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Memories of the Westwood BC, Canada circuit


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#1 ehagar

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Posted 25 July 2001 - 01:26

Does anyone have any information on the Westwood, a track North of New. Westminster in BC. I was looking for pictures, eleveation information, etc...

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#2 Darren Galpin

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Posted 25 July 2001 - 06:55

Ditto that. I've had an e-mail pointing to the existence of this track, and the e-mailer claimed that it was famous and why on earth didn't I have it listed!

#3 Jhope

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Posted 25 July 2001 - 07:22

You should contact Les Danyluk. He created the track for GP2. It's great, and his website has all the info on the track. It may be hard to get in contact with him, as I heard he recently moved to B.C Canada.


Here's his site: Westwood Mountain High Racing

From tha authors notes:

The Track itself :

A small regional track 1.8 miles , Built on leased land in 1959 for a cost of $ 140,000.00 , ( That only buys half of one lot , now a days ) Located off the beaten track on the side of a mountain , nestled in a temperate rain forest valley on the wetcoast of British Columbia .

So with no multi million dollar infrastructure or million dollar corporate sponsorship , the track remained a small regional largely unchanged , undeveloped track . Small town family racing in all it’s glory , alot of driverowner’s , Sweat equity and cooperation up & down pitlane through out the different classes etc. Lots of local retailer’s adverts & events sponsorships . Blood, sweat & gears basically

For those who are not quite old enough to know , in 1959 Canada was still the Dominion of Canada and flew the Dominion Jack not the Maple Leaf , So take the BOAC sign on the pit building , An UK ad for a major airline just after the DC 8’s & 707’s were built and shortly after Vancouver Int. Airport was transferred to the federal Dept. of Transport , Everyone had a BOAC flight bag back in those days , they were all over the place .

Also explains the number or UK ads about the track , especially the motorcycle ads . BTW Trev Deeley was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame this last week , as a motorcycle racer & motorcycle pioneer .


So it’s no Spa , Monaco , San Marino, Old Nurbergring , Whatkins Glen , Laguna Seca , Closest to Mosport I guess . But in the early 60’s the winner of the 24 hours of LeMans , rated Westwood as one of the top 4 road courses in the world !, Once you’ve done a few laps , you will also be able to tell how ideally suited this track is for motorcycle racing ,even more so than for “F1-Cart” cars



#4 MOTORSPORT RESORT

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Posted 25 July 2001 - 09:18

Check out these sites, for alittle more info.on Westwood,....I raced there at the last/ last race with the Vintage club (VRCBC) in a Marcos 1800 #77

www.brendel.com

http://www2.getc.bc....c/classics.html

www.varac.ca/history.html

speedy@f1power.com :smoking:

#5 William Dale Jr

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Posted 26 July 2001 - 05:47

I'm glad to say that I helped Les a tiny bit with Westwood :)

I had an old Macgyver episode on tape, in which Macgyver was helping an old friend who was in the "GT Cup" Championship. They were racing at Westwood, and the show featured many good shots of the racetrack. So I took some screen captures from the tape and sent them to him.

I still have them on my HD somewhere, I can put them up for you to download if you want.

One other thing, it was also where Greg Moore did a lot of his early racing.

EDIT: Actually, the pics are still on Les's site, on page 2 :)

#6 ehagar

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Posted 26 July 2001 - 06:47

I saw that... nice pictures...

I am gathering info for when I get my current GPL track project done.

#7 Jhope

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Posted 26 July 2001 - 09:26

Yeah William, I remember hanging around the old T.E Forum at grandprix2.com. Les used to tell me how much of a help you were for him during a few of our ICQ conversations.

#8 cabianca

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Posted 09 August 2001 - 21:26

There was a race at the Westwood course in BC, Canada on 18 October 1959. Lew Florence drove the 1956 Sebring-winning 860 Monza Ferrari. Does anyone have particulars of his performance. Result, race #, color of car. Many thanks.

