Sunday, February 12, 2012

Give Them Blood and Thunder and They Will Pack the Joint - Jalopy Tidbits in Fort William Ontario 1953 - 1962 and the Lyn McIntosh story.

Here are a few clippings from the 1953 to 1962 Stock Car Racing seasons at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition race track from Barry Kettering's own scrapbook.  These were the peak years at the track when ups to 5,500 fans crowded the old wooden grandstand to overflowing to view the best entertainment that ever graced the fairgrounds to this day. 
They are all interesting reads and hope you gear heads will take some time and reminisce about the good ol' days at the intercity dirt track here in Thunder Bay, formerly Fort William and Port Arthur, Ontario.  Click on each clipping twice to get an extra large reading format.

 WOW...5,500 fans watch the stock cars at the old CLE track!

This is a 1953 advertisement showing tons of people in the grandstand.....more people per week than Silver City Movie Theatres ever got!!  By the way...Silver City is in the exact same place as this grandstand building was.
They always smile when they win and Tom Dow is no exception a he takes the 1954 Point Standings trophy.

 Here is smiling Conrad Trombelli after equaling the track record back in 1955.  The next photo is none other than Merv Dove, who is still kickin' today and also a good friend.
 Controversy always surrounded Louis Tocheri (The Witch Doctor) during those exciting days at the CLE track.  Most of the mayhem was staged between many of the drivers including the Massaro brothers, but Louis would say that staged or not, tempers did rise and there were many fist fights on the track directly in front of the grandstand to the delight of thousands of patrons.  I spoke to Louis this past week and he said that all the neck pain he has now was definitely caused by all the rollovers and wrecks he endured back then....not to mention the fist fights.
This was May 26, 1956 and the beginning of the racing season with no let up in the popularity of stock car racing here at the Lakehead.  "The Lakehead" is a short form for our city now as well as the two cities it once was.  If the voting was different back in 1969, the new amalgamated city in 1970 might have been called "The Lakehead" or maybe just "Lakehead".....were you old enough to vote back then?

 This is Barry and Glen Kettering on either side of their good luck horseshoe welded to the back bumper of their '34 Ford coupe with the nickname "POOPSIE".  Do you remember?
The next picture in 1958 was the rookie year for Jim "Chicken" Herron.

Lyn McIntosh was inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame this past year (2011).  Here are a couple of clippings of his early years on the CLE racing circuit in his home town here in Fort William, Ontario as it was called back then.  He always had the passion for speed as I recall hanging around his home as a kid being best friends with his brother Dwight.  Between the Racing passion and Skiing passion(basically just a need for speed), Lyn has accomplished much in his life that he can be very proud of.  Much can be read about Lyn on many Internet sites.  Congratulations on all your accomplishments Lyn.
Click above to view Lyn's story.

......and finally, many thanks to Rene Kettering for the loan of Barry's Scrap Book, and to all the drivers that gave us such enjoyment back in those days.  They boys of the Lakehead Stock Car Club will never be forgotten.

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