NASCC Early Years Club History
Original and still active club member David Fowler was nice enough to compile this timeline of the early years of the NASCC – thanks Dave!
Sept 29, 1957: First meeting of the “Sports Car Club of Edmonton”. Ken Finnegan elected first President.Oct. 16, 1957: Second General meeting, 61 people present.
Oct 12, 1957: First event, a Rally.
Nov. 3, 1957: Second event, a Gymkhana on Simpson Sears parking lot, (now part of the NAIT Campus).
Nov. 1957: First Clubroom rented.
Finding a problem registering the name “Sports Car Club of Edmonton”, because the Registrar of the Societies Act decided that the name was too similar to the Edmonton Light Car Club, and the ELCC refused to grant permission. On November 27, 1957 the name of the organization was changed to the Northern Alberta Sports Car Club.
Dec. 1957: First banquet and dance at the Park Hotel, $10.00 a couple, drinks, 3 for $1.00.
Dec. 4, 1957: Emblem, a knock off hubcap, [the same as the Bentley Owners Club in England] and colors, Royal Blue with accents of White, approved.
Dec. 1957: NASCC was offered a club price on gasoline, $0.35per GALLON for premium.
Dec. 8, 1957: First Dice on Ice: At the Dec. 18 meeting it was announced that the Citroen Car Company in Paris France had requested photos of the event, because a Citroen had placed first overall. Later the club learned a report had appeared in a French Publication
Feb. 7 & 8, 1958: First Car show: Members, eight dealers, and a large contingent from the Calgary Sports Car Club displayed cars. The Show took place on the Exhibition Grounds in the Sales Pavilion. For promotion the club printed 2000 posters, arranged 1/2 hour TV coverage from CFRN on the Laura Lindsay Show and Brian Hall at CHED promoted the show before the event. A dress code required males to wear black or navy blue trousers with a white shirt open at the throat, and females to wear black or navy skirts with white blouses. 2000 programs were printed with 80% of advertising space sold.
Feb. 11, 1958: Club enquired if it was eligible for a provincial grant.
March 1958: First newsletter produced.
March 25, 1958: The Canadian Auto Sport Club asked NASCC to become a member. Our decision was not to join because CASC dues were quite high.
April 11, 1958: Membership 101; 75 prime members and 26 associate.
April 11, 1958: A visit from the South Side Gendarms regarding complaints about sport car activities on city streets. The Police asked for the clubs cooperation in helping reduce these complaints and have suggested that they might have to get tough with sports cars in general if complaints were not reduced.
May 7, 1958: Inquired regarding possible affiliation with the Northwest Conference [U.S.]
May 1958: Calgary Sports Car Club held a time trial at Lincoln Park and NASCC members won first overall; first in Sports Cars over 3000 c.c.s and first under 1500 c.c.s.
May 23, 1958: ELCC inquired about a possible affiliation with the NASCC, and at the same time ELCC complained about the behavior of certain of our members at an event in Jasper.
May 23, 1958: The editor of the club newsletter complained about the lack of cooperation from members in producing articles for the newsletter.
June 21, 1958: The NASCC together with the Kiwanis Club of Wetaskwin held a Car Show in Wetaskwin,
June 1958: Two members entered a race in Spokane, one took second in class; the other third in class, 10th overall in the LeMans race, and 5th in class in the production race.
July 14, 1958: NASCC entered a float in the Edmonton Exhibition Parade.
Aug. 16, 1958: The Calgary Sports Car Club held a race and NASCC members won five out of the six events.
Sept. 2, 1958: Dr. Gordon Deane elected 2nd President.
November 30, 1958: Club put on a Dice on Ice with FORTY-ONE entries, first was an Austin Healy, 2nd a Jaguar XK120, and 3rd. a MGA.
Dec. 3, 1958: Club had 140 members, 110 prime members and 30 Associates.
Dec. 28, 1958: Time Trial on Ice; first overall was an Austin Healy 100-6, 2nd. A Jaguar 3.4, 3rd. An Austin Healy 100-6.
Feb. 8, 1959: A local Insurance Agent refused coverage to a new sports car owner, if the owner joined the NASCC.
May 8, 1959: The Ladies Division of the NASCC put on a Car Rally and called it the Dames Dilemma, (boy how politically incorrect can you be).
