A reunion with an old friend
Over 50 years ago, longtime Ontario racer Ken Graham bought a used open wheeled race car from Canadian Sprint Car Champion Lloyd Shaw. Ken went on to race this Dodge powered sprinter from the 1961 season until 1964 having fun and winning a few races. The end of the ’64 season brought Ken and the car to Mosport to try the BEMC Hill Climb. Now this car was meant for oval tracks, but after some modifications and approval by the scrutineers he was allowed to tackle the hill. Ken ended up 11th overall that day in a field of 62 entries. Ken sold that car at the end of 1964 and hadn’t seen it again until 40 years later when a connection lead him to what they believed to be the old car. After close inspection, Ken confirmed that this indeed was his racer from back in the day. A good friend of Ken’s, Jim Tanner,
offered to buy the car from the owner in
2004 and had John Smith, Lowry Siemens and Daryl Bray restore the car back to original right down to Ken’s name on the cowling.
This summer of 2014 at Mosport, now known as Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, again held the Hill Climb event at the inaugural Glory Days Celebration of Speed. It’s been 50 years since Ken has driven this old red rocket, and they were reunited once again to challenge the hill. Unfortunately, Daryl Bray passed away recently, but John and Lowry were grinning from ear to ear to see Ken behind the wheel of the car again. The car has a great sound and a real race car note when it’s “on the pipe”. Afterwards Ken told me “I wasn’t going to run that hard it’s got bicycle tires and no roll bar”. Well in my eyes, he was racing up that hill like he probably did back then. The “eye of the tiger” was still present in Ken that day!
Written by Perry M. Mason Photos by Ivan Novotny and Brian Graham