Sunday, September 7, 2014

More Clips from The Lakehead Stock Car Club.... 1952-1966 - the era of Hot Rods and Jalopies...

OK race fans.....we've put together a number of misc collages and newspaper clippings which you may have seen in September and October just before Championship season here at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Track from about 1954 until and including 1966.  These are in no particular order by year, but you can compare who were the top dogs and what the public paid to witness the most incredible years in automobile racing here in the Lakehead cities of Fort William and Port Arthur.  To read the fine print in all of on each of the following 29 or so clippings once or twice to enlarge them.


 How they were advertised!!

These stories are great reading.....The newspaper staff covered these racing events like no other sport in their day.....There really was something besides Hockey back then.

This is how the old Husky Station at 441 S. Syndicate Ave looks today....quite a unique building.

Above are a couple of ads from the 1950's showing two of Barry's cars in two different years to compete in the Western Canada Stock Car Championships.

Bob Harkness had a very distinctive voice which was perfect for announcing the races at the old CLE track.....

Remember when races were held during fair week?  In addition to the typical fair entertainment, racing always was the most popular.  Also remember when they gave six cars away at the Grandstand during fair week?

Louis Tocheri, the 1957 CLE Track Champion was always controversial and loved to get into scraps with the other drivers which made for great entertainment for the public week after week.  Louis would say that in the beginning it was faked a bit, but as time went on, the feuds became very real!!

It was a sad day when driver Sammy Myronuk quit.......

This following clipping stating that Indy Speedway driver Russ Larson(Laursen)(Laurson) would be coming to race as a feature attraction.  I remember being at that race and felt so bad for Russ as you can read in this newspaper ad.  I believe the correct spelling for Russ' name is Laursen.  Sadly Russ was killed on September 16 of 1970 doing what he loved to do.  I can't believe that happened 44 years ago...and we will always remember him.

This last insert is from a 1960 program and it shows you who won what from 1953 until 1960.  It was a wonderful time to be alive.
HR&J hope you have enjoyed these notes and clippings.  There are many more that will eventually grace the pages of Hot Rods and Jalopies....thanks for the notes and emails...keep them coming.
NEW UPDATE...........

Friday, August 22, 2014

UNIQUELY FORT WILLIAM, Ontario, Canada......more hot rods and jalopies later.....

I'm not in any way trying to snub Port Arthur-ites (you know...people from Port Arthur) with this post, however, as I lived in Fort William and rarely ventured over to Port Arthur until I had my own set of wheels, or unless I was swimming in Boulevard Lake with my parents, I spent a huge percentage of time in Fort William.  In this post I am trying a new idea in posting a number of collage photo groups which I have been working on for some time. I tried to find one of my posts that would represent the uniqueness of Fort William in it's heyday.  I chose this old HR&J post, re-entered here as it looked back in 2009.
To me Fort William had the best cruising strip anywhere, and it was duly taken away from us baby boomers when we needed it most....well, you get the idea.....

This next group shows the beauty and excitement of a Shriner's Parade on Miles Street in Fort William.  I can't recall where this photo originated but I am very grateful that it was brought back a ton of memories when it was a bustling down town district.  BE SURE TO CLICK ON ALL THE GROUPS OF PHOTOS ONCE THEN TWICE TO ENLARGE AND VIEW.  A big thank you to my friend Al Yahn for checking on addresses and places for me in his 1950's Henderson directory.
 I had done a blog post about Bourke's Drug store way back when, but I recently came across a very old Bourke's Drug envelope while looking through my own archives from the era before dial phones were here at the Lakehead (I love saying Lakehead).  Note, the phone number is 1400.....pick up your phone, wait for the operator, then say "South 1400 please", and she would plug you in to Bourke's.  That was "the" place where my parents purchased all their drug needs back all the details an data on these collage photos.

Fryer Studio was pretty much where everyone would get their photo finishing done.  In the 1940's if you wanted a colour photo, you would have to get a studio to hand colour or hand paint one.  Jessop's Pharmacy on Simpson St. is where my grandparents purchased all their drug needs, as they lived close to Jessop's address.....In those days it was pretty safe to head down Simpson Street....even at night to your corner store or drug store or even go to the movies at the Lake Theatre.

A recent yard sale find is this incredible brochure.  Read all the data as it was a very special event here in Fort William when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip came to open the St. Lawrence Seaway.  My great aunt Catherine Seppala was Mayor of Fort William at the time and as you can see by the seating arrangement at the bottom, she sat directly beside Queen Elizabeth.....Click twice to enlarge as stated above.

One of the most interesting finds this year was this Fort William travel brochure which I had never seen before.  The map and data about Fort William is below, and I kept it at a fairly large format so you could read about how we promoted our city back in the twice to enlarge.

I found this Dominion Motors newspaper clipping showing the 1952 Pontiac and decided to show these photos again of Dominion Motors on May Street.

As stated on the next photo collage, I have never seen the full size card for this we have a photo drawing of the original "Fort" William.

These are the things I love to collect...little tidbits of advertising from our city.  There was a lot of it back in the day and it is getting more difficult to find.  Note the phone number is MA 2-6463.  MA stood for MAyfair and is actually 62 on the old dial phones.  DI - DIamond and MU - MUtual were also used.  The clipping below is from a 1961 Fort William phone book.