#9 MOTORSPORT RESORT

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Posted 10 August 2001 - 19:23

Click on my site,,, www.f1power.com go to "Circuit" second line is the "Sports Car Club of BC" click on it and it will take you to their site....
They operated ALL the races held at Westwood...(Great track) & Good Luck.......

speedy@f1power.com:smoking:

#10 cabianca

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Posted 11 August 2001 - 20:29

Westwood is a road course in British Columbia, Canada. Shelton is a road course in Washington state, USA. Lew Florence, a recently deceased American oval and sports car racer, ran both of these courses. I am particularly interested in Florence's results in the 1956 Sebring-winning Ferrari 860 Monza #0604 that Florence bought from John von Neumann.

I have the following for the 860 Monza which includes more than Westwood & Shelton. Can anyone add anything, including full dates.

14 Jun 1959 Goldenrod or Goldenhills or Golden something hillclimb
Florence FTD

1959 Maryhill Loops Hillclimb
Florence ?

18 July 1959 Riverside SCCA
Florence DNF

2 Aug 1959 Shelton
Florence 1st

? August Seattle Seafair Kitsap County Airport?
Florence 1st

13 Sept 59 Shelton
Florence 2nd

18 October 1959 Westwood
Florence ?

Many thanks

#11 ehagar

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Posted 11 August 2001 - 21:23

Originally posted by cabianca
Westwood is a road course in British Columbia, Canada.
Many thanks


Was a road course :(

Too many bloody (leaky actually) condos in this province. There isn't a road course here anymore, except for that boring one in Mission.

Hopefully the plans for the track in the interior will happen...

#12 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 12 August 2001 - 02:00

I have checked the Road & Track report of the first meeting held at Westwood (July 26, 1959) and there is no mention of Florence at that meeting.
Intersesting comment about the new track from Pete Lovely (the new lap record holder). He said, 'the circuit is similar to Monaco, but of course without the buildings or harbour." From the aerial view of the circuit published in the report I can't see any resemblance at all.

#13 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 12 August 2001 - 02:59

MARYHILL LOOPS HILLCLIMB June 13/14 1959

The 5th Annual Maryhill Climb, sponsored jointly this year by the Yakima Valley Sports Car club and the Northwest Region of the SCCA, was an outstanding success for all. While cars flew up the hill, records fell as fast.

The hill is located 10 miles south of Goldendale, Wash., on old Highway 97, on the north side of the Columbia River, 110 miles east of Portland, Ore.

The initial straight is approximately one-half mile to the first bend, and virtually level. The course then rises abruptly for almost 1000 ft and includes 34 turns, some easy some not. The total length of this year’s course, the same as last year’s, was 3.53 miles.

Tom Carstens of Tacoma had held the record for the fastest over-all time for each previous year, and it was no secret that many drivers had set their goal to beat Tom’s record time in his Cad-Allard. But the Cad-Allard had been sold and Tom had a new weapon, a brand new Lister-Corvette, with which to defend his record time of 3 min 49.7 sec. Although the big-bore cars hit over 125 mph in spots, the average speed has always been below 60 mph. This was the magic mark that the fast cars were shooting for this year.

The big-bore machinery as usual put on the most impressive show, with Lew Florence in Jerry Barker’s 3.5-liter Sebring Ferrari leading the way with a new record of 3 min 46.3 sec on his first run. Production-car records fell as well when Don Campbell drove Tad Davies’ Corvette to a new record of 4 min 0.4 sec on his second run up the hill – only a second behind Jerry Grant’s Chevrolet-powered Special and a second ahead of Jensen’s Pontiac-powered Special.

Several of the novice drivers, especially in the Corvette ranks, pleased the crowd with spectacular spin-outs. An MG-A driven by a novice driver went off the course in the first turn and rolled over several times. The roll bar collapsed, but was a factor in saving the driver from more serious injury. Late in the afternoon, a Porsche driven by an old veteran of the hill also rolled over; the roll bar stood up beautifully and the driver came out without a scratch and drove the car home the next day. These two accidents taught us all a lesson on roll bar design.

