1974 Membership Card
<div class=”maint”> Bill Wakish was the Secretary Treasurer in 1974. Bill Lyons was the President.
David and I Backing Up The Driveway
<div class=”maint”> Our home property on Lydon avenue was 25′ wide, that’s 25′ including the driveway. I could barely get the car up the driveway, but both the trailer and tow vehilce wouldn’t make it. Here David comes with me as I back up the car to the garage. He looks quite concerned. Nonie took this picture from our living room window. Those East Coast mirrors came in handy for backing up a narrow lane.
Ready To Start Rebuilding
<div class=”maint”> My sponsor Hillmack Services Limited allowed me use the truck garage to rebuild my car. I also drove one of their 5 ton straight job trucks, picking up local freight. Max Hiltz was very good to me.
Gord Homles Still Lines Up The Bumper
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Dad Welds The Bumper
<div class=”maint”> Dad did most all of my welding in my early years. He had to because the stuff I did usually fell off. Dad was an expert welder with the Boiler Makers Union. He was on a list with other welders and only worked when there was a shut down at a refinery, like Shell Oil or Texaco. Every time the union sent him, he had to do a welding test before the refinery would keep him (all the welders had to be tested) and they would stress bend or exray his work. He never failed a test. Some of his welds were on display at the union hall. I remember one time dad welded a piece of steel and when he was done he got up and looked at his work and said to me and my crew, as we looked on in amazement…”only two people can weld like that”…and about the time we thought about what he said he answered quickly…”and I’m both of them”.
Dad Welds…Look Ma No Glasses!
<div class=”maint”> I often watched dad weld, sometimes without safety goggles. I often woke up at night with what seemed like sand in my eyes. dad would say “I told you”. Eventually ‘welding watching’ came to an end unless I wore glasses or held another shield.
The Body Gets Repairs
<div class=”maint”> We removed the body once the frame welding was done so we could repair the tons of cracks. It was easier for dad to braze flat. In less than 24 months this Ford Coupe had 3 body and paint jobs.
David at 2 1/2 yrs old
<div class=”maint”> David came with me most times. Shirley was 8 months old.
Almost Ready For Paint
<div class=”maint”> We always wanted our cars to look good. My passion for racing was derived from watching lots of fast good looking cars. When I was little my dad and mom would take Bev and I to the CNE races. I usually picked the best looking car. Terry Dickinson was my favourite Hobby driver when I was a teen. Glen Schurr was my favourite driver of all. I put on my car “#36 for Schurr”, a play on words that worked because there was no doubt he was my favourite.
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<div class=”maint”> Practice was always like a race to me. It was another chance to get on the track. That philosophy would change in 20 years because I didn’t want to wear out my car. Perhaps in 74′ I needed all the practice I could get.
No More Guard Rail
<div class=”maint”> No more guard rail…John and Frank Casale removed the guard rail and put up a cement wall. It was very tough on those of us who would hit it coming off the corner. I had my share of appointments with the cement, and it usually wasn’t nice, ‘damage city’. To make us feel better, we were told that when we hit the wall our cars would get sucked into the wall and stay there where it was safe. Somehow bouncing off the guard rail out into the traffic seemed safer, at least there was a chance you might not get hit, and if you did get hit, you had enough momentum to send you to the infield…after slamming the wall a bunch of times that logic seems to make sense….well to me it did.
New Tow Vehicle
<div class=”maint”> This was Nonie’s dream. We could go to the races and stay over night, plus if the kids got tired they could go to bed early. Sometimes they would watch the races from the top of their bunk. Our little gas stove would heat the camper and keep us warm. The red on the truck would have to go.
Trophies and Headlights
<div class=”maint”> These were the trophies that I won to date after 2 and 1/2 seasons. Notice the headlights in this picture and the 2 above. They were functional, but not as lights. I had a 3″ hose going to the carb and one inside to cool me off. I was told to remove them after a couple of race nights, they were not legal according to the rule that stated “no accessories”…but they were cute. I got them from Ken Jorgenson, he was going to use them for a project and through them out.