May 1959: The NASCC held a 6-day Car Show. After months of negotiation with the Russian Embassy, and being checked out by Dun & Bradstreet, the club arranged for a Moscovitch car to be brought from Russia to star in the show. Unfortunately the car arrived in Edmonton three days too late, so the Calgary Club who had a Car Show the following week got to display the Car. The NASCC Car Show was not successful, but Calgary drew over 12,400 people in three days and made enough money to help build their own clubhouse.
June 3, 1959: Accepted as affiliate member of the International Conference of Northwest Sports Car Clubs.
June 6, 1959: A young lady driving a MG TC, was killed during a NASCC event, held in support of a Teen-Age Safe-Driving Rodeo in Lloydminster.
June 10, 1959: Executive meeting held to discus the accident in Lloydminster, and evaluate other safety concerns from previous events. As a result of this meeting a Safety Supervisor, Charlie Lisson was appointed. Charlie at that time drove a white MGA Coupe, and at his own expense had painted on both sides of the car, signs showing his position as well as the club name in full.
July 1959: Calgary Sports Car Club organized a race in Claresholm, out of 25 entries, 12 came from NASCC and NASCC members won 3 out of the 4 races.
Aug. 16, 1959: After being approached by the Leduc R.C.M.P. and with involvement from the Leduc Lions club, the NASCC held its first Road Race on pavement at what is now the Edmonton International Airport. Insurance was arranged through a local agent. An eligible vehicle, was any Sports Car at the discretion of the Race Chairman. NASCC learned on Aug. 5 that the Sports Car Club of B.C. was holding a Race the same day, (some things never change). Entry fee was$4.00 and pit passes were $2.00. A very large crowd attended these races and our only savior was there was water in a ditch between the spectators and the track. The large crowd pushed over the snow fence that was used to keep them back, but the spectators could not get through the water.
Jan. 6, 1960: Len Tilston elected third president.
January 1960: After being approached by the Elks Lodge, who assured us everything was legal, because they possessed a liquor license. The NASCC rented the third floor of the Elks building at Jasper Ave. & 91 St. and set up a clubhouse with a permanent paid Bartender / Manager. Club dues increased from $15.00 to $36.00 per year. Members who were under 21, and could not use the new clubhouse still paid $15.00. In early April the clubhouse was raided by the city police morality squad but they did not find any booze on our premises. The Liquor, some open bottles and some full, had been removed only minutes earlier and was being taken down the back alley in club members COMPANY CAR [a station wagon], as the police came in the front door. As a result of the raid the liquor license of the Elks Club was suspended, and the Elks were informed that they could not rent out a licensed premises on a permanent basis. During the three months of the [licensed?] clubhouse operation the NASCC lost $441.76
Feb. 3, 1960: Approved joining CASC.
April 1960: NASCC rented a clubhouse, above Titas Restaurant on 102 Ave. 98 St. (RIGHT BEHIND THE MAIN POLICE STATION).
Oct. 12, 1960: Learned that no confirmation of membership had been received from CASC, but the CASC had cashed our cheque.
Dec. 14, 1960: CHED Radio approached the club for assistance with the Santas Anonymous Campaign. We have assisted with this campaign ever since.
Jan. 8, 1961: First Ice Race, a four-hour endurance race using a LeMans start, held at Alberta Beach. The Club promoted the event with a cocktail party for the press and members. Spectators were charged a $1.00 Associate day Membership. So many spectators showed up that the RCMP complained that we had blocked traffic on Hwy. 16. Later the club learned that the RCMP was investigating it as we had broken the BLUELAWS by charging admittance on a Sunday. No charges were ever laid following their investigation.
January 11, 1961: Mike Colhoun elected 4th President.
January 17, 1961: Heard from the secretary of CASC that our membership had been approved.
March 12, 1961: Ice Race at Alberta Beach: Spectator admittance was by silver collection. The Legion of Frontiersmen did crowd control and Hon. Gordon Taylor, Alberta Minister of Highways was the honorary starter. Club loses$250.00 on event.
May 4, 1961: The British Columbia International Trade Fair Rally came though Edmonton with two members competing. The Club organized a rural checkpoint, two in city route controls and a driving skill test. They also provided sandwiches and coffee for all competitors.