Sunday brought the drivers out early again and practice was run for the benefit of those not able to be there on Saturday. A new threat materialized with the arrival of Dr. Frank Becker in his 2-liter Testa Rossa. Official timed runs began for the 100-plus contestants with Les Rutledge in his class I Saab first up the hill. Sunday proved a better day for both cars and drivers as they broke Saturday’s times, but with no damage to the machinery. As the bigger production cars came to the hill, the times dropped. Dave Tatom pushed his Austin-Healey to an impressive time 0f 4 min 09.8 sec, faster than all the other production cars except for some of the Corvettes.

Don Campbell then drove his Corvette to a new record of 3 min 56.3 sec, to give some of the modified-car drivers something to think about.

The modified cars roared up the hill hitting over 125 mph in the half-mile straight before the first corner. Lew Florence broke Saturday’s record run with 3 min 44.7 sec and didn’t even bother to take his 2nd run. The Lister-Corvette turned in an impressive 3 min 49.8 sec, but it wasn’t good enough to beat the Ferrari’s time.

Final times of the day ended like this:
Lew Florence, new champ of the hill, with 3 min 44.7 sec; 2nd, Tom Carstens in his Lister-Corvette; 3rd, Don Campbell, production Corvette; 4th, Jerry Grant in his Chevrolet Special. In the production class, Corvettes led the way with Don Campbell and Bob Konglebak of Seattle finishing first and second respectively and Roger Molt of Tacoma taking 3rd. Class C went to Ken Miller, Jaguar; class D, John Plummer, Austin-Healey; class E, Dave Tatom, Austin-Healey; class F, Don Tindall, Alfa Romeo; class G, Pierre Phillips, Alfa Romeo; class H, protested; class I, Les Rutledge, Saab. The modified results were as follows: class B, Tom Carstens, Lister-Corvette; class C, Lew Florence, Ferrari; class D, Dave Tatom, Austin-Healey; class E, Frank Becker, Testa Rossa Ferrari; class F, Ray Stickel, Alfa Romeo; class H Henry Keopker, Special.

It would appear from the date and the location of the Maryhill climb that the first two events on your list are one and the same.

#14 cabianca

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Posted 12 August 2001 - 04:32

Milan,
Many thanks. Also makes me wonder whether they would have held another event one month later at Maryhill, i.e., the Barker result. Barker was the car's owner at the time.

#15 fines

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Posted 12 August 2001 - 08:15

Originally posted by Milan Fistonic
MARYHILL LOOPS HILLCLIMB June 13/14 1959

Final times of the day ended like this:
Lew Florence, new champ of the hill, with 3 min 44.7 sec; 2nd, Tom Carstens in his Lister-Corvette; 3rd, Don Campbell, production Corvette; 4th, Jerry Grant in his Chevrolet Special. In the production class, Corvettes led the way with Don Campbell and Bob Konglebak of Seattle finishing first and second respectively and Roger Molt of Tacoma taking 3rd. Class C went to Ken Miller, Jaguar; class D, John Plummer, Austin-Healey; class E, Dave Tatom, Austin-Healey; class F, Don Tindall, Alfa Romeo; class G, Pierre Phillips, Alfa Romeo; class H, protested; class I, Les Rutledge, Saab. The modified results were as follows: class B, Tom Carstens, Lister-Corvette; class C, Lew Florence, Ferrari; class D, Dave Tatom, Austin-Healey; class E, Frank Becker, Testa Rossa Ferrari; class F, Ray Stickel, Alfa Romeo; class H Henry Keopker, Special.

It would appear from the date and the location of the Maryhill climb that the first two events on your list are one and the same.

Is this the same Jerry Grant that raced Indycars in the sixties and seventies? I also wonder if Les Rutledge is a relative of David, the FAtlantic driver.

