Saturday, January 31, 2009

racing novels, part 10

I'm going to eventually run out of racing fiction novels. At least, ones that I have copies of. Then what? Until then, though:

Bobby Deerfield (formerly, Heaven Has No Favorites) by Erich Maria Remarque

The Way to Dusty Death by Alistair MacLean

Friday, January 30, 2009

when in

Cold capturing my brain for the past few days. Which is why I try to get a bit ahead on certain threads here. But when a blank (not dissimilar to a description of aforesaid "brain") occurs then go to the web and post a couple links.

Tom McCahill from Mechanix Illustrated looks at NASCAR in 1951.

And Drag Fink takes care of my love of silly, over the top, artwork.

Heck, Daytona is coming up. So is the Winternationals. Is Spring far away? Will my cold ever end?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

inter-city modifieds, part four

A July 1966 Inter-City modified meet at Nanaimo's Grandview Bowl. The Cal Arnold bio comes from a Grandview Bowl program of that year out of the Don Bennett collection.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

early vancouver racing, part 18

1926 is interesting in that southern California racers came north. Ascot Speedway in the Los Angeles was in a bit of a doldrums phase before the local legion took it over. So they headed north on a barnstorming tour. Francis Quinn and Jimmy Sharpe both were to stars but, unfortunately, both lost their lives, Sharpe in a racing accident and Quinn in a road accident.

The first of a couple parts.

40--May 22, 1926, Hastings Park

--mile against time
1st, Francis Quinn 1:04 1-5

--15-miles open
1st, Francis Quinn
2nd, Al Hopp
3rd, Burr Metheny
time, 17:18 2-5

--5-miles, open
1st, Bob Parsons
2nd, Francis Quinn
3rd, Peter Lofstrom
time, 5:53 1-5

--3-miles, open
1st, Burr Metheny
2nd, J.W. Norton
3rd, E.B. Spatz
time, 3:33

1st, Burr Metheny

41--May 24, 1926, Hastings Park

--mile again time
1st, Al Hopp 1:04 4-5

1st, Al Hopp
2nd, Bob Parsons
3rd, E.B. Spatz

1st, Francis Quinn
2nd, Earl Evans
3rd, Jimmy Sharpe

1st, Elmer Spatz
2nd, J. Jamieson

1st, J.W. Norton
2nd, Bob Parsons

--special, 3-miles
1st, Francis Quinn
2nd, Earl Evans
3rd, Jamieson
4th, Jack Smith

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

more British motorcycles from the End of Empire exhibition

Some more photos, all off my crappy little digital. A better camera would get you better photos. You should go and have a look!

Monday, January 26, 2009

End of Empire motorcycle exhibtion

A few photos from the Deeley Motorcycle Exhibition show on British motorcycles. The display is on now and will last through 2009.

The exhibition is located at 1875 Boundary Road, Vancouver, BC. Hours are M-F 10 am-5 pm, Sa 9:30 am-4:30 pm, Su 11 am-4:30 pm.

More to come.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

death drives a midget, part 25

Bonus time, an extra strip to finish off Death Drives a Midget. King can sure jump to conclusions as well as jump an out of control midget race car. Too bad the same can't be said of Shorty Spade:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

racing novels, part nine

Saturday morning (and evening fiction):

High Gear edited by Evan Jones

Two-Wheeled Thunder by William Campbell Gault

Thursday, January 22, 2009

inter-city modifieds, part three

Another Inter-City modified meet at Nanaimo's Grandview Bowl in 1966.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

early vancouver racing, part 17

Another year of racing at Hastings Park. I believe A.D. Smith is Devon Smith and George Smyth was better known as Swede Smith. Lots of guys named Smith raced back then.