May 1961: Purchased state of the art timing equipment complete with lights for slaloms, autocrosses and gymkhanas.
July 9, 1961: High speed time trial held on a paved section of highway near Fort Saskatchewan.
July 1961: Entered the exhibition parade, this time placing a members “D” Type Jaguar on the float, and carrying the Miss Eskimo Candidates in cars. Won the Garneau Marine Trophy and $100.00 for Best Sports Float.
Oct. 1961: Learned that the CASC national office has just hired a manager.
Oct. 21, 1961: Held first ever Edmonton meeting of the CASC Prairie Region in a club member’s basement.
Jan. 10, 1962: Roy Nixon elected fifth President.
Jan. 21, 1962: NASCC held a dirt track race in a field just east of Bon Accord. A report of the event appeared in the U.S. publication Competition Press [now AutoWeek]. The Steward’s report on the event was quite scathing regarding marshaling.
Feb. 28, 1962: Jack Ondrack appeared before the executive to ask permission to run a 1962 Buick in the March 4, four-Hour Endurance Race on Ice.
March 1962: Club presented a Gavel & Striker to the Northern Alberta Radio Club in appreciation for all their help with event communications.
April 12, 1962: Shell 4000 Car Rally came through Edmonton for the first time. Club organized checkpoints and offered hospitality to all competitors.
May 12, 1962: A Night Rally with FORTY-THREE entries
After being contacted by the Players Cigarette Company, who wanted to sponsor a Gymkhana, the club held the event May 17, 1962 on the A. & P. Supermarkets parking lot. Later that week they also arranged a Gymkhana on the CBC TV Parking lot which waste televised live for 1/2 hour.
Nov. 10, 1962: After being approached by the Canadian Legion Poppy Fund Committee, the club assisted them in selling poppies. The club continued to assist them for the next few years.
Dec. 19, 1962: Motion passed to be forwarded to CASC, “Anyone who has been proven to cheat or attempting to cheat in a CASC event shall have his license suspended for 12 months”.
Jan. 9, 1963: David Fowler elected sixth President.
March 10, 1963: A four-hour endurance race was planned for Edmonton Beach, but poor ice conditions forced cancellation. The promoter of the event was decidedly unhappy and threatened a lawsuit for breach of contract. Promoter also attempted to entice another local club [Scuderia C.T.] to hold event, but they, after examining the ice concurred with the NASCC decision.
April 1963: Shell 4000 Rally came through Alberta but by passed Edmonton. Members took the trip to Calgary to help or observe at a hill climb on the CFCN hill that was part of the rally.
May 1963: At races held in Davidson Saskatchewan, a club members Citroen broke down and another member used his Jaguar to tow the Citroen back to Edmonton.
July 1963: Organized and promoted a SUMMER SAFETY WEEK to the general public. The week started out with a parade, and during the week included tech inspections, driving and brake tests, as well as safety demonstrations
August 1963: Assisted the Retarded Children’s Fund in raising money.
November 1963: Discussions began with City Hall as to the leasing of city land on which to build our own clubhouse.
Jan. 8, 1964: Richard Anthony elected seventh president.
April 20, 1964: Shell 4000 Rally came through Edmonton and NASCC ran 2 checkpoints.
April 26, 1964: Autocross held on the Municipal [now City Centre] Airport and the Airport manager was pleased with the event.
April 28, 1964: Club learned that after finding suitable City parkland, and receiving the blessing of the Parks & Recreation Dept. as well as getting signatures from surrounding property owners, our lease with the city for land was approved. The land was located at 9815 – 100 St. on the north side of the river south the Low Level Bridge.
June 10, 1964: Financing of the new clubhouse discussed, and eleven members recruited as guarantors for the loan. It was decided that the only people who would know the names of the guarantors were the guarantors, until after the loan had been paid off. It is interesting to note that two of the guarantors are still active club members (Bob Stokowski & David Fowler)
July, 1964: Sold programs at the CIRCUS OF DEATH (a car stunt show) held in the Edmonton Gardens during exhibition week, to raise funds.
Aug. 12, 1964: The foundation was in place for the clubhouse, and workers were needed to erect the building. The building was designed by a club member and was the largest building that could be moved in one piece. A term of the lease was the building had to be designed to be moved in case the City of Edmonton should later require the land.
