more information on Langley Speedway go to:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

imca, 1919 part one

It's Wednesday and time for the IMCA recap. Only will need two parts for this year.

Again noticeable for the names: Dave Koetzla went on to work at the Gilmore Stadium midget race track in Los Angeles; Sig Haugdahl's name became synonymous with the IMCA in the years to come; and Irving "Putty" Hoffman's name is mentioned in the most recent issue of The Alternate by future IMCA start Emory Collins. Seems Hoffman was a cousin to Collins and at age 13 Emory got his first chance to drive a real race car, Hoffman's. Might have been this year.

Friday, July 4, 1919, Calgary, Alberta, exhibition, Victoria Park, 1/2 mile

3 miles--B and C cars--1st, Irvin Hoffman, No. 9; 2nd, “Red” Fosser, No. 10; 3rd, Wild Bill Endicott, No. 7--time, 3:52

3 miles--A and B cars--1st, Jules Ellingboe, No. 8; 2nd, Wild Bill Endicott, No. 11; 3rd, Dave Koetzla, No. 14--time, 3:34

time trials--Jules Ellingboe, 1:07 1-5 (NTR); Wild Bill Endicott, 1:10; Dave Koetzla, 1:11; Ray Lampkin, 1:23

matched race--3 miles--Wild Bill Endicott defeated Dave Koetzla--time, 3:35 2-5

handicap race--2 miles--1st, Claypool, No. 17; 2nd, Hoffman, No. 9; Lampkin, No. 5 dropped out--time, 2:31 3-5

Rocky Mountain Sweepstakes--15 laps--1st, Dave Koetzla, No. 14; 2nd, Lampkin, No. 10; 3rd, Claypool, No. 17--time, 8:57 3-5

July 5, 1919, Calgary, Alberta, exhibition, Victoria Park, 1/2 mile


--1st race--consolation handicap--1st, Bill Endicott; 2nd, Claypool--time, 2:21 3-5

--2nd race--match race--3 miles--1st, Jules Ellingboe; 2nd, Bill Endicott--time, 3:36 1-5

--3rd race--5 miles--1st, Endicott; 2nd, R. Claypool; 3rd, Hoffman--time, 6:15 2-5

--4th race--time trial--2 miles--Jules Ellingboe, 2:16

--5th race --Australian Pursuit race--1st, Ray Lampkin; 2nd, Hoffman--time, 3:50 3-5

--6th race--Dominion Sweepstakes--1st, Bill Endicott; 2nd, Ray Lampkin; 3rd, Ellingboe--time, 9:11 3-5

evening races

--1st race--2 miles--free-for-all handicap--1st, Ray Lampkin; 2nd, Bill Endicott; 3rd, R. Claypool--time, 2:31 2-5

--2nd race--2 miles--free-for-all--1st, Bill Endicott; 2nd, Jules Ellingboe; 3rd, Ray Lampkin--time, 2:30 1-5

--3rd race--2 miles--championship event--Koetzla loses wheel in race with Ellingboe going to 3rd lap.

Monday, July 7, 1919, Edmonton, Alberta, exhibition, 1/2 mile

--time trials--one mile--1st, Jules Ellingboe, 1:05; Ray Lampkin, 1:09 2-5; Wild Bill Endicott, 32 2-5 for half-mile then broke

--2 miles--A and B cars--1st, 1st, Wild Bill Endicott; 2nd, Jules Ellingboe; 3rd, Dave Koetzla (or Lampkin)--time, 2:22 4-5

--3 miles--B and C cars--1st, Red Fosser; 2nd, Sig Haugdahl; 3rd, Irvin Hoffman; 4th, Ray Claypool--time, 3:40 4-5

--5 miles--championship race--1st, Jules Ellingboe; 2nd, Red Fosser; 3rd, Irvin Hoffman--time, 6:14 4-5

Saturday, July 12, 1919, Edmonton, Alberta, exhibition, 1/2 mile


--mile--Jules Ellingboe, 1:06 4-5

--event #6--15 laps--Northwestern Sweepstakes--1st, Wild Bill Endicott; 2nd, Jules Ellingboe; 3rd, Dave Koetzla--time, 8:56