38--August 14, 1925, Hastings Park

--mile against time
1st, George Lott, Pelican Special 1:03 3-5
Jack Ross, Buttera Special 1:03 3-5
3rd, Kenny Eckle, Ford Special 1:06 1-5

--small cars, 5-miles
1st, A.D. Smith, Ford Special
2nd, Phil Churchill, Churchill Special
3rd, Kenny Eckle, Ford Special
time, 5:49 2-5

--big cars, 5-miles
1st, Jack Ross, Buttera Special
2nd, Gus Duray, Romano Special
3rd, Chet Latta, Dodge Special
time, 5:34 1-5

--15-mile free for all
1st, George Smyth, Hayes Special
2nd, Gus Duray, Romano
3rd, Chet Latta, Dodge Special
time, 16:27 1-5

39--August 15, 1925, Hastings Park

--mile against time
1st, Jack Ross, Buttera Special 1:02 3-5
2nd, Gus Duray, Romano 1:03

--small cars, 5-miles
1st, George Lott, Pelican Special
2nd, Kenny Eakle, Ford Special
3rd, Phil Churchill, Churchill Special
4th, A.D. Smith, Wilcox Special

--large cars, 5-miles
1st, Jack Ross
2nd, Gus Duray
3rd, Fred Hirsch, Romano Sturdvent Special
time, 5:26 4-5

1st, Jack Ross
2nd, Phil Churchill
3rd, George Lott
time, 29:00 1-5

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Westwood's 50th anniversary

This summer Westwood will celebrate its 50th anniversary at Mission Raceway Park. Events will be held July 16-18. Check the Westwood50 website for more information.

Just some photos; most, if not all, from Tom Johnston. More photos to come in the ensuing weeks and months.

Monday, January 19, 2009

recent research finds

Haven't gone to the microfilm much lately. Holidays and trying to catch up with all the loose pieces of papers stacked up around here.

Two older bits of information that will have to be incorporated into what is already known:

May 22 and 24, 1915 -- Motorcycle races at The Willows in Victoria. Vancouver riders including professionals "Sandy" Bennett, Alan Ross, George McEwan, Fred Bell, C.H. Edwards and amateurs Rayner, Kenneth Craig, Pat Pettipiece, Bob McEwan and W. Olson. Olson was said to be the present holder of the B.C. 5-mile championship. Will have to get the Victoria newspapers out for further details.

June 12, 1915 -- First automobile race of the year at Seattle's Madison Park. Some drivers scheduled to race were Joe Thomas, Rae Lentz and Charles Latta. Eddie Pullen, of the Mercer racing team, was supposed to officiate as starter. No results found but worth digging for.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

death drives a midget, part 24

Second last installment of this series of King. The kid is drugged by the soda pop, King knows he has to make his move, and so does Shorty. Shorty moves first, and it's a drastic move at that:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

racing novels, part eight

More Saturdays, more racing fiction:

Challenge at Le Mans by Larry Kenyon

Fast Green Car by W.E. Butterworth

Friday, January 16, 2009

royal city rockets

I want more motorcycle stuff in here on a regular basis. All that needs to be done is for me to get down and get with it (to borrow from Slade). Here's an old Road and Motorsport in BC feature on the Royal City Rockets motorcycle club.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

inter-city modifieds, part two

The third race (two races were held on the May long weekend), and Al Smith gets his third main in a row. Langley drivers throughout the standings and finishes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

early vancouver racing, part 16

Some interesting names: Jack Smith of Victoria, Happy Horstman (I believe that's the proper spelling), Jack Ross and a guy with a Hispano Suiza.

35--June 14, 1924, Hastings Park

--5-mile City Championship
1st, Jack Smith, Victoria
2nd, Dave Grant, Vancouver
3rd, Frank Martin, Vancouver
time, 6:43

--mile against time
1st, Jack Ross 1:07 1/2
2nd, C.A. Latta 1:10
3rd, Jack Smith 1:11

--3-miles, open
1st, Jack Ross
2nd, C.A. Latta
3rd, Harry Schuck

--5-miles, open
1st, Jack Ross
2nd, C.A. Latta
3rd, Kenny Eakle
time, 6:32

--3-miles, small cars
1st, Jack Smith
2nd, Kenny Eakle
3rd, Dave Grant
time, 4:45

--15-miles, open
1st, Jack Ross
2nd, Jack Smith
3rd, Harry Schuck
time, 22:15 2-5

36--August 15, 1924, Hastings Park

--mile against time
1st, Philip Smith's Dodge Special 1:05 2-5
2nd, Horsman's Motordrome Special 1:06 3-5
3rd, Harry Schuck's Special 1:07
4th, Pat Reed's Marmon 1:08 3-5
5th, Chet Latta's Romano 1:11
Jack Smith's Chevrolet 1:11
7th, Don McKinnon's Hispano Suza 1:14
8th, Jack Ross' Buttera Special 1:21

1st, Jack Smith
2nd, W. Bernston
3rd, McKinnon

1st, Horsman
2nd, Chet Latta
3rd, Jack Ross

1st, Horsman
2nd, Jack Ross
3rd, Smith
time, 11:55

37--August 16, 1924, Hastings Park

--no results

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jim Grant stuff

Had an email awhile ago about Jim Grant. Here's a fairly recent story on him.