#16 cabianca

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Posted 12 August 2001 - 16:56

It is the same Jerry Grant who went on to race at Indy and later worked for Champion spark plugs. Grant won a long string of victories in the Northwest in a Ferrari Testa Rossa before going to Indy with the likes of Dan Gurney. Don't know about the other driver.

#17 cabianca

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Posted 12 August 2001 - 18:45

Here is more info on the results I posted above.

The Maryhill Loops Hillclimb and the Goldendale Hillclimb are the same event. It took place on June 13-14, 1959. There is a race report in both the August SCCA Sports Car, p. 36 and the October 59 Road & Track, page 79.
Both agree with the previously published results. That makes sense because I believe the author of both articles is the Don Campbell who finished third.
1. Lew Florence, Ferrari 860 Monza 0604
2. Tom Carstens, Lister-Chev BHL 124
3. Don Campbell production Corvette
4. Jerry Grant, Chevy Special
1st in E Modified, Dr.Leon Becker, 500 TRC, placing unknown.

The only mention of Jerry Baker is as the owner of Florence's car.
Becker was definitely there because there is a pic of the car in the R&T report.
I doubt that there was a July Goldendale/Maryhill hillclimb, because it is not in the SCCA calendar for that year and it seems unlikely they would havetwo events at the same venue within a month of each other.
Also, the 29 Aug 59 Shelton event with Florence 1st is the same as the Seattle Seafair. I was confused because the original Seattle Seafair races were run at Kistap County Airport. By 1959, they had moved the event to Shelton. Thanks for everyones help.

#18 Jim Thurman

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Posted 18 August 2001 - 05:28

Originally posted by fines

Is this the same Jerry Grant that raced Indycars in the sixties and seventies? I also wonder if Les Rutledge is a relative of David, the FAtlantic driver.


cabianca already got to it, but yes...the same fellow who also raced Sports Cars and (briefly) NASCAR Stock Cars in the 60's as well.

An update. Grant is living in Irvine, California and showed up at a street rod show at Irwindale Speedway earlier this year with a 1940 Ford that he owned as a teenager that he'd restored.

Not to get OT, but I've always felt Grant one of the most underrated drivers of the era. He didn't win much, but he was competitive in virtually anything he raced.

One of my vivid memories is of watching Jerry Grant driving a Chevrolet Impala at the 1966 Motor Trend 500 NASCAR GN race at Riverside International Raceway...rounding turn 6, driving with one hand while swigging a bottle of cola!...then coming past a few laps later, again with one hand on the wheel, while eating a sandwich!.


Jim Thurman

#19 Magee

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 05:12

:D
Most of the best bound for Westwood
The Vancouver Province, Saturday, May 23, 1964

