The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Lueger68, Dec 6, 2013.
..maybe the Van Isle reunion could be tied in with the next Deuce Days?
The curve on Kilmalu is further down from Telegraph, it could be in a direct line from the hill, I'll look on google again. Saratoga is around Cambell River, there was also Grandview Bowl in Naniamo and a dirt oval in Cassidy just north of Duncan. In the Victoria area prior to Western, there was the Langford oval and also one in Oak Bay. The bad blood is a long invovled story---I'll leave it at that.
A reunion tied in with Deuce Days? Al Clarke (organizer of it) had close ties to Van Isle and San Cobble, but I don't think he would have the time or patience to do both. Rick Gonder who did the first and only reunion has told more than once that he isn't interested in doing another,it is a lot of work.
There are two drag races every year in Sechelt at the airport, in May and August. The August race is run in conjunction with the Sleepy Hollow Rod Run and is a rockin good time for a road trip, my backyard!
Picture of San Cobble now, and one of the Van Isle tower now.
Anyone who Piloted a Dragster down the San cobble Track has my Admiration!
Very Scary Shit for sure!
These Tapes are a Treasures!
Thank You again
What street is this house on with the old tower's foundation? That would help locating things on GoogleMaps.Com. I find what I think is the old track, but there are no houses close enough, at least not by the pic that's posted (?). Butch/56sedandelivery.
Don't know, the pictures where given to me a few years back.
anybody know who is sitting on the slick in the first batch of pics? looks like a buddy of mine. the dragster looks as its a 6 cyl. the guy looks like Dave Anderson
Don't know who is on the slick, but it's the Pearce, McCron & Pearce dragster, GMC 6. Ken Pearce, Don McCron, and Ken's brother (not sure of his name) believe the dragster is now in California.
Here's a photo of the Andy Davidson Dragster from photo #9 on the first link when we bought it in October. If anyone has any details on it post here or send us a PM
This is where we are at with it now...
Dragster is looking good!
Please share your plans for it!
Build a nostalgia dragster and see if anyone will let us run it anywhere.....doubt the latter will ever happen but if not at least we have a cool piece of local history to lug around to shows fire up and put a few smiles on a few faces.
Very nice work!
How about running it at Western Speedway's 1/8 mile drag strip? I'd like to see it race.
I will keep an eye out for it at any old car event around here in Victoria.
yeah, it's been a really fun build for the club to tackle together, we've been keeping steady updates of the build on crackbook, here's the link
Butch, I research old drag strips using NHRA track guides and google map satellite imagery as a hobby and Van Isle is one that ,quite frankly, has been a challenge. Thanks to the video and photos I believe I found the tracks location, not to mention the previous posts which have been helpful. Here goes: From TC 1 north of Mill Bay, Right on Kimalu, left on Telegraph, Right on Meredith, which crosses the track about where the finish line was. The uphill shut- down area is still intact, it appears a house is there now. That would put the starting line near Voutrait Rd. Of course the entire area is now houses. It appears during its operation it was well attended judging by the pics and video.
Pass a basic Tech inspection and you can run them at Sechelt airport eighth mile drags. There have been numerous blown FED's including Jack Williams Syndicate Scuderia dragster make passes there.
Mind you I can understand why Island guys might balk at TWO ferries to make the trip lol....
There is also Stogrin Rd. up there-Mike Stogrin was the original builder of Van Isle.
I should make a drive up there and check the area out. Probably will not happen till after the new year, possibly not till late winter/early spring. I will post pics of the area if it looks like the old drag strip location.
Thanks, I'll look at GoogleMaps.Com again. And I did, If you'll look at the area that was the end of the shut down, and look directly to the south you'll see a long, clear cut area that also ends at the bluff; that's the area I thought it was. The existing shutdown are "begins" at the intersection of Meredith Rd. and Lazier Rd. The area has sure changed, not only with just homes, but also trees. The more people I talk to about Van Isle, the more people I find that did't even know of any drag strip on Vancouver Island. Seems to still be a lot of uninhabited appearing land more centrally located; maybe the provincial government can do what they FINALLY did for the new Mission. Maybe somewhat near the Port Alberni Airport. Butch/56sedandelivery.
