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.

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