--3 miles--light cars--1st, Red Fosser; 2nd, Putty Hoffman; 3rd, Ray Claypool--time, 3:50 2-5

--3 miles--heavy cars--1st, Koetzla; 2nd, Bill Endicott; 3rd, Ellingboe--time, 3:41 2-5

--2 miles--match race--1st, Ellingboe; 2nd, Endicott--time, 2:20 2-5

evening races

rained out

July 19, 1919, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, exhibition

--mile--Jules Ellingboe, 1:06 3-4 (NTR, old 1:12 4-5)

--two miles--Ellingboe, 2:12 3-5 (NTR, old 2:16 4-5)

--1st race--light cars--3 miles--1st, Putty Hoffman; 2nd, Ray Claypool; 3rd, Red Fosser--time, 3:53 2-5

--3 miles--1st, Dave Koetzla (Maxwell); 2nd, Bill Endicott (Rahe Special); 3rd, Jules Ellingboe (Briscoe); 4th, Ray Lampkin (Briscoe)--time, 3:34 3-5

--flying start--one mile--Bill Endicott, 1:27 2-5; Ellingboe, 1:06 3-4; Dave Koetzla, 2:00

--4th race--2 miles--pursuit handicap--1st, Jack Palmer; 2nd, Ray Claypool; 3rd, Putty Hoffman--time, 2:27

--5th race--3 miles--match race--1st, Ellingboe; 2nd, Endicott--time, 3:18 4-5

--final event--15 laps--Hudson Bay Sweepstakes--1st, Dave Koetzla

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

victoria auto racing hall of fame 2008

Couldn't make the festivities. Haven't seen the Times-Colonist for any coverage they might have given it and missed all the potential t.v. sports shows from the Island that might have mentioned it.

But there still is the internet. The hall's website has the three new entries' pages up already. They are:

Their website is a great place to go to learn about some racing history.

The photo I believe is of Dave Cooper, one of the first to be inducted into the hall. It was taken at Silver Lake Speedway in Everett, WA, 1951. If I have the correct info Dave finished 7th in the main.

Art Scovell won the race.

The photo comes from the Scovell collection that was being maintained by Jack Snyder. Don Radbruch made copies for me. Thanks to all.

Monday, February 25, 2008

back with some sad news

First post for a few days. Came back to a ton of emails. One was a sad note concerning the passing of a Vancouver motorsport pioneer: Milt Goodman.

Milt was involved with custom cars, drag racing, go-karts, and sports car racing, amongst other things. An all round enthusiast. He was made a Greater Vancouver Motorsport Pioneer in 2002.

The I believe came from the BC Hot Rod Association website. The group held its 50th anniversary last year in Cloverdale. Milt was going from table to table taking photos.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

imca 1918, part 3

Will get this year finished and then have to miss a few days. (I'm not very good at planning far -- like a day or three -- into the future.)

I like the closing line about Winnipeg knowing who J. Alex Sloan was. He had ties to the area.

So the finish of 1918:

July 26, 1918, Brandon, Manitoba, exhibition, 1/2 mile

rain delayed

July 31, 1918, Brandon, Manitoba, 1/2 mile

--event #1--3 miles--1st, Bill Endicott; 2nd, Ben Gotoff; 3rd, Verne Soules--time, 4:12 1-4

--event #2--5 miles--1st, Clifford Toft; 2nd, Jules Ellingboe; 3rd, Leon Duray--time, 6:41

--event #3--Australian Pursuit handicap--5 miles--1st, Ben Gotoff; 2nd, Vern Soules; 3rd, Sig Haugdahl--time, 9:31

--one mile time trial--Jules Ellingboe, 1:13

--event #5--2 miles--1st, Bill Endicott--time, 2:42

--event #6--Dominion Sweepstakes--5 miles--1st, Leon Duray; 2nd, Clifford Toft; 3rd, Jules Ellingboe--time, 6:31 1-2