Monday, January 12, 2009

another inspiration for this blog

Pike Green, like Don Radbruch, was a great source of information and encouragement for me to continue to research racing history around the Greater Vancouver area. So, like with Don, I have to thank him and can only wish he was still around.

Fortunately he still is in his writings. He sent me many photocopies of stories wrote for Racing Wheels in the early 1970s on racers he knew from his years in the northwest, starting with Langford Speedway in the 1930s. He also started Golden Wheels, a fraternity of racers that helps keep the history alive with vintage racing exhibitions.

This story is on Swede Lindskog. The links up on the sidebar show The Swede Lindskog Project, a nephew of the late racer who is compiling material on the man.

One thing I found, and pointed out to Pike, was that Swede did lose a feature (or two) at Langford Speedway. I hate having to "set the record straight".

(Sorry about the quality of the scans. Taken from poor photocopies of yellowed newsprint.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

death drives a midget, part twenty-three

Shorty finds out that his plan hasn't worked and the kid is affect by the lemon soda:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

racing novels, part seven

Saturday fiction:

Scarlet Thunder by Sigmund Brouwer

Road Race of Champions by Eric Speed

Friday, January 9, 2009

inter-city modifieds, 1966, part one

In 1966 the BCTRA at Langley Speedway, and VITRA at Western Speedway, had problems. Some of that has been chronicled at the start of the 1966 Langley series on this blog. So where did the BCTRA and VITRA modifieds go? Nanaimo's Grandview Bowl, that's where.

To sort out that year of the Inter-city modified series I managed to get over to Nanaimo and look at the 1966 newspaper.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

early vancouver, part 15

Tragedy finally struck the local scene when Dudley Lamberton Smith died as the result of injuries suffered in an accident at Hastings Park, August 18, 1923.

The result was to limit the entry of racers to only so-called "professionals" from the U.S.

When I spoke with Gordon Reelie many years ago he said that he was at Hastings Park when Smith was killed. At that time Reelie lived in North Burnaby, within hearing distance of the horse track, especially if there were cars racing. The incident ultimately didn't deter him from getting involved with the sport.

And, in one of those eerie coincidences, I bought a paperback book called "The Complete Book of Auto Racing" by Lyle Kenyon Engel and the staff of Auto Racing Magazine.

Inside the book had passages underlined and some comments made in the margin. A bit frustrating except that I already had a cleaner copy of the book. What made me buy it was a comment written by this unknown owner of the book previous to me:

"My first contact with car racing -- when working at 'Standard Motors' -- Ford -- 8th and Kingsway. A mechanic 'Dud' Smith -- killed at Hastings Park -- 1923 -- driving a Model T Ford -- with Rajah head -- went thru outside board fence at full speed."

Then this unknown writer added, beneath a line drawn beneath the above passage:

"Drove this track several years later in a touring Ford and was chased off by speed cop Charles Palmer -- 'for my own protection'."

33--August 17, 1923, Hastings Park

--mile against time
1st, Bloom, Stutz, No. 6
2nd, Butler, Butler Special
3rd, Bloom, Special

--5-miles, 3 heats
heat no. 1--1st, "Tip Bloom", Stutz
time, 7:10

heat no. 2--1st, Dud Smith, Crescent Special
2nd, Robins, Ford
3rd, Dave Grant, Carmichael Garage
time, 7:20

heat no. 3--1st, George Smith, Frontenac Ford
2nd, Black, Ford No. 1
3rd, Barnett, Maxwell No. 5
time, 6:53

1st, George Smith, Frontenac Ford
2nd, Bloom, Stutz
3rd, Grupp, Stevens Special
time, 29:15

34--August 18, 1923, Hastings Park

1st, Tip Bloom, Stutz, No. 6
2nd, Pat Reed, Stevens Special
3rd, C. Latta, Baby Romano

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

for my friend

It's just over a year ago that the inspiration for this blog passed away.

Don Radbruch was a fan, a racer, a historian, a writer, and a friend. He is missed by many.