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The latest update as of October 7, 2011

Catching up before I hit the road

With the clock ticking louder and louder as each day passes and my impending roadtrip being only days... and soon to be just hours away, it's waaay past time to do some quick catchups and jot down a few notes before I hit the highway. For the record: I'm leaving early next week for California, with two consecutive weeks of nostalgia racing at Bakersfield's famed Famoso Raceway on tap to start the expedition. First up is the Nostalgia Fall Championships, followed a week later by the California Hot Rod Reunion.

Then it's off to Las Vegas for the very recently named Big O Tires Nationals and some "relaxing" times in Sin City. Truthfully, the real relaxation starts right after the Vegas race when I drive to Los Angeles, hop on a plane to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and rough it in a completely off-the-grid stone cottage on the beach in the wilds of the East Cape of the Baja Peninsula.

Ten days later I fly back to Los Angeles to attend the final event on the 2011 NHRA national event calendar, the Auto Club Finals before winding my way home on the California and Oregon coastal highways. Five weeks of fun and drag racing... then it's back to work for the rest of the winter.

Greater Vancouver Motorsport Pioneers Society

On to the main reason for this update today: this Sunday, October 9th, the GVMPS will hold their annual induction ceremony, honouring 15 individuals and teams that are considered "Pioneers" of motorsport in the Vancouver area. The criteria is that they "personally contributed greatly to the sport as competitors, drivers, team owners or in other direct ways" and that their contributions began "at least forty years prior to induction and to have had a strong connection to Vancouver, British Columbia and its surrounding communities".

The drag racers being inducted this year are the famed Stock and Super Stock team from the 1970's "Taylor, Soon and McNichol", Roger Manson (drove an insane blown 4-cyl Pontiac short-wheelbase rear-engined dragster), and the late, great Bill "Madman" Phillips, known far and wide for some of the most innovative and low-buck hardcore dragsters that ever graced a dragstrip in the Northwest, starting in the early 1970's and continuing well into the 1990's before his all-too-early passing in 1999.

I really can't write much more about Bill at this time, as even thinking about some of the great times we spent together in his garage/shop at Bainbridge and Lougheed and in later years, at "671 Blower Drive" in Pitt Meadows, and the help and tutelage he gave me in the world of early hemis and blown alcohol and how to get more from less.... it all brings back so many good memories... but at the same time, so much regret in not appreciating just what a truly great friend he was until after his passing.

I'm very much looking forward to attending the induction ceremony on Sunday and meeting some old mutual friends, among them George Swan, Terry McHardy, hopefully at least one of the Childs clan, Dave Johnston, and many more racers and friends that I've lost touch with over the years. If you can be there between noon and 4pm on Sunday, at the Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive, Vancouver it will be well worth your time. Admission is by a $10.00 donation to the GVMPS and that will include light refreshments. And for those who are so inclined, a cash bar will be on the premises.

That's all for now, except to close this small update with a few pics of Bill Phillips, graciously donated from the archives of Horsepower Heaven.

Bill Phillips Bill Phillips
Bill Phillips Bill Phillips

To see previous updates go to the What's Old page