It should be the finest display of driving ever seen in Western Canada.
From Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Toronto and Winnipeg they come, 25 of the top international racing drivers and their cars to compete in the third annual Western Canada Sports Car Championship Sunday at Westwood Circuit.
First of the two heats (30 laps) begins at 1:30 p.m. Second heat gets underway at 3:30. When it is all over, cars and drivers will have traveled 108 miles.
Back to try once more for the coveted prize is Ludwig Heimrath, Canada's top racing driver in 1961 and the runner-up in this event last year to Jerry Grant of Kent, Was. Heimrath, from Toronto, will chase the title in a swift Ford King Cobra.
Others bent on beating Heimrath across the line are:
Allen Grant (Los Angeles) in a powerful 465-horsepowered Chev Cheetah; Chuck Parsons (Monterey, Calif.) in a twin-cam Lotus 23B; Nat Adams (Weston, Ont.) in another Lotus 23B; Eppie Wietzes (Toronto) in a Ford King Cobra; Dave Ridenour (San Francisco) in a Genie; Dr. P.W. Smythe (Winnipeg) in a Lotus 23B.
In all, over a quarter of a million dollars are represented in the cars that will line up at the starting grid for this grueling test of driver and car.
Sentimental favorite in the big race, which counts points towards the national championship could well be Bob McLean of Vancouver, the transplanted Australian who is taking his first crack at the championship race. McLean will drive a Lotus 23B.
First prize in this one is worth shooting for. The eventual winner will receive $500 plus a guaranteed grid position for the Canadian Championship June 6 at Toronto's Mosport Circuit. An additional $500 goes to the winner for starting in that race.
Grid positions for the feature will be determined from time trials held today and Sunday. They begin each day at 11 a.m. Speed is the important factor: Fastest times get the front line assignments.
Similarly, grid positions for the second heat of the race will be determined on the order of finish of the first heat.
Definitely threatened is the Westwood track record of 85.3 mph, set April 4, 1963, by Jerry Grant in a Lotus-Buick and equaled last April 5 by McLean in the same car he'll pilot Sunday.
Allen Grant will introduce his newly designed $15,000 Cheetah to Canadian car racing. Powered by a Chevrolet V-8 engine, the Cheetah, with Grant behind the wheel, competed earlier this month in the U.S. road racing championship at Kent, Wash.
Parsons, 39, is also making his Canadian debut. His Lotus, capable of hitting 145 mph, has chalked up steady wins south of the border, including first overall in a number of races at San Francisco's Candlestick Park and first overall at a recent Laguna Seca competition.
Weitzes could be one driver to keep your eye on. Last year he was named Canada's most promising driver by the Canadian Race Drivers' Association.
The race, sanctioned by the Canadian Automobile Sports Car, is sponsored by the Imperial Tobacco Co. and organizes by the Sports Car Club of B.C.

Transcribed by Michael Gee, West Coast Motor Sport Historian, CMHF

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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 09:43

Do we know anything else about Bob McLean?

I'm sure John Medley will be interested in this...

#21 Magee

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 17:15

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Do we know anything else about Bob McLean?

I'm sure Barry Lake and John Medley will be interested in this...


McLean became Canadian Driving Champion in 1965 in his Lotus 23B. Next year he got a ride with the Comstock team in a Ford GT-40 which ended in tragedy at Sebring in 1966 when he lost his life in a race accident.

#22 WGD706

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 17:23

I believe Bob Mclean was killed in an accident during the 1966 Sebring 12 Hour race while driving a Ford GT40.
http://www.teamdan.c...1966/66seb.html

#23 m.tanney

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 00:00

  Bob McLean was originally from Port Pirie, Australia. In Australia he had raced motorcycles, but quit after his brother died in a racing accident. McLean emigrated to Canada in 1957, taking a job as a mechanic in New Westminster, BC. 1957 also saw the start of his auto racing career, at the Westwood circuit, driving an MGA. In 1962, he aquired a Cooper FJ. After a season of teething troubles, he scored 19 wins in 22 races in western Canada and the northwest US.
  In 1964, McLean's sponsor, Fogg Motors, bought a Lotus 23B with a 1.6 lire Cosworth engine. McLean had originally hoped for a Brabham BT8, and wasn't too impressed with the Lotus. In 1965, with the Lotus sorted to his liking, McLean committed to running the Canadian championship, based mainly in Ontario and Quebec. He attended every race, travelling 57,000 miles in the process. The championship was divided into two classes - under and over 2 litres - with the top driver in each class scoring maximum points. McLean dominated the smaller class, and did well in the overall results with a couple of seconds and a third, to take the overall championship. Ludwig Heimrath was the top driver in the over 2 litre class, and took most of the overall victories. This lead to some grumbling from the eastern establishment, but in fact McLean had faced much tougher competition in his class than Heimrath had with his McLaren Elva. For his efforts, McLean collected a grand total of $5,261 Cdn. In between races with the Lotus, he also managed to win the West Coast Sedan Championship at the wheel of a Mustang.
  For 1966, McLean signed to drive a Ford GT-40 for the Ford of Canada baked Comstock team. His first race was at Sebring, partnered by Jean Ouellet. In the fifth hour McLean crashed on the approach to the hairpin. His car rolled several times before sliced through a utility poll and burst into flames. McLean was 32 years old and had a wife and two young children. His obituary in Canada Track & Traffic said that "McLean carried the style of a champion always willing to share his knowledge with others. When he talked of retiring, he said: 'I will then try to help someone else, and pay back the sport for what it has given me' ".

