On the Road with Motoring…Maritime Motorsport Hall of Fame
This summer while traveling to the Maritimes, I had a great opportunity to visit the Maritime Motorsport Hall of Fame. This well put together museum is located in the heart of Petticodiac, New Brunswick.
This was the brainchild of Ernie McLean a track promoter entrepreneur. “ I wanted to represent and honour all forms of motorsports in the east coast of Canada, including PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. ” Ernie stated. “We’ve had some great racing success stories that came from these parts.” One of the most famous we know that raced in Ontario is Jr. Hanley. He was inducted in 2011. A real hard charger, winning countless stockcar races at the highest levels, even the famous southern North Carolina boys came to Jr. for racecar advice. They also honor Ontario stock car legend Don Biederman in the Hall. Ernie said the fact Don raced out here in the east so much through his storied career and had so many fans, it was only fitting he had a place there. That was nice to see for me as Don was one of my heroes growing up, and was close to our family for many years. A walk around this very nice facility showed me how diverse the talent was out here in this part of Canada. There is even a Guinness World Record holder here in the building. Garry Sowerby circumnavigated the globe in 1984 in a Volvo which is on display with all the stories. From motorcycle racing , drag racing ,off road trucks and snowmobiles, you can see how influential the Maritimes are to Canadian racing. A member of the HOF I recognized immediately was Nova Scotian Eugene Pettipas. He was inducted in 2008. He did a lot for Motorsport in the Atlantic by being the track sponsor and president for Atlantic Motorsport Park at one time, as well as, building and promoting Maitland International, a drag strip in Nova Scotia. Eugene was also well known for racing a Corvette on the east coast that I sold him back in the 1980’s, a car I was proud to see having its photo in the museum. Along with the hundreds of pieces of memorabilia and antique cars, the 10.000 square foot non-profit HOF also has meeting rooms and kitchen facilities, so clubs can rent space to hold banquets and meetings if desired. You too can leave your own mark in the hall by buying a “brick” which will adorn a wall of bricks in the building. It will be engraved and proceeds go to keeping the motorsport history alive in the Maritimes. For information on the facility, directions, and how to become part of the commemorative brick program, go to www.maritimemotorsporthalloffame.com Written & Photos by Perry M. Mason