August 2, 1918, Regina, Saskatchewan, exhibtion, 1/2 mile

afternoon events

event #1--3 miles--1st, $200; 2nd, $100--1st, Ben Gotoff; 2nd, Bill Endicott; 3rd, Larry Doyle--time, 4:02

event #2--5 miles--1st, $300; 2nd, $200--1st, George Clark; 2nd, Cliff Toft; 3rd, Leon Duray--time, 6:25 4-5

event #3--Australian Pursuit handicap--5 miles--1st, $200--1st, Verne Soules; 2nd, Sig Haugdahl; 3rd, Ben Gotoff--time, 6:38 2-5

event #4--time trials--half mile and one mile--
Bill Endicott 34 4-5 1:10 4-5
Cliff Toft 35 1:09 4-5
Leon Duray 34 4-5 1:09 4-5
Sig Haugdahl 33 1-2 1:07

--Saskatchewan Sweepstakes--5 miles--1st, $1000; 2nd, $300; 3rd, $200--1st, Bill Endicott; 2nd, George Clark; 3rd, Cliff Toft--time, 6:18

August 2, 1918, Regina, Saskatchewan, exhibition, 1/2 mile

evening events

--2 miles--1st, Bill Endicott; 2nd, Verne Soules; 3rd, Larry Doyle--time, 2:44

--Australian Pursuit handicap--2 1/2 miles--1st, George Clark; 2nd, Larry Doyle--time, 3:03 3-5

--Dominion Sweepstakes--1st, George Clark; 2nd, Ben Gotoff; 3rd, Leon Duray--time, 6:41 4-5

--time trials--Endicott, 33 3-5; Duray, 34; Clark, 34

August 5, 1918, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, 1/2 mile (?)

results unknown, was it actually run?

August 8, 1918, Winnipeg, Manitoba, River Park, 1/2 mile

--1st heat--unknown

--2nd heat--unknown

--3rd heat--1st, Clifford Toft

--last heat (heat winners)--1st, Bill Endicott; (Ellingboe and Toft also ran)

--Australian Pursuit handicap--1st, Bob Cline; 2nd, Bill Endicott--time, 3:39 3-5

--time trials--one lap--Leon Duray, 35 3-5

--note: from Manitoba Free Press: “The genial Alex Sloan, who was in charge of the auto party, is well known in Winnipeg, as he spent some time here several years ago as manager for the Happyland amusement place.”

Monday, February 18, 2008

more recent microfilm morgue findings

All over the map these last couple days.

Looking at the Chilliwack Progress from 1965 and 1966 (not completed yet). The Chilliwack Motorcycle Club definitely is the most active as far as the newspaper is concerned. Names like Vic and Rod Hudson, and Bob Nitschke. I had known about Totem Raceways being in operation by 1966 and that is covered by the paper but I hadn't known about local scrambles being held at "River View" on Vedder Mountain.

Also went out on a chilly sunny day to Point Grey and looked at the Prince George Citizen of 1969. Most of the coverage was for PGARA Speedway, but there were scrambles and drag races either advertised for or results given for. Names in the oval world like Brian Green and Cliff Hucul (who would go on to start a few Indy 500s).

And, finally (well it's never final), I looked at the Seattle P-I during 1916. Just trying to finish off something started years ago. It didn't get finished but that's okay too. Reports of racing in Spokane and Tacoma. One interesting item on Rae Lentz winning the first Pike's Peak hill climb in the Romano Special. Both raced at Vancouver's Hastings Park. Interesting listings of future events to be held across the U.S.

Also noted that Charles Latta was part of the 1916 AAA at Tacoma. Also Pete Henderson, the first Canadian (from Fernie, BC) to start the Indy 500, finished fifth. Funny, can't find a mention of Pete's Canadian heritage yet in the coverage. Oh well, more research.

Lots to sort out.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

duel of the mighty midgets, part 5

The story so far....

Click on the "duel" label and read for yourself.

And now for this week's exciting episode:

another Pike story, this time on Allen Heath

There are many Allen Heath stories. Pike Green wrote about Allan in the September 26, 1973 issue of Racing Wheels.

There will be more Heath stories to come.

