The history of Hot Rodding in BC is rich and diverse. Here is a place for everyone involved to submit a few words…or a lot of words about their involvement and history of Hot Rodding!
Cars, motorcycles and boats
-By Dave Wilson
In 1957, two years after I graduated from North Vancouver High, I was 19 years old. I had a good job as a carpenter apprentice, worked overtime and owned a 1953 chopped, lowered and hopped up Oldsmobile 98 street rod, a 650 cc BSA Road Rocket Motorcycle and a 16 ft outboard waterski boat which I moored at Bay’s Boats in Horseshoe Bay.
A new highway was built joining North Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay (Upper Levels) which had many long straight-aways often used as a drag strip by local street- rodders and bikers much to the annoyance of
the local police.
“Roundy Rounding” from my memories
When Andy Digney opened his speedway on MacPherson Street in Burnaby in the
late ‘40s, it was my ‘place to be’ most Friday and Saturday nights. If you showed your
‘Student’s Card’ Andy gave us teens a break and I often rode my bike to get there. I loved the “Hot Rod’ races and Dave Clark’s ‘8 Ball’, a ’32 hi-boy was my favorite.
Dave was a hard charger, but often broke, it was Larry McBride who took it to the winner’s circle most of the time. The rods were sparse in number, racing parts were hard
to get, expensive and the ‘purse’ was pretty light.
EARLY DAYS OF HOT RODDING IN BC
My initial involvement with hot rod clubs began in 1952 when Chuck Chapman, Ron Clark, several others and myself started the Norburn Auto Safety Club. We had 10-12 members at the start, most with cars, some just expectant. The RCMP sponsored the club by providing the meeting space at the beginning ( but no funding and we didn’t get off on tickets! ) The club was quite sophisticated with its own letterhead, an active social program – we raised enough money at one dance to buy a set of welding torches for the club.
The Old Car Love Affair Started Early
By -Alyn Edwards
The year 1957 may go down as the all time great year for cars. My closest car buddy and I turned 13 and I had just returned to my Toronto home after two summer months visiting relatives in Vancouver.
To a kid that grew up in Toronto reading about West Coast cruisers in magazines like Car Craft and Hot Rod, seeing the hundreds of customs that cruised Vancouver’s streets was nothing short of amazing. It is part of the reason I moved to Vancouver in 1971.