Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Speedway Champions Come to the CLE in 1954.....

Here we are back at the old Canadian Lakehead Exhibition dirt track on Aug 11 & 12 in 1954. It was a red letter day for our track as very important "Big" car drivers and their cars came to show the local boys how it's done! The first and last few photos I will explain, but you will have to read the news clippings to understand what went on. Be sure to click on all the photos and clippings to enlarge them...and some twice to read in large print.

Here is our CLE track. The photo was taken during fair week in the mid 1950's. The street that runs through the bottom is Northern Ave. and the street that runs straight up and curves to the right is Fort William Road. The only recognizable building is the CLE Coliseum on the left side near the bottom. The tree line near the top of the photo is Memorial Ave.....trees that were planted for our fallen comrades during the wars, but since cut down to widen Memorial Avenue. Many of the houses along Northern Ave. are still here today. Look had you locals and see if you can spot the Super Sonic Car Wash right across May Street(Memorial Ave) from the CLE main entrance. So read all the clippings as you scroll down.

The #16 car on the left of this photo being towed by a Jessiman Motors tow truck is Lee Drollinger's car after the accident mentioned above. The #9 car in the same photo is an unknown driver. In the second photo here, the #42 car is Lee Croft, the car that was involved with Drollinger's in the accident.

The #24 car here is Fritz Tegtmeier.....and the double photo on the right are the both cars enlarged. Most of these race cars were Offenhauser powered, and at least one other was powered by a Ranger Aircraft engine. You can imagine the thrill of seeing Indy type cars race here at Fort William and Port Arthur on the dirt, without any type of roll cage or roll bar. I do remember attending this event with my father at about 10 years old.
Thanks to Brian Pero for some of the photos and to a variety of others who loaned me some of these clippings. Some I already had. The CLE track photo I purchased from our museum a few years back.
Just a reminder to click twice on the photos and clippings to enlarge them!


Cooled Down said...

Wow! That is awesome!

Anonymous said...

Very cool site. Hey if you racers have time check out This site has some very cool vintage reproduction racing posters from the 30's up to the 70's.

Dave said...

Very cool repro racing posters for sure...Thanks, D.