(Sorry for being slow. Watched the Daytona Duels today having taped them on Thursday. Have to be up to date for the race later on.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

more tis the season for racing indoors

Ad for the Agrodome. Foreign stocks. Minis, VWs, Renault Dauphines! I've even seen mention of 3/4 midgets from the U.S. coming up but haven't seen photos of them. Let me know if you have any shots.

Racing at the Agrodome happened in the mid-1960s and again in the early 1970s. Twenty years after that B.C. Place Stadium had a couple years of one off races indoors. Legends cars and the mini stocks. Of course they've had yearly appearances of truck/tractor pulls and monster truck shows for a long time.

The ad comes from The Ubyssey, the UBC student newspaper. You gotta wonder about their sense of humour judging from the news item just above the ad. Too many nights in smoke filled rooms studying, the Agrodome being just another of the students' study rooms.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

photo from the 70s

I was looking at a poll taken on a music blog. Seems the most popular era, for that group, was the 1970s followed by the 1960s. So I guess I should cater to those eras as well. So for this post a photo of Tom Hamilton.

Tom was best known for racing a Ford Shelby GT350R on tracks like Westwood and the road circuit at Western Speedway in Victoria. But he also ran stock cars. I believe he had won the B main here.

(Yep, checked my notes: B main at Langley Speedway, Carling O'Keefe Opener, June 19, 1976.)

Tom comes from Campbell River, BC, and was inducted into the Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame last year.

The Hall keeps quiet on who will be inducted until it is announced the day of the ceremony. Not sure if my schedule will allow me to be there. I've only missed a couple in the last 15 years. But I have my contacts and will pass on the info as I find out myself.

Anyway, here's the photo along with a link to the Tom's hall info:

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

imca 1918, part 2

Second of three goes to deal with the IMCA in Canada during 1918. More than most years as there was a tour going on in Central Canada as well as the prairies.

Have to shake my head at the names in both series. Gaston Chevrolet, who would go on to win the 1920 Indianapolis 500, in the east. In the prairies it was Leon Duray working a fictitious French name (his real name was George Stewart) to help make Alex Sloan's International circuit very international. The name stuck and Duray started numerous Indy 500s. And the Ben Gotoff of 1918 was the Ben Giroux of 1917. French to German in the span of one year. Things were a bit loosey-goosey in the Sloan world of racing.

As with the east races there was an aviatrix, Katherine Stinson, as part of the show.

So, the results:

July 11, 1918, Edmonton, Alberta, exhibition, 1/2 mile

--first heat of free-for-all--2 miles--1st, Wild Bill Endicott; 2nd, Verne Soules; 3rd, Larry Doyle--time, 2:53

--2nd heat of free-for-all--2 miles--1st, Leon Duray; 2nd, Jules Ellingboe; 3rd, Clifford Toft--time, 2:51 1-5

--final of free-for-all--2 miles--1st, Wild Bill Endicott--2nd, Leon Duray; 3rd, Verne Soules--time, 2:34 2-5 (rolling start)

--Edmonton Sweepstakes--5 miles--1st, Clifford Toft; 2nd, Leon Duray; 3rd, Ben Gotoff--time, 6:47 from rolling start

--one mile--Jules Ellingboe, 1:07; Sig Haugdahl, 1:04 3-5 (just 1-5 second slower than world’s record)--did half mile in 32 1-5 which equals world’s record

Saturday, July 13, 1918, Montreal, Quebec, Delorimier Park, 1/2 mile, under auspices of Great War Veterans’ Association

event #1--3 mile race for dirt track championship--1st heat--1st, Chevrolet (Sunbeam); 2nd, Disbrow (Simplex)--time, 3:35

event #2--3 mile race--1st, Wonderlick (Simplex); 2nd, D’Alien (Marquette-Buick); 3rd, Woodbury (Duesenberg)--time, 4:10

event #3--time trials for world’s record--Wonderlick (Simplex), 36; Chevrolet (Sunbeam), 37; Woodbury (Duesenberg), 37; D’Alien (Marquette-Buick), 37; Braren (Disbrow Spl.), 40

event #4--wheel changing contest--1st, Disbrow (Simplex), 14 seconds.

event #5--Victory Sweepstakes--5 miles--1st, D’Alien (Marquette-Buick); 2nd, Wonderlick (Simplex)--time, 6:20

event #6--aeroplane vs. auto--5 laps--Miss Ruth Law in aeroplane defeated Chevrolet in Sunbeam car.