Sept. 19, 1964: NASCC race held on the paved oval at Speedway Park.
October 28, 1964: First meeting in the new clubhouse. The building at this stage was just a shell but it was OURS.
November 18, 1964: Advised that a road course at Speedway Park was a possibility also mentioned was we forgot to PAY the Speedway lap counters for the Sept. 19 event.
November, 1964: Suggested that the club should invest in a ventilator or exhaust fan to remove smoke from the clubhouse.
Feb. 10, 1965: Problem of smoking in the clubhouse discussed. Suggested that the NON smokers chip in to buy a fan.
April 1965: Shell 4000 Car Rally came through Edmonton and the club ran a check point outside City Hall, and had members competing in the event. The City of Edmonton contributed funds to help host the competitors.
May 12, 1965: Learned that a competitor in the Shell 4000 Rally from New Jersey, who rallied with Volvo, had knowledge that the clubhouse ONLY washroom did not have a toilet seat, and had arranged for Volvo to supply one.
May 12, 1965: Suggested that Alberta form its own racing region within CASC.
July 14, 1965: Charlie Lisson (refer also #34) purchased a riding lawn mower for cutting the clubhouse grass & weeds.
July 1965: Again involved with the CIRCUS OF DEATH, but this time sold the advertising for the program and gave programs to the spectators
Sept. 8, 1965: Large work party organized to work on the clubhouse before winter. Requirements were to paint and fix the storm windows, install eave troughs and wall paneling [someone obviously was tired of looking at the insulation and vapor barrier]. A Roll of Honor was set up for those who contributed a panel.
September 1965: HIGH SPEED AUTOCROSS held on the Edmonton Exhibition parking lot.
Oct. 13, 1965: Discussed smoking in the clubhouse. Motion made for no smoking during General Meetings, with a vote of 15for and 15 against. The smokers feel that the non-smokers could leave if the smoke got to be too much.
October 1965: Gymkhana held at Woodwards Northgate Shopping Centre. Woodwards paid all costs including insurance and donated prizes including floor mats and gasoline. Players Cigarette Co. donated prize money, and three small stores contributed merchandise or vouchers.
Dec. 3, 1965: Christmas and Awards Party at the Park Hotel; $8.00 a couple [even less then the price in 1957] and club lost$10.00.
January 12, 1966: Ernie Kowal elected eighth president.
Feb. 9, 1966: Exhaust fan installed in clubhouse. Meeting opened with the fan being turned on.
Feb. 1966: During preparations for an Ice Race at St.Albert, a scraper went through the ice. The Service Club that was to sponsor the event decided to cancel.
April 30, 1966: Organized a checkpoint for the Shell 4000 Car Rally in Stettler.
May 1966: NASCC display placed in the lobby of the Calgary Paliser Hotel during the 12th Conference of the Canadian Highway Safety Council. Part of the display a Canada-Class racecar had to be carried up stairs and through a bar to get to the lobby. Hotel management were delighted with the display and said they would donate space for any similar efforts in the future.
July 1966: Ran a Root Beer stand during the Klondike Days Sunday Promenade to raise funds.
Aug. 24, 1966: Began to install ceiling in the clubhouse. The ceiling consisted of the flat style egg cartons, and the suggestion was to paint them off white [eggshell?].
October 1966: Klondike Autocross and HIGH SPEED TIME TRIAL held on the Edmonton Exhibition parking lot.
Jan. 8, 1967: Ice Race financed by selling$25shares to members. The event made a profit, prize money was paid, and all investors got their $25 back. The winner of the event took a club membership instead prize money
Jan. 11, 1967: George Harker elected ninth president.
Jan. 18, 1967: Outline of Executive policy and procedures manual set up.
Feb. 12, 1967: Alberta Gymkhana Championship was established at a meeting in Calgary. Classification of cars was based on power to weight ratio, and tubes were required in tires. An Alberta Rally Championship was also established.
March 7, 1967: President of CASC attended general meeting, and spoke to the membership regarding the functions of CASC. Following his talk he answered questions from the floor.
April 12, 1967: Loan for the clubhouse was paid in full.
April 30, 1967: The first Alberta Gymkhana Championship event was held in Calgary with NASCC members winning most of the awards.