Mike

#24 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 11:23

I recall hearing a radio report the day of the Sebring 12 Hours noting that a driver had been killed. I wasn't listening very closely to the radio and didn't quite catch the name. Thought the reporter said, 'Tom Payne', an American racer of the period who, as I recall, always drove in a spiffy business suit. I waited anxiously for the next hour to get a further report and was dismayed to learn that it was, indeed, Bob McLean, our current driving champion here in Canada. I had seen him compete the previous year at Mosport in both his Lotus 23 and Mustang. A sad day.

Also, for that event at Westwood, Eppie Weitzes blew over on the back straight in his Comstock Cooper Ford, team mate to Heimrath, and ended up in the trees. One leg was severely smashed and he was out for the year. Carries a limp to this day.

#25 Magee

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Posted 09 March 2003 - 05:02

Breaks Record
Pigott New King of Racing Circuit
By Tom Butler, The Vancouver Sun, Monday, September 12, 1960

Pat Pigott took a long pull from an icy victory brew, inspected a cigar ash and candidly announced nothing can stop his Lotus at Westwood Sports Car Circuit.
And he's right.
The boyish 35-year-old Bellingham auto dealer smashed the year-old fast-lap record Sunday, awing some 6,500 aficionados as the Lotus zoomed to average speed of 80.7 miles per hour.
Pigott's Sunday performance bettered by 1.5 miles per hour the existing standard of 78.8 mph he posted a year ago - the last time the Lotus ran over the 1.8-mile Westwood course.
He also wiped clean the unofficial lap record of 79.5 mph set last July in a borrowed Lotus 15 on a clear track by the great Belgian driver Olivier Gendebien - 1960 winner at Sebring and Le Mans.
Vancouver drivers swept remaining events on the seven-race card with Bob McLean a double winner in his MG. He took the 10-lap FGHI Production and 12-lap Junior Le Mans.
Other winners were Bob Constabaris whose AC Bristol led ABCDE and Zelma Moore who won the powder-puff event in a Lotus 7.
Veteran Tony Duffy captured the 12-lap motorcycle race aboard a Manx-Norton

#26 bpratt

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 23:52

The two references to Olivier Gendebien that I can find in the Vancouver, BC newspapers are from the Sun, Friday, June 10, 1960, page 20, a column by Dick Beddoes which includes and interview as well as Beddoes' views on racing (not good) and June 18, 1960, page 9, (again, the Sun) which notes Gendebien's setting the fastest lap on the circuit.

Gendbien's comment on that accomplishment was: "How did I do it? I did not know the track. Maybe I found a short-cut. Perhaps. But it is a fine track, probably one of the four best in the world. It is a driver's circuit."

According to Tom Johnston, Gendebien also ended up in Calgary, Alberta and during his visit was given a Stetson by the Stampede society. Looks to be the same Stetson in Gendebien's hand in the winner's circle at Le Mans in July, 1960.

#27 BS Levy

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Posted 11 March 2003 - 02:59

My late friend and longtime vintage racing teammate David Whiteside told me many times that the Westwood record Gendebien set in a Lotus was in the same 1460cc Climax FWB-powered Lotus 17 that we raced together on the vintage circuit. Not sure if he was right, but I'd like to know.

#28 TEJ

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Posted 11 March 2003 - 04:00

It was the Lotus 17 Climax owned and raced at the time by Dr. Claire C. Wilson of New Westminster BC. Dr. Wilson was the president of the Sports Car Club of British Columbia at the time they developed the club owned Westwood Circuit, he could well be called the father of Westwood. Not sure if the car had an 1100cc motor or 1500cc motor. I have reports that Wilson had a 1500cc FWE motor in (or at least planned for) his Buckler special.

