Monday, May 17, 2010

A Few Excerpts from the 1958 and 1959 International Dirt Track Stock Car Championships...

This is a close-up of the great graphic art that adorned the Championship programs in 1958 and 1959. In 1958, the CLE track here in Fort William and Port Arthur had already had a championship race of sorts in 1957. It was called the Western Stock Car Championship Race and was put together with drivers from Canada and the USA. In 1958 however, it was a much more organized event drawing top drivers from here, as well as the Midwest US, Winnipeg and Southern Ontario. The light green program cover is the first year of that very well organized event.

The first year(1958) drew top racers such as Ralph Spencer and Russ Larsen(Russ' last name was spelled differently in many of the prior and latter year programs). The actual spelling is Laursen. We will at some time do a tribute post to Russ. The story next to the photos was written by Doug McOuat, sports editor in 1958 for the Port Arthur News Chronicle. It's a great story that was published in the '58 program.

Here is the second year(1959) program cover and inside it stated that Louis Tocheri and Tony Massaro were co-promoters of the event. That was very interesting as Tony and Louis had many grudge matches and a number of fights prior to the Championship years. Tony doesn't look too happy in this photo either. The information here also notes all the officials names for the event.
This program had a number of great photos and a variety of stories about some of the guys that raced then, such as Don Marsh, Al Massaro, Merv Dove, Barry Kettering and Louis Tocheri.
Louis of course was the guy everybody loved to hate(the words "see and boo" are noted under Louis' picture here).
The guys below are some of the fellows that came from afar to join in the fun and try to win some of the $3000. that was up for grabs!

These are all great individual stories and a good read. Be sure to click on all the photos. They may need a double click to get them extra large to read the print beside them.
If there are any specific drivers you like, let me know and we can do a research story on them, or if you have a story or photo of your own, don't hesitate to email me directly from the blog site.
Many thanks to Jack Rea for the wonderful programs.

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