[QUOTE The more people I talk to about Van Isle, the more people I find that did't even know of any drag strip on Vancouver Island. Seems to still be a lot of uninhabited appearing land more centrally located; maybe the provincial government can do what they FINALLY did for the new Mission. Maybe somewhat near the Port Alberni Airport. Butch/56sedandelivery.[/QUOTE]
Butch, the deal with Mission and the gov't was a completely different deal from Van Isle. The gov't was not involved with Van Isle. As I recall Mike Stogrin was a logger who loved drag racing and wanted to build his own track-a feat that he did at considerable personal expense. A couple of friends and myself would make weekly visits to the site as they were building it, the land chosen was far from ideal, there was countless loads of fill trucked in to level the ground. All this cost Stogrin big, even in 1967/68 dollars that is why Dickie Realty gained posession of the property and allowed Van Isle Dragway Promotors continue to run it until the lure of more money from land sales won out over the needs of us racers. As you probably know the gov't swindled BCCCA out of MIssion with the promise of building them a new facility, then tried to back out of the deal, until after years and years of Ron Farmer dogging them till they finally upheld their end of the bargain.
I( was aware it was primarily the efforts of one person who dogged the government to no end, successfully too. If the 'government" can look at the current success of Mission, it may also consider doing the same thing elsewhere. I've often looked at towns, cities, counties, and even the states as missing out on financial and citizen gains. They have golf courses, parks, boat ramps, nature conservatories, ball fields, and the list goes on; but what is provided for the "racers"? I'd think there would be an interest in curbing illegal street activities, providing entertainment, and possibly making a few dollars. Now it seems they all have independent firms managing their golf courses and such for them. Some of the Indian Tribes are getting on board now, other than just casinos and hotels; Eagle Motorplex and the former Firebird in Phoenix come to mind. At least there's a glimmer of hope in those areas. The new Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Wa. was supposed to include a dragstrip; the road race track is up and running 2-3 years now, and still no drag strip. I always thought if they did't reopen the condemned runway at Sanderson Field, the Washington State Patrol Proving Grounds could be used; it's bigger than the Ridge. Surely it's not used every day of the week. Maybe I'm looking at it in a too simple fashion. Butch/56sedandelivery.
Van Isle was opened in April 1967 and closed in Sept. 1972; certainly not a long time for a track to be in operation. It is getting more difficult to get a track going, most neighbors are opposed to them, noise being the main concern. Then of course the taxes on the property, the list goes on and on. I was born and raised in SoCal and have seen all the great tracks disappear but I also feel fortunate to have raced at a lot of them. I have been living in the Atlanta area for over 30 years and have seen 4 tracks go away and the participation at the remaining one is less every year.
This old Front engine dragster was recently unearthed in the Lower Mainland but apparently came from Vancouver Island. Anyone know the history behind this dragster? Had a towing company name on the cowl.
Phil Ruskowski out of Victoria use to have a FED that ran a front axle/wheel package that looked similar to that, not sure, but a chance that is Phil's old FED.
Don is correct. In regards to any future San Cobble/Van Isle Reunions, it won't happen. As the promoter of the event I can tell you that it took over two years of work and some dedicated volunteers to pull it off, including tracking down some very significant and historical race cars. Also, getting the likes of Williams, Kalivoda, Ruth and Beck (who all raced at these tracks) to fit the event into their schedule was not easy.
What really bothers me is that no (BC) organization has ever stepped up to the plate with a plan to create a public venue where all the BC Motorsport history could be put on public display. As mentioned previously on this site and on CR, collectively we have a ton of historical photographs, film and memorabilia that should be on public display. Personally, I have over 500 photos and lots of film footage from San Cobble and Van Isle. Thanks to Kevin I've been able to share some of it with you here and on CR, but what do I do with it now? Back into storage I guess.
Kevin, I think there's a better chance of our gov't repealing our income tax laws than them funding anything so unpolitically correct as anything to do with cars-especially hot rods or race cars! Even tho BC auto history is a tiny portion of history the amount of information that we are losing daily is staggering. The stories that guys like your gramps, Bob and Irene Kokotailo, Bob Painton, Al Clark, hell even relatively new guys like Rory know should in the very least be put on tape. But who is going to start, it's been 12 years since Rick organized the Van Isle Reunion and he's still quivering from effort. Just the few recent threads on here and CR has proven to me, you, Rick and many others, the interest is there, but I think that the only ones that could make something happen would be guys like ourselves.
Don. I couldn't agree more with your sentiments. All these aforementioned racers contributions to our local motorsports history is immeasurable and should be recorded for posterity. And yes Rick Gonder did a terrific job in accumulating people, cars and artifacts for that reunion that we participated in. I also applaud groups like the Greater Vancouver Motorsports pioneers Society for their efforts to preserve our history which is being eroded everyday. The need to record this information and rescue photos is great, and sites like this one helps. Perhaps a communal bank/museum/web site where such individuals can make contributions wouldn't be a bad idea. Its just implementing this that could be a problem.
Here's a few more Pics of the Andy Davidson Dragster from photo #9 that we are currently rebuilding. Enjoy. trying to figure out which one we want to blow up mega-size and put up in our shop
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