Yesterday was the Grand opening of the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame at it’s new home at Legendary Motorcar. Of course a drive across Southern Ontario on a Saturday afternoon wouldn’t be complete without some excitement on the road. Cruising along at about 130 kmh (about 80 mph) we were making good time, when we spotted a low slung red thing with a HUGE wing. Could it be a Ferrari F40? No way, it must be a kit car, nobody would drive one of these things on the 401. As we got closer, we could see that it indeed was a real F40. Traffic slowed for a while, so we got a good look & got to revel in the popping & banging from the pipes every time he lifted off the throttle. Then the traffic opened up & the sport bike beside him took off. The guy in the red beast wasn’t about to be outdone. at this point, we were doing about 150 kmh when he launched the car in pursuit of the bike. He left us like we were tied to a tree. On every shift, flames shot out of the tailpipes. Unfortunately, the camera was in the back of the wagon. Very cool Ferrari spotting. Would we classify this as street racing?
The CMHF is dedicated to preserving the history of all types of racing in Canada, including cars, bikes and even boats. We have a rich history of racing and some of the top racers the world has seen have been born in this country. Inside the Hall these days, you will find all sorts of cars and a couple of bikes. There are winning race boats in storage, awaiting the day when funding exists to erect a new building on the other side of the property. On display are the Canadian entered Walter Wolf Racing Formula one car that Jody Schecter drove to victory at the 1977 Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport and the Indy car that Scott Goodyear drove to second place in the closest ever finish at the Brickyard. Other notables include a Frisbee CanAm car and a Canadian built MultiMatic Mustang endurance racer driven by the Canadian trio of Scott Maxwell, David Empringham and actor Jason Priestly. A slingshot dragster is on the balcony. While cool, it’s pretty scary to realize the the driver’s package is pressed up against the rear differential!
This opening was also a celebration of 40 years of stock car racing in Canada and there were a few wonderful historic stock cars in attendance. I actually saw very few people that I recognized from other forms of racing although I did bump into two time Canadian Rally Champion, Randy Black. One of Randy’s winning Datsun’s from the early Eighties is in storage and may eventually find it’s way into the hall.
There are some incredible stories in Canadian racing and Norris Macdonald at The Star tells many of them in his column for the Toronto Star. In yesterday’s Wheels section, Norris writes about a couple of racers who are important to the CMHF.
Visit our Flickr page to see the many pics we took at the opening and be sure to visit the hall. If you go on a Saturday, you can get a tour of the incredible shop at Legendary Motorcar and maybe even see the set of Dream Car Garage.