As a kid, anything with 2 or 4 wheels was the most important thing on my mind......girls, school, sports and music lessons took a second place to toy cars, push mobiles, and anything motorized.
In these pictures, its always yours truly pushing the vehicles as I was probably the most lanky and long legged kid on the block.
My driver in the first picture is none other than Bill(Billy) French of Airlane Hotel fame....Bill and I lived near each other and this picture was taken on Cuthbertson Place near Vickers Park and near Bill's house in about 1955.
The second picture was featured once before on this blog but deserves a re-run. I am still the pusher, but my driver is Joe(Joey) Cooper, and the picture was taken behind our home on Arthur Street here in Fort William in 1958....note the much more sophisticated steering, and better quality wheels and tires. NEXT - "The Survivor"
This first picture here taken in 1953 shows Jim and Paul Finlay behind their home with their push mobile(Jim is the pusher and a friend from our bottle collectors club) built from orange crates and sporting the famed Barry Kettering #47. The second picture is how it looks in colour today after 57 years, preciously saved by Jim and now belongs to my hot rod pal Al Yahn. Jim donated his car to Al for safe keeping, and Jim, you couldn't have placed it in better hands, except maybe mine...LOL!!
Here is Ron(Ronnie) Limbrick driver and Donnell Woods pusher....the two photos were taken on June 18, 1950 and were titled "After the Races". The car was prepared for the first annual Fort William Kinsmen Club pushmobile race as shown in the newspaper clipping. Ron and Donnell finished third overall. Ron is a long time friend of mine and an incredibly talented full size hot rod builder.
Click on the newspaper clipping and scroll down to read the bottom.
This donated photo is of an unknown father and son with their very early push mobile. Note the license plate reads 1928 and the rear tire cover says "New Chrysler, Sol Rothschild Port Arthur Ontario". Sol Rothschild Ltd was the Chrysler dealership here back in the late 1920's.
The next photo is of my son Darren in the push mobile painted up like his dad's Pontiac stock car from the late 1960's and his Dodge Charger stock car from the 1970's. The photo was taken in our back yard in about 1975.
I never did get credit for this 1958 one....LOL, but I had built this car for Grant and Joey(yup..the same Joe Cooper that was my driver in the photo further up..) with Joey's help so that Grant McIntosh(younger brother of Lyn McIntosh of local car racing fame), and Joe Cooper could both finish first in their class. Also notice Albert Massaro of CLE stock car jockey fame from the 1950's and 1960's. Albert had always supported kids in general and kids in any kind of sports!
Where was I on this memorable day? Even though I had built the car, I had just started a new job at Spicer's Tire Service and had to work all day.....no fun for me for sure!!...but was very happy to see the boys take firsts.
As a footnote, notice the little blip on the bottom left hand corner of the clipping which totally dates this event....."Oswald Seen as Assassin".
NEXT - Motorized Go Karts.............Read the Story first.....
Go Karting was one of the most exciting things to happen to any kid in the early 1960's, and I was no exception. My parents took myself and a few of my friends to Duluth in the early summer of 1958. Up near Miller Hill Mall there was a Go-Kart Track and a Trampoline Park. One ride on a Kart was enough to get me excited enough to bug the hell out of my dad to build one.
My father and I had built our kart at Kam Motors....It had air tires in the rear, rack and pinion steering from a car jack and a brand new "Clinton" engine with direct drive.
My friends and I had an incredible amount of fun with this little vehicle and it filled in as a motor vehicle until I was 16 and even after I had my driver's license. I actually chased a bus down Franklin Street with it and quickly hid it away when cops had spotted some kid driving a little kart on a main street. All my friends covered up for me very well.
This first picture is of myself and my Go-Kart...home made....taken in about September 1958.
The next picture is a b&w of my son Darren taken in about 1980 sitting in our Kart...factory made, at the K-Mart Parking lot where we both raced the same Kart in the kids and adult classes. It was great fun for awhile until go-kart racing ended here.....The Kart was sold and I continued to build full size hot rods.
These last two photos are of my son taken at the K-Mart parking lot on west Arthur Street in 1980...He was only 8 years old at the time.
These were great years....the apprentice years of a life-long gear-head that I wouldn't trade for anything...hope you enjoyed these and thanks for looking, Dave
Click on photos to enlarge!