Friday, July 3, 2009

Kohar Brother's #15 Meteor/Mercury Jalopy....CLE 1953

The top left #15 photo and email information is submitted by Rick Kohar.

“The first picture is of Ed Kohar sitting in the car at the Kohar Bros. Garage in 1953. The garage was located on the SW corner of Amelia and Brown Sts. across from the Westfort Hotel, in west Fort William(now Thunder Bay, Ontario). The garage was later moved brick by brick to the present site of T & T auto parts on King Street and James just past the underpass towards Mount McKay and the mission."
As Rick would say, “My father Ed and his brother Rudy built it and Harry Lee was the mechanic that spun wrenches on her. This is the car the Sam Myronuk drove to a second place points championship in 1953. J.U. Calonego construction had given them some sponsor money.”
Rick also says, “some of this info is sketchy but that Sam drove it over the fence(likely tearing down yards of fence like most jockeys did in those days) and was seriously hurt. Some time later there was a fight amongst everyone and the car was sold. I am not sure who the car went to but I always thought that Louis Tocheri ended up with the car.” The above photos show the Mercury as #15 with J. U. Calonego as sponsor and subsequently #19(Tocheri) which kind of proves Rick’s speculation. “Check out the football helmet for safety gear and the flex pipe under the car for an exhaust header...really high tech stuff for the time I guess? Also apparently this was the first car to ever have a 4 barrel carburetor at the track. Rudy and Ed had snuck it back from Duluth on one of their junkets."
This was the last foray of my father(Rick's father Ed) into racing until my brother Mel started at it in '67 at Riverview Raceways.”
Post Script...This is one of many great stories that come out of the old jalopy racing days at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition track, and I most sincerely thank Rick Kohar for sharing these great memories with us. The top right photo shows Sammy Myronuk receiving a trophy which could have been his second place championship win as stated by Rick. The second #15 photo shows an earlier model Mercury with the #15 on it before it was Tocheri’s car and those cars look exactly alike(The darker #19 photo shows Louis Tocheri to the right of his car). It wasn’t unusual to see many cars wrecked during a season and just putting the engine and roll cage into the next one...we did the same thing about 14 years later.
Rick has submitted some further info stating that after the 1953 racing year they sold the garage to Andy Samas and Ed went on to sell cars for Jessiman Motors for 2 years after that. Also in 1971 Ricks father Ed, sold me my one and only muscle car, my brand new 1971 Chevelle SS hardtop as sales manager at Port Arthur Motors....and I remember to this day how good he was to me on that deal.....Dave
click on photos to enlarge.

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