July 14, 1918, Edmonton, Alberta, exhibition, 1/2 mile

afternoon events

event #1--3 miles--1st, Ben Gotoff; 2nd, Bill Endicott; 3rd, Clifford Toft--time, 4:12

event #2--5 miles--1st, Leon Duray; 2nd, Verne Soules; 3rd, Larry Doyle--time, 7:15 1-5

event #3--5 miles--pursuit handicap--1st, Sig Haugdahl; 2nd, Verne Soules; 3rd, Larry Doyle--time, 6:29

July 14, 1918, Edmonton, Alberta, exhibition, 1/2 mile

evening events

event #6--5 miles--Alberta Sweepstakes (second half of afternoon event)--1st, Ben Gotoff; 2nd, Bill Endicott; Sig Haugdahl--time, 6:13

event #5--match race--2 miles--1st, Bill Endicott; 2nd, Jules Ellingboe; 3rd, Clifford Toft--time, 2:29 4-5

--special event--5 miles--1st, Jules Ellingboe; 2nd, Bill Endicott; 3rd, Clifford Toft--time, 5:59 2-5

--air pilot Katherine Stinson driving Leon Duray’s No. 11 set Canadian Woman’s mile mark--1:15 1-5

Sunday, July 14, 1918, Montreal, Quebec, Delorimier Park, 1/2 mile, under auspices of Great War Veterans’ Association

event #1--3 mile race--2nd heat--1st, Chevrolet (Sunbeam); 2nd, Disbrow (Simplex)--time, 3:46 2-5

event #2--3 mile race--1st, Wonderlick (Simplex); 2nd, Woodbury (Duesenberg); 3rd, D’Alien (Marquette-Buick)--time, 3:53 2-5

event #3--time trials for world’s record--half mile--Wonderlick (Simplex), 35 4-5; Chevrolet (Sunbeam), 36; Woodbury (Duesenberg), 36 1-5; D’Alien (Marquette-Buick), 36 4-5

event #4--wheel changing contest--1st, Chevrolet (Sunbeam)--time, 19

event #5--Victory Sweepstakes--5 miles--1st, Chevrolet (Sunbeam); 2nd, Wonderlick (Simplex); 3rd, Disbrow (Disbrow Special)--time, 3:32

event #6--aeroplane vs. auto--5 laps--Miss Ruth Law in aeroplane--time, 2:40

July 20, 1918

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, exhibition, 1/2 mile (?)

--3 miles--1st, Bill Endicott; 2nd, Ben Gotoff; 3rd, Leon Duray--time, 3:41

--5 miles--1st, Jules Ellingboe; 2nd, Clifford Toft; 3rd, Leon Duray--no time given

--Australian Pursuit--5 miles--1st, Sig Haugdahl--time, 5:40

--mile--Sig Haugdahl and Jules Ellingboe tied--time, 1:05 3-5

--2 miles--1st, Bill Endicott; 2nd, Jules Ellingboe; 3rd, Clifford Toft

--Dominion Sweepstakes--10 miles--1st, Jules Ellingboe; 2nd, Clifford Toft; 3rd, Bill Endicott

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

mid-week clippings from the 1966 motorama

The day passes quickly so I better get this up quickly as well.

Two clippings taken from Northwest Rod, April 1966. I'd love to see more Northwest Rod.

The clippings are from the 1966 Motorama. Two local legends: Ron Farmer and Jack Williams.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame

Time is flying here. The Saturday following the Daytona 500 will be the Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. That's Saturday Feb. 23rd. Here's the news release:

The Auto Racing Fraternity and friends will be gathering on Saturday, February 23rd for the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies and racer’s reunion. This year marks the 24th Anniversary for the Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame which was the first of its kind established in Canada solely dedicated to the Sport of Auto Racing.