Now We’re Looking Good.
<div class=”maint”> Once I got the truck painted (with a roller) and lettered, we were quite proud of how it looked. Now we were a complete race team. We had our own truck and trailer plus a place to eat and sleep.
Car and Truck
Coupe in Play Pen
<div class=”maint”> We used Ed’s trailer once in a while, it was handy for carrying extra parts. I should have known that even before the other racers had a chance to say something, dad would make a joke…he said “here comes Ed with a play pen”.
First Win Of 74′ …With Headlights
<div class=”maint”> It was June 22nd, my first win of the season. David is wearing the jacket Grandma Bow made for him and he’s holding the plaque I won spnsored by Hillmack Services. They were called Hillmack Awards. This would be one of the final races I would be allowed to run the imitation headlights…come to think of it, no one in modern history of the Hobby’s had headlights on their cars. I wonder why?
It’s My Hobby
<div class=”maint”> At the Speed-O-Rama car show I asked Tex Swiston, the editor of C.A.R. Weekly why the Hobby’s didn’t get very much exposur, adn he said because no one sends him any stories. After some discussion, he came up with the column title and I started submitting stories.
The Chase Story
<div class=”maint”> Our first trailer was a single axle. Not good if you had a flat tire. Nonie and I were coming back from Flamboro on a Sunday afternoon. Heading east along the QEW we had a flat on the right rear of the trailer just before highway 10. I decided against continuing along, something I had done previously in Mini Stox in 1971. That’s a crazy story, you’ll find in the Mini Stock section (one for Ripley’s)…on this day we got off the highway and got on the South Service road. I came to a stop, and after checking our parts supply I discovered we did not have a spare for the trailer. It was a 15″ tire so I figured I would go to the Esso station about 2 miles up the road and buy a used tire. I went back to the pick up and explained to Nonie that I was going to unload the race car and then take the trailer to the gas station to get a spare tire. She said okay. I backed the car off the trailer and got out and put the ramps back on the trailer. As I looked for a safe spot to park the Hobby car, I noticed something very shocking…Nonie was pulling away in the camper truck with the trailer. I watched for a few sceonds thinking she was moving to the side of the road but no, she was on her way to the gas station and I was standing on the side of the road beside the Coupe with it idling. I waved frantically but she was long gone. I don’t know what the neighbour’s thought, or the people driving along the QEW as they watched, but I had no choice, I had to chase Nonie, and my only means of transportation was the race car. I caught her just as she pulled into the gas station. Half nuts with unbelief I ran up to her and said “why did you leave me on the side of the road”?, Nonie replied “I thought you said we were going to the gas station, so hear I am”…”that’s pretty funny” I said. What was amazing is that I didn’t get caught, there was a Police station on highway 10 right on the corner. By the time we got it fixed and headed back home it was impossible not to laugh when we talked about it, and of course she asked me why did I not have a spare, and if I did there was no place to put it….I’m glad we weren’t in Michigan on I-95.
We Needed A Way To Get To The Track!
It seemed so good to load up at work and use the straight job flat bed truck, a brand new 1974 International…that is until we got to Flamboro and had to find a hill to back up to so I could unload the car. Whatever it took we did it to get to the races.
Heat Win July 6th…No Headlights.
<div class=”maint”> I won my 2nd race of the season at Flamboro. You can see the headlights are no longer on the car….The night before at Speedway Park some Hobby drivers led mainly by Harry Nicholson were up set by the fact that we were not guaranteed our purse. I decided to support them and when Clair Button, who was the pit steward, asked me to line up I refused because of the money situation..guess what..I got disqualified for the night and no one else supported me. I learned a lesson from that experience. Later on Claire and I would become good friends and he would become President of the OARC in 1975.
