We have a pretty incredible racing history here in Ontario, dating back to the late 1950’s. Fortunately, that is recent enough history that many early racers are still around to share their stories. Our own Allan de la Plante is one of those guys who was in the thick of the action in the Sixties and Seventies. A couple of weeks before the Honda Indy in Toronto, Allan had a spark of an idea to get a bunch of the old racers together for an evening. The next thing we knew, Allan had put together the above invite using his famed Four into Four image, while Canadian racing icon Bill Brack was scrambling to put together the guest list.
I was honored to be included in the list, as I had only been a little guy when these guys were racing past as I played in the sand at Mosport. There had been some discussion before the event as too what constitutes an Old Fart and it was deemed that one should have seen an original Can Am series race in person. I was indeed at a few of them, so I guess that qualifies me as old!
The evening came together beautifully with a couple of dozen people, most of whom were indeed old farts. Aside from Brack and de la Plante, guests included racers like Horst Kroll and one of Canada’s original motorsport photographers Hans Gulde. Long time racing scribe Norris Mcdonaldwas also on hand along with Canadian motorsport history group regulars Ed Moody, George Daskowski and George Webster. At the opposite end of the ages was Bill Bryan, a second generation corner worker who was there with his Dad Paul who has been trackside for a very long time.
Such a good time was had by all that the sentiment seems to be that this should become an annual event. There are stories floating around that we may be joined next year by some of the racers from back in the day who are still involved in pro racing. I can’t wait.