This year’s function will be held at the Langford Legion Hall on Station Road in Victoria. Doors will open at 1:00 PM with the formal ceremonies commencing at 3:00 PM sharp. Admission at the door is still only $12.00 which includes a light luncheon and a free souvenir programme at the conclusion of the ceremonies. Popular refreshments will be available throughout the afternoon.

Although the names of this year’s Inductees are not released in advance, they will be honoured and join the 63 previously inducted persons in the Hall.

In addition, there will be Pioneer Award recipients introduced who will be added to the 51 previous selections in the Hall.

The motor racing heritage on Vancouver Island dates back to the 1920’s. It is rich in historical significance and the Hall of Fame Committee is extremely proud to be able to highlight the noteworthy personalities of the past on Vancouver Island and showcase the various significant accomplishments that have occurred.

Everyone is invited to attend this year’s event. As always, it allows members of the Auto Racing Fraternity, their fans, friends and anyone interested in learning about the sport to come together to remember past occurrences, renew old acquaintances, meet new ones, look at the memorabilia on display and generally enjoy the afternoon.

Check: for more information.

Sad to also read of the passing of Victoria mechanic Walter Wakelyn at age 87. His memories went back to the Langford Speedway days. Here's a photo from the late 1940s that includes Walt identified as the middle crewman for the Digger Caldwell sprint car. Also the obituary posted at the Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame website.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

king of the mounted, part 4

Okay, we're starting to get some laps at speed. Is "Speedy Lapp" in this story? He's in one of the King series racing stories. "Dual Doug" is in this one, for sure. Huzzah!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Jack Williams at the Winternationals

Holy cow! The Winternationals are this weekend. Daytona Speedweek is on. I think the Thunderbird Rally is this week (and I haven't sorted out when the first one of those was, if I ever will).

This racin' history stuff is demanding!

So what to do but put up a picture of "legal" street racing. Way back when (1963?) Jack Williams set out to go to the Winternationals. But to do that he needed a test run or two. So he did it on the streets (albeit back industrial streets) of Vancouver. And the newspaper took a shot of it.

As far as I know (and I know so little) Jack got a best appearing car trophy for his trip south.

Really Jack deserves much more than this snippet. And he will get more in future posts. But this is a start. A green light if you will.

(From the Dennis Lester collection.)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Mario Bianchi by Pike Green

One of my favourite people that I came to know early on while doing this racing history stuff was Pike Green. Pike grew up in Victoria, BC, Canada, was a "pit kid" at Langford Speedway during the 1930s, raced midgets, sprint cars, stock cars and what have you during the 1940s and 1950s, boats in the 1960s, and then, (deep breath), started writing about the people he knew and things he had seen in the racing world in the 1970s for the now lamentably defunct publication Racing Wheels.

And if that wasn't enough in the mid-1970s Pike started (with a little help from friends) Golden Wheels, a vintage car club which still exists today. In its early days Pike would give honorary memberships in Golden Wheels to those who had helped build the sport in the Pacific Northwest.

I can't find my mid-70s Golden Wheels membership roster right at the moment (figures!) but if Mario didn't join he should have. And, of course, Pike knew that Mario Bianchi's story was worthy as he had definitely been a pioneer of the sport.

I believe the story reproduced here comes from July 11, 1973. It's a photocopy of some yellowed pages that Dick Downes, a friend of Don Radbruch, had clipped out and saved and then shipped to me because he thought I should have them as I was interested. Racers have to be the most generous people in the world. So for Dick, Don, Pike and all the rest here is just a small sampling of what racing was like way back when.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

racers and politicians

Dodgy mixture. Like oil and water at times. But B.C. did have Flyin' Phil Gaglardi. Was the flyin' for the Lear jet he had for a time? Or for the speeding tickets he got? As highways minister he said he was just testing the curves. Here's one of a few photos that seem to pop up of Phil in a race car. This time a straight line dragster getting a ticket, or maybe just a warning, from Bernie Smith. From the Motorama of 1958.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

IMCA 1918, part one

Things get busy for the IMCA in Canada in 1918. Racing in both the prairies and central Canada. Gonna have to break this up into more manageable segments.