Practising With the Limited Sportsman
<div class=”maint”> Milton driver Wayne Howden #37, is seen here leading some Limited Sportsman and Hobby cars in the warm ups. Thats #56 Brian Book behind Wayne, then me and Danny Shirtliff….Brian Book was a steady runner and on June 28th slid off the track in the feature and took out the light pole between turns 3 and 4. The lights went out immdeiately and that is a weird feeling when you’re racing…the show was done for that night.
Stopping For A Fall Picture
<div class=”maint”> The leaves were so beautiful this day, Nonie and I had to stop to get a picture. Maybe we should have stood back further, somehow we missed most of the trees…This photo proves though racing was the key, we still had time to focus on other great moments in time, like God’s creation.
Truck and Trees
3rd Win September 14th
<div class=”maint”> In 1974 our car count was getting much higher. If you were in the first heat and didn’t finish first or second you automatically ended up in the Little Feature. I finished 6th in my heat and staretd pole in the feature and won…still no feature win….I’m holding a Hillamck Award for the win…every week I painted my rims (that’s why I was so glad chrome wheels eventually became available in a racing rim, it would be 10 more years). I also painted the tires to make them shine. Perhaps I wasn’t worried about things like stagger or wheel nuts being hard to get off with paint on them. I had Gord, he was 6′ 240 pounds. No painted wheel nut was to hard for him to handle.
<div class=”maint”> No one could get more out of a car with a zero budget than Terry Dickenson. He was a big help to me. Helping me to set up my car…coming off turn 4 is #71 Don MacDonald.
Our Last Race Ever At Pinecrest October 14th
<div class=”maint”> This was the Octoberfest of yester year. Pinecrest had a big race week end on October 14th and we ran a 50 lapper. This would be the last time the Hobbys raced at Pinecrest. Shirley is seen here looking out the window.
George Gordon #6
<div class=”maint”> George Gordon was always a lot of fun to be around. He bought the marron and white coach from Doc Cockburn. We are waiting to go out for our heats.
<div class=”maint”> George McLeod #64 is inside pole with Harry outside pole. Paul Ortman #45 is 2nd row inside with Bob Field 2nd row outside. Behind Paul is Roger Cochrane from Peterborough. There were a few Westgate Hobbys to race against us this day. I am behind Roger…there were 2 distinct Hobby clubs. The Flamboro group and the Westgate club. It was illegal for us to run our Hobby cars with them. It didn’t matter whether or not the OARC were running that night. You were not allowed to run in a class, or a race that was not sanctioned by the OARC. (that’s one rule that has contributed to the OARC/Hobby’s/CVM longevity). They could run with us if they bought a membership but could lose it if they ran again at Westgate, they would be disqualified from the OARC. So the Westgate boys and Ruth Trotter always came to race with us once their season was done, because Flamboro ran longer than anyone else, (although Pinecrest on this day was late into the season) but they were always trying to talk some of us to go to Westgate against OARC policy. Many guys did it and got away with it. I didn’t want to take the chance.
Coming Off Turn 4 In The Feature
<div class=”maint”> Danny Shirtliff #39 leads a pack of cars off turn 4. He won the points in 1974, so I would guess this is further back in the pack, although we may have used a different system for qualifying for this race. Can’t tell who is behind Dan, #47 Roger Cochrane is on the outside, then me, #45 Paul Ortman and #35 Harry Bow. I mentioned earlier that Ed Hennessey and his family use to go to Peterborough to spend time with his sister Ruby and brother in-law Bob. That’s Bob’s car #94, and he is standing on the rear wheel. Bob is looking towrds turn 3 so maybe the cars on the front chute were mid pack. He was #9 at Westgate but since this was an OARC sanctioned race, and Bill Lyons was #9, he had to change his number,he added the #4 and you can see it’s a different style than his #9. Check out the track grandstands, covered all the way around for rain or shine racing. You can see the main fan entrance right in front of my car.