HR&J hope you enjoyed this post which to me is UNIQUELY Fort William, Ontario.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Gentlemen Who "Started Their Engines" .....part 2

Here at Hot Rods and Jalopies, most of the vintage racing photos are of cars.  This time the concentration will be on drivers...some well known and many are unsung hero's of the day.....with a few other tidbits here and there.
For the original or "Part 1" of The gentlemen who started their engines you can click on this link then return to read this post.
....and sure to click once or twice on all these photo groups for enlargements, and enjoy the memories....hopefully some of you will remember these guys as I do.
The two little panorama photos above are taken along the back stretch at the CLE track...the top one showing a brill bus at the Port Arthur/Fort William turn around bus terminal.

Some  of these guys are quite well known even today, but many gave their time and effort to have fun and also to entertain the thousands who came out each Wednesday night to the best entertainment our cities ever had.....

In the top right photo as noted, you see a well known local driver Louis Tocheri with a very talented young man Lorne Hay (they made an incredible team)...who went on in later years to help Lyn McIntosh with his modified race car.

The top left photo of Tom Dow was taken in about 1953.  Tom along with Barry Kettering were instrumental in resurrecting jalopy racing in Murillo and at the CLE track in the very early 1950's

We lost many of our local racing celebrities through the years such as Barry Kettering shown here, however many are still with us today to detail numerous stories of our racing past such as Merv Dove shown above.

A few unsung hero's shown here!!

I took great joy in building the vintage modified car shown above using Cye Kehoe's and Norm Addley's old #12 with the help of many friends and acquaintances.  I hope to do a more lengthy story on the building of this car in the near future.

HR&J hope you enjoy these blog pages, and by joining and following blogger, you won't miss any posts as they come along.  Thanks for the continued support and interest....Dave

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Where was GRAIN PORT MOTORS and what is it's claim to fame here in Fort William and Port Arthur Ontario....

This is a bit of a follow-up to the last post due to the fact we are using old invoices to find addresses and data, and yes, you did see this first picture in the last post.  This photograph is of a Motor(Moto) Meter which was on a very famous local race car, The King's Ford Special......however this post is mostly about what this is, what it's for and the fact that a Ford Service Garage in the 1920's was a very important sponsor of the above noted race car....called Grain Port Motors (as noted right on this MotoMeter.)
This is a Boyce MotoMeter and you can read an ad here from 1912 telling you pretty much what it was, and what it was used for.  It was located on top of the radiator and protruded through the grill shell. I have never before seen and specific business name on a motor meter.  Read on to find out more, and click on all the photos and documents for enlargements.

This MotoMeter sat on the radiator of Mr. Frank Colosimo's King's Ford Special race car built by Art and Arnold King in the 1920's.  Without going into too much detail about the car on this post, you can read more about it by clicking on this link then return to read the rest. 
The following is a poster from one of the meets here at the fairgrounds in Fort William, Ontario, showing Frank as one of the racers.  One of the first known races here at the Lakehead cities was in 1914.  Frank however was pretty much unbeatable from 1925 until 1932.
In this picture to the right, you can see the MotoMeter above on the nose of the car.

Below is a picture of Al and Sandra Cronk with his restored King's Special.  Two years ago it was on display at the Thunder Bay Airport...there is still hope that this race car will eventually make it's home back here in our home town....also note the original MotoMeter still sits on the nose of the car.

This first advertisement (on the left) from Grain Port Motors was used around 1925 and predominantly shows the Fort William address as on the corner of May and Leith Street and the Port Arthur address says opposite the rink, which meant the Port Arthur Arena.  The May and Leith corner address changed to 113-119 Leith Street in about 1927.  The invoice on the right shows the Leith Street address....and interesting enough they would adjust your brakes for only $1.75.....which actually was not an easy task on the old cars.
The next photo/newspaper clipping is from a December 1939 newspaper showing a very early shot of Kam Motors Limited then "formerly" Grain Port Motors.  Also note the Imperial sign on the top right of the clipping.  That station would have been on the north/west corner of Leith and Simpson Street.  The next picture is of a Kam Motors Limited Brochure from the early 1950's.  Kam Motors is of course where my father spent 30 years of his life between 1937 and 1967 and in the later years became the body shop manager before he taught at the Gron Morgan trade school here in Thunder Bay.

This is how the original Grain Port Motors/Kam Motors looked a couple of years ago.

 ......and here on the corner of Leith and Simpson Street is a Brill Trolly bus in front of the old Palace Confectionery where I used to buy all my hot rod magazines as a young man.  The smaller picture below is how that corner looked earlier this year and the final picture taken just a few weeks ago shows that corner completely empty now, (down go all those Simpson Street buildings) but there in the background on Leith St. is the old Grain Port Motors/Kam Motors building still in use today.

The invoice below is one from the Grain Port Motors Port Arthur Garage in 1934.  It was situated pretty much across the street from the old Port Arthur Arena.  The Port Arthur Arena property now houses the Safeway Store on Court Street.  The last photo to the right shows you exactly what is at 79 N. Court St. where the garage was located back in 1934.  Click once or twice to enlarge.

It is very interesting to see the changes in our own home town after so many years.  There have been many more buildings and landmarks torn down (some historic) just in the last few years and without this documentation the history would be lost forever....HR&J hope you enjoyed this one!! ...and thanks to the Scalzo collection for the wonderful Brill Bus photo above.