The inclusion of aircraft during these tours, west and east, just adds to the "show biz" aspect of the International Motor Contest Association.

June 29, 1918, Toronto, Ontario, exhibition park, 1/2 mile, under auspices of Sportsmen’s Patriotic Association

event #1--3 miles (flying start)--1st, Disbrow; 2nd, Chevrolet--time, 3:33 3-5

event #2--3 miles (flying start)--300 cu. in. piston displacement or less--1st, Wonderlich; 2nd, Woodbury; 3rd, D’Alene--time, 3:35

event #3--against time, one lap (flying start)--1st, Wonderlich, 33 3-5; 2nd, Woodbury, 34; 3rd, Disbrow, 34

event #4--handicap pursuit race--5 mile limit--1st, Disbrow--time, 6:07 3-5--2nd, D’Alene; 3rd, Woodbury.

event #5--cancelled (Disbrow with Christie car?)

event #6--novelty and wheel changing--1st, Chevrolet; 2nd, Disbrow

event #7--free for all--3 miles--1st, Chevrolet--time, 3:50 1-5

July 4, 1918, Calgary, Alberta, Victoria Park, 1/2 mile

event #1--3 miles--1st, Leon Duray; 2nd, Verne Soules; 3rd, Bill Endicott--time, 4:12 2-5

event #2--5 miles--1st, Jules Ellingboe; 2nd, Leon Duray; 3rd, Cliff Toft--no time given

event #3--Australian Pursuit--5 miles--1st, Sig Haugdahl; 2nd, No. 31, Verne Soules; 3rd, Leon Duray--time, 7:19 3-5

event #4--time for mile--Bill Endicott, 1:16 3-5; Jules Ellingboe, 1:16--cancelled after that due to poor track conditions

event #5--3 miles--1st, Bill Endicott; 2nd, Jules Ellingboe; 3rd, Bill Endicott--no time given

event #6--Canadian National Sweepstakes--10 miles--1st, Sig Haugdahl (Fiat)--no time given

July 5, 1918, Calgary Alberta, Victoria Park, 1/2 mile

afternoon events

event #1--??

event #2--Special Division--5 miles--1st, Jules Ellingboe (Briscoe); 2nd, Clifford Toft (Maxwell); 3rd, Verne Soules (National)--time, 7:07 1-2

event #3--1st heat of free-for-all--2 miles--1st, Leon Duray (Case);2nd, Bill Endicott (Hudson); 3rd, Larry Doyle (Case)--time, 2:48 1-5

event #4--2nd heat of free-for-all--2 miles--1st, Jules Ellingboe (Briscoe); 2nd, Clifford Toft (Maxwell); 3rd, Verne Soules (National)--time, 2:47 2-5

event #5--consolation handicap--5 miles--1st, Bob Cline (Bullet); 2nd, Verne Soules (National); 3rd, Larry Doyle (Grant)--no time given

event #6--final free-for-all--5 miles--1st, Bill Endicott (Hudson); 2nd, Jules Ellingboe (Wisconsin Special); 3rd, Clifford Toft (Maxwell)--time, 2:43 1-5

event #7--Calgary Sweepstakes--5 miles--1st, Clifford Toft (Maxwell); 2nd, Leon Duray (Briscoe); 3rd, Jules Ellingboe (Wisconsin Special); 4th Verne Soules (National)--no time given

July 5, 1918, Calgary, Alberta, Victoria Park, 1/2 mile

evening events

event #1--2 miles--1st, Leon Duray; 2nd, Clifford Toft (Maxwell); 3rd, Bill Endicott (Hudson)--time, 2:41 2-5

event #2--Australian Pursuit Handicap--5 miles--1st, Sig Haugdahl (Fiat); 2nd, Verne Soules (National)--time, 6:37

event #3--championship drive--2 miles--1st, Bill Endicott; 2nd, tie between Jules Ellingboe and Sig Haugdahl--time, 2:41