Hall of Famers
<div class=”maint”> Rookie Lee Jerome #57 holds off #23 Bill Wakish. Bill was a hard worker for the OARC for many years. He always built top quality cars and was a serious points contender. Bill was inducted into the Hobby Hall of Fame in it’s inaugural year 1984 with Bill Lyons. Lee Jerome would join in 1993 with Jim English…I bought the #23 in 1981 for the 1982 season. Bill Wakish helped me quite a bit too(as I’ve mentioned,lots of members did). But one time he fooled me in a way like never before or since. It was late 78 and he was leading the heat and I was 2nd. A caution came out and on the white flag lap going into turn 3 Bill put his finger out the window indicating one more lap. I figured something must have happened for us to have to go another lap…guess what, nothing happened! As I slowed down to prepare for another white flag lap I was shocked to see him speeding away, “what’s he doing”? I thought to myself, “the white flag is out”, but it wasn’t the green was waving and by the time I came to my senses,he was gone and won the race. In the pits after we had a good laugh but I never was caught again with that one…I’ve never used it yet either.
Slant Six Explodes
<div class=”maint”> What a wild ride for most of us that were close to Bill Wakish in this picture. Bill’s 225 engine blew to pieces and some drivers were hit with flying cast iron. Roger Cochrane tries going around Bill, I am completely sideways, but incredibly I kept going like that half way through turn 3, got straight and didn’t stop. Paul Ortman #45 is also sideways and Bob Kurtin #80 is trying to get out of the way by heading for the infield, which was by the way slightly up hill. All of us escaped this incident and it was crazy.
Hit The Dirt
<div class=”maint”> Bob Kurtin was still flying when he got off the track. Terry Dickenson #92 avoided the spinning cars and oil on the slick track but then had to manouver around the cars off the track. Paul Ortman also headed for dry land. Imagine what went through our minds in this mayhem for 6 seconds…what was funny was guys were saying that once Bill got the lead in a race, he likely wouldn’t lose because none of us wanted to get near him knowing that at any time his engine would explode. This was his 7th blown motor and he would be the unwanting recipient of the Hard Luck trophy at the banquet…Hard Luck?!!..I say, look at this sequence of pictures and tell me who’s hard luck…just kidding Bill.
Paul Leads Us Down The Back Chute
<div class=”maint”> Paul Ortman leads Dave Barry #43, me and at the back Terry Dickenson down the back chute.
Dave Berry #43
<div class=”maint”> Dave Berry #43 and I battled for quite a few laps.
It Wasn’t To Be My Day
<div class=”maint”> Battling with Rod Rashleigh #62 was never one of my favourite things to do in a Hobby car. I just seemed to always get in trouble with Rod. He was agressive, fast and since I was too stuborn to move over, quite often I’d get bit, also Pinecrest was a narrow track and side by side racing was touchy at the best of times. Here we both take the hit hard into the wall and I’m out of the race, but judging by his car, I’d say Rod was finished also. Paul Ortman squeaks by, he must have thought to himself, “I survived again”. Paul was a gracious driver, but I just sort of wonder if he thought what some of us did when drivers wrecked or spun out…”oh goody I move up a spot”…no, not Paul, would he?
Rebuild It ForNext Year
<div class=”maint”> We took the car home after this wreck and would spend all winter getting it ready for 1975. We have all winter to prepare.
Quaker State…Our First Year!
<div class=”maint”> Bill Lyons helped me get a sponsorship from Quaker Sate Motor Oil Company. I was very excited to have the big oil company sponsoring me. Hillmack Services was my primary sponsor and Sherwood Auto Body did the paint. The key fact in this photo…I was 27.
<div class=”maint”> Harry Clark presented me with the plaque from Hillmack Services. My sponsor supplied plaques for the Hobby’s for every heat, consi and feature winner for the 1974 season.