Hot Rods and Drag Racing Remembered
The Early Days Remembered
from Al Howlett
I was part of the delegation that approached the senior/senior Melenbacker about using the property for drag racing. Another Stroker member Bob Young was also on the team.
Later, Bob was elected as the first president of the Automobile Timing Association of Ontario. (Originally the OTA but due to trademark conflict with the Ontario Trappers Association the name was changed to the ATAO).
An organizing meeting was held in Galt with quite a few car clubs being in attendance. There were clubs from Brantford, Barrie, Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener and possibly others who were in attendance. I do not remember all the club names from that time. All these clubs had a hand in organizing the races.
The other prominent promoter was Gray Yonocko who had moved to Simcoe about that time. Gray was not a Stroker but was a very good friend of mine for many years and we kept in touch up until his passing in May.
Gray was a founder of the Toronto Rod & Kustom Car club.
The Strokers attended the first drags held at Edenvale. We purchased the old horse drawn milk wagon that was kept at the club house to carry the timing equipment. It also had a viewing platform built on top. I was in charge of the towing of this wagon with my (horse) 48 Ford pickup to all the races. The wagon was painted red and white and had the Strokers crankshaft logo on it. Hopefully someone has a photo of it. I can't find the one that I had. This old wagon was a terror to pull because it would go into a speed wobble and some times you were not sure if it was behind you or beside you.