As many of you have noticed, the popular summertime feature Autodate has been missing from the pages of Wheels.
This blog today is to invite individuals and groups, car clubs, etc., who are planning non-profit events this year, to send notices of their plans, starting now, to firstname.lastname@example.org
They should follow a format as much as possible — although we will fix them up. Essentially, the name of the event and the date should lead off the notice, followed by times and any other pertinent details. In short, the five Ws: What, When, Who, Where, Why.
Now, I want to stress that this notice service is for non-profit organizations and non-profit events. For instance, car washes in support of the Hospital for Sick Children are legal; car washes in support of the owner of the car wash are not.
We sometimes make exceptions: a raffle in support of a worthy cause that’s held at a for-profit event will sometimes qualify (I am the final judge), and that leads me to give the first plug of the Autodate season to this weekend’s Toronto Classic Car Auction at the International Centre in Mississauga.
A sixth generation 2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS “Intimidator” Coupe built at the GM plant in Oshawa in honour of Dale Earnhardt Sr. will be sold to the highest bidder (no reserve, either) and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the new urgent care unit at — ta-da — Sick Kids.
Moving right along, next Saturday night the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Motorsport Heritage Foundation, will hold its annual Induction Gala at the On The Park banquet facility (Leslie and Eglinton in mid-town Toronto). Seven Canadian men who have made either significant contributions to Canadian motorsport or celebrated great personal achievement will be inducted.
Special guests are Michael Andretti, a former champion racer and now a team owner in the IZOD IndyCar Series, and Canadian IndyCar racer James Hinchcliffe of Oakville.
Andretti — who won seven Molson Indy races — will be inducted into the Hall in the “International” category was that created several years ago to honour non-Canadians for contributing to the growth, success and popularity of motorsport in this country. Hinchcliffe will appear as guest speaker.
Both, of course, are busy racing this weekend in Long Beach, Calif.
You may order tickets by emailing email@example.com, calling 905 852 6764 or faxing to 905 852 7012. If you purchase a ticket as a result of reading this column, I’ll introduce you from the audience. I can do that; I'm the emcee.
Andretti and Hinchcliffe aside, I always have a wonderful time at these galas because it is just so great to come into contact with Canadians who have done wonderful things in national and international motorsport and often don’t receive the recognition they deserve. Here are quick squibs on the seven new members of the Hall:
Richard Foley Jr., of Montreal: Racing as Dick Foley, he was the first Canadian to make the field for what was the first Daytona 500 back in 1959. He had to race his way in — he didn’t qualify on speed — but so did Fireball Roberts, Buck Baker, Tim Flock and Curtis Turner so he was in pretty good company. Foley also triggered the biggest wreck in NASCAR history at Daytona in a sportsman-modified feature in 1960: 37 cars piled up but nobody was injured.
Rudy Bartling of Courtice , Ont: A sports car racer extraordinaire, Bartling made 17 starts at the 12 Hours of Sebring — the most by any Canadian — with several top 10 results. At the 24 Hours of Daytona, he made 12 starts with a best result of 12th in 1973.
Paul S. Manson of Toronto: Manson participated as a navigator in literally hundreds of rallies across Canada and won the Canadian Rally Championship on several occasions. He was a regular competitor, and a top 10 or top five finisher, in the Shell 4000 Rally and the Canadian Winter Rally. He also wrote about the sport and contributed to a rally program on CBC radio.
G. Ben Docktor of Calgary: A stock car racer on the tracks of Alberta and Montana, he envisioned the construction of a comprehensive racing complex for the Calgary area. In 1987, Race City Speedway opened and included a half-mile oval speedway, a 2.1-mile road course and an NHRA-legal drag strip.
Greg Sewart of Halifax: Sewart won the MASCAR championship on several occasions and was always a force to be reckoned with in Maritime and U.S. stock car racing circles.
Robin Edwardes of in L’Orignal, Ont: Another champion rally navigator, Edwardes won numerous rallies, co-drove with some of the finest drivers of the day and was also an administrator. He served as vice-president of CASC in 1975-’77.
Norm Ellefson of Spokane, Wash: Ellefson was a champion supermodified and sprint car driver in Western Canada and the northwest U.S. in the 1960s. He won the Gold Cup race in Edmonton three times and the Daffodil Cup at Western Speedway in Victoria in 1967. He also raced stock cars.
See you at the banquet.