Saturday, July 6, 1918, Ottawa, Ontario, Lansdowne Park, 1/2 mile, Great War Veterans’ Association

event #1--3 miles--match race--1st, Gaston Chevrolet (Sunbeam); 2nd, Louis Disbrow (Zip)--time, 4:12

event #2--3 miles open--1st, Braren--alsoran, “Red” D’Alene and Wonderlich--time, 4:19

event #3--time trials--Gaston Chevrolet, 37 3-5; Wonderlich 39; Waldo, 39 3-5

event #4--handicap pursuit race--5 miles--1st, Gaston Chevrolet--alsoran, Disbrow, D’Alene, Wonderlich--time, 7:19

event #5--novelty and wheel change--1st, Louis Disbrow (assisted by Wonderlich), 15 seconds; 2nd, Chevrolet

event #6--Louis Disbrow in Barney Oldfield’s old car, a Christie front-drive 200 h.p.--got a flying start from Chevrolet, in his Sunbeam, and did the half in 40 3-5

event #7--free-for-all sweepstakes?--cancelled due to damaged cars

event #8--1st, Eddie Emmerson (Oldsmobile); 2nd, Walter Delsher (Chevrolet)--5 laps

event #9--Ruth Law over Gaston Chevrolet in air vs. auto race

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

the orange crate north of 49

I need to do something on drag racing. Winternationals coming soon.

Picked up a copy of The Rodder's Journal #38. I see from their website that they've sold out so pick it up at the news stands quick.

The cover story is by Albert Drake on The Orange Crate A/A 32 Ford Sedan out of Oregon. Twenty pages. Beautiful car. I haven't got through the article yet but here's a little local connection.

In 1966 The Orange Crate was at a car show up in North Vancouver and scheduled to race at Mission. The Mission race ended up as only being one pass as the car broke during that first run. Lucky people that got to see it race.

Ad for Mission and column by motorsport writer Lee Kelly on the car show both from the Burnaby Examiner, a long gone newspaper. And where is Lee Kelly these days? Still around I hope.

The Revell box image was borrowed from the web.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Victoria lows and highs at Riverside in the winter

The stock car season for NASCAR used to start at Riverside, CA, not Daytona, FL. Victoria, BC, racers went down there to race.

Billy Foster was making a name for himself in USAC, in both the champ cars and stock cars. He had a ride for the 1967 Riverside NASCAR race and had qualified for it when, during a practice run, his brake drum had a failure and he crashed, losing his life January 20th.

Gary Kershaw came down for the opening race to the NASCAR Grand National race in 1971 and surprised everyone, except himself and those who were aware of his skill. Kershaw went on to win numerous races in the Pacific northwest.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

king of the mounted, part 3

Sunday funnies. Duel of the Mighty Midgets continues:

Saturday, February 2, 2008

the Latta brothers at Hastings Park, part 2

Some more mentions of the Latta brothers, Chas. and Chet as the newspapers of the day sometimes referred to them. All from 1924.
From the Vancouver Province, June 16, 1924.
From the Vancouver Sun, July 29, 1924.

From the Vancouver Sun, August 16, 1924.

I also have a clipping from the same year about one of the brothers (Chet? I'll have to dig around) getting into trouble with the AAA for being involved with some "outlaw" (not AAA) races. Long Beach, WA I believe. Other drivers were also named, like Jack Ross. Not sure where this all went. I have some stories from the Oregonian and the Vancouver, WA area that might flesh out the story. (Or not.) For a future post. Monday most likely.

Friday, February 1, 2008

the Latta brothers at Hastings Park

Have got some requests for information on the Latta brothers, Charles and Chester, from the Washington State area. They raced in the 1920s, possibly earlier. Most of my Vancouver information is from the 1920 to 1924 era. So a few attachments today, and a few more tomorrow.

The above is from the June 14, 1920 Vancouver Sun.

A wire story from Idaho, from the May 31, 1921 Vancouver Sun.

From the June 5, 1921 Vancouver Sun.
From the June 16, 1921 Vancouver World.

More from the microfilm morgue on the Latta brothers tomorrow.