May 5, 1967: Shell 4000 rally came through Edmonton and NASCC ran three checkpoints. Club members also competed in the event. NASCC later received $50 from Shell for running the best checkpoint of the day.
May 10, 1967: Approached by the Edmonton Journal to supply information on club activities, as Gary Cooper had been assigned a car column.
June 5, 1967: First Edmonton event in the 1967 Alberta Gymkhana Championship on the Exhibition parking lot, with FORTY-NINE entrants.
July 26, 1967: Frank Robertson from CHED approached the club for information on events, because he had a new radio show, “World of Wheels”.
August 1967: Installed new light fixtures in the clubhouse, and completed the second bathroom [the LADIES].
Sept. 29, 1967: Celebrated decennial at the Edmonton Inn. Guest speaker was the President of CASC. At the head table was the Minister of Youth for Alberta, the head of the Edmonton Safety Council, plus a City of Edmonton Commissioner. Profit on the celebration was $44.40.
Oct. 25, 1967: NASCC informed that its members won all classes in the 1967 Alberta Gymkhana Championship.
Oct. 1967: CASC National AGM held in Calgary. A large contingent from the NASCC attended. Much business was discussed, and much liquor drunk. Quebec Region had a mammoth party for everyone that seemed to never end. Many different corporations were sponsors, and each tried to out do the other in regards to hospitality.
Jan. 10, 1968: Peter Schmidt elected tenth president.
March 13, 1968: Motion passed to allow tubeless tires in non-CASC sanctioned events.
April 10, 1968: CBC requested information on club events for their program “Race & Rally”.
April 24, 1968: Smoking during meetings still a problem. Motion passed to ALLOW smoking.
May 22, 1968: Film on the 1967 Can Am race at Mosport shown. Notified that the CRDA with assistance expected from the NASCC would be hosting a Can Am Race in Edmonton in the fall.
June 22, 1968: Watched by the CRDA the NASCC held a marshals school and recruited 87 people.
July 13, 1968: Held a driving school on the Speedway Park Motor Sport Centre Road Course. Price was $10 per student.
July 27, 1968: The night before the first road race at Speedway Park, the NASCC hosted a Keg Party at the clubhouse. Club members were advised that if they wanted to drink out of a glass they would have to bring their own, as only paper cups would be available at the party.
July 28, 1968: Held its second ever pavement road race, as well as the first road race at Speedway Park, [The Alberta Cup]. The winner of the first Alberta Cup was Mike Atkin.
Sept. 28 & 29 1968 : Big time racing in Edmonton. The CRDA ably assisted by the NASCC organized a Can Am Race at Speedway. There was no entry fee for regional competitors. The NASCC promoted itself by working diligently and hosted a party at the Klondike Room in the Sportex Bldg. Sponsorship for the party came from Healy Motors, Molsons and Old Dutch. Outside the club a CanAm Citizens Committee made up of Edmonton Businessmen had been formed to promote and advertise the race, arrange a reception and provide hospitality. The committee arranged for an information booth at the Edmonton Inn partially staffed by members of the NASCC. The Committee arranged garages off site for all CanAm competitors. Most off site garages were in large Edmonton car dealerships, [Team Penske was housed at Stedelbauers and Mark Donohues first job when he arrived was to wash the transporter]. When the committee ran out of car dealerships, some CanAm competitors were given garage space in the ETS Bus Barns north of NAIT. Gulf Oil in Edmonton contacted the committee to find out where the cars Gulf sponsored were housed, and also did the committee know just who it was that Gulf sponsored? [Team McLaren with drivers Bruce Mclaren and Denny Hulme]. General Motors brought in Nancy Greene and she arranged for a ride around the track with Bruce McLaren. After practice Saturday Bruce took Nancy around the track and did a lap time good for 4th on the grid. Sterling Moss attended the event as the spokesman for Johnson Wax [the series sponsor]. The CRDA could not understand why all the big name racers attended all social functions in Edmonton, but did not attend social functions at Mosport races.
This information was made possible because George Harker had the foresight to put the original copy of the minutes of the 1957 to 1968 NASCC meetings in the Provincial Archives and made two photocopies. Some of the information has been enhanced with my own recollections.
— David Fowler