Monday, February 8, 2010

Nearing the End of an era at The Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Race Track...


With cut-down cars, super modifieds and sprints making the scene, the exhibition board was starting to get nervous that the cars were getting too fast or too noisy...no one really knows for sure, but the end of car racing at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition track was slowly coming to an end. The last couple of years before 1964, only Championship races were held at the CLE, and all of us that still had a hunger to race cars or watch them would have to be satisfied with a big race a year for awhile to come, as it would take until 1967 for full time racing to begin again at Riverview Raceways on the Scott Highway...the King's Highway 61. The photos on this post are some of the Americans that came to the last races here at the old CLE track.
The 1934 3-window coupe #34 is Ron Larson, and the #22 is Don "Itch" Daniels.
The lists below are from 1962 and 1964. They are a bit confusing as many drivers from different tracks sported the same car numbers, but if you were a fan then, you will recognize many of the driver's names. Barry Kettering was living in the Twin Cities by then as well.

As stated above the first list of drivers is from 1962 and the next from 1964.

The #68 Sprint car is driven by Doug Hjermstad from Minot, North Dakota and is powered by a Buick 401 CI engine. The super Modified #85 is Jim Peterson from Lake Elmo, Minnesota and is powered by a 426 CI Plymouth engine.

The #4 sprint here is the well known Don Mack from Grand Forks Minnesota, and powered by a 383 CI mopar engine. The 71B sprint car is Bill Sirecks from St. Paul with a big 409 Chevy.

Here is #78 Ken Anderson's car from Duluth Mn. This car is fully restored now and in the Russ Wanzuk collection here in Thunder Bay. The #85 car is Jim Peterson from Lake Elmo, Mn and sports a 426 Plymouth engine.

The #90 super modified car is Mike Kelley from St. Paul Mn., and powered by a 327 Chevy. Finally a fan favourite everywhere he raced is #99 Jerry Richert from Rushford Minnesota with his cool little '34 Ford 3-window coupe(don't know who the guy is that's stealing his spark plugs though).
We have to thank these guys as well as the droves of other cars that came from Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Winnipeg and Southern Ontario to entertain us during the last years of the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition race track....we owe them all a debt of gratitude.
All these photos were taken at the CLE track during those last few years in the early 1960's. The track was then given up to horse racing as it once was.
Click on photos to enlarge!

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