The White Stetson Story about Gendebien is true, except the hat was given to him by the Calgary Sports Car Club. When Gendebien's obit. appeared in MotorSport a few years ago it was accompanied by a photo from the 1960 Le Mans victory showing him holding the hat.

#29 Marcor

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Posted 12 March 2003 - 11:03

Olivier Gendebien mentioned some little stories about his 1960 trip in Canada and the USA in his bibliography book. I don't remember the title of this one but I think it's "4 fois vainqueur au Mans".

#30 Magee

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 17:41

Here are more details of Gendebien's trip to Western Canada in the summer of 1960. Especially interesting are his comments of the world of racing back then. Note that he rated Westwood among the top four tracks in the world. Of course he was showering praise on his hosts. Or was he?

West
Canada Track & Traffic
Summer 1960

After his win at Sebring and his not quite successful drive at Harewood, Ont., Olivier Gendebien made his way across Western Canada. This trip was strictly a holiday "to see the Rockies and some Indians." In Calgary the local sports car club presented him with a 10-gallon hat, the standard gift for visiting VIP's. On his departure for Vancouver, a lady with two children asked the Belgian driver for his autograph; she explained her little girls had "never seen a real, live cowboy before!"
Gendebien arrived in Vancouver in early June, and was immediately taken in hand by the SCC of BC. Because it was a weekday, no race could be arranged but Dr. Claire Wilson offered Gendebien his Lotus 17 so that he could try out the Westwood circuit. The 17 was originally designed for a 750 cc engine to compete in the Index of Performance at Le Mans, and subsequently Lotus offered the car with an 1100 cc engine. The "Doc" went one step further and installed a 1500 cc, making his car a hairy piece of machinery. The car had never been run, and Gendebien was asked, "to break it in."
Wilson suggested a limit of 7,000 revs, but Gendebien felt this was a bit too much for a new engine and held it down to 5500. The times for his first six laps were: 1:30, 1.26, 124.5, 123.2, 1.22, 121.6. The last two times, 79 and 79.4 mph, were both over the existing track record. Some cowboy!
Chatting in the pits, Gendebien thought he could get around at well over 80 mph with more practice and full power in the Lotus. Turn 3, the right-hand bend with just a bit of reverse banking, intrigued him. He said he should be able to save half a second on that turn alone, but it would take a lot of practice. He added he could take a Formula 1 car around at about 85 mph without too much trouble.
Gendebien was the first major European driver to visit Westwood, and SCC of BC made the most of the occasion. A special meeting was called to give the members an opportunity to ask questions. Speaking excellent English, Gendebien offered his comments on a variety of subjects.
His performance at Westwood: "Maybe I found a shortcut."
Westwood: "It's a fine track, probably one of the four best in the world. It's a driver's circuit. For a long race it would be very tough, because there is no long straight to relax on - you have to drive all the time."
Wilson's Lotus: "This was my first experience on the Lotus, and I was very impressed with the road holding of that little car."
His race at Harewood: "I had a very good race. The organization was very good, and I had a very good car. But on that course if you are not driving the fastest car you just have to stay behind, which I did. But I must say the two drivers who were driving the 1600 cc Porsches (Roger Penske and Peter Ryan) were using their cars very well. (Gendebien was driving a 1500 cc RS-60.)
The toughest race: "The Targa Florio."
Preparation for a race: "The best preparation is sleep."
His best performance: "The 1957 Mille Miglia, where I finished third in a GT Ferrari and made the fastest time overall through the mountains."
Porsches: "After driving Ferrari's for four years, I found the Porsche far less tiring. After Sebring I wasn't tired at all. I could have carried on for another 12 hours. The Porsches oversteered a lot a few years ago, but the RS-60 has just enough oversteer to enjoy yourself."
Front vs. rear engine: "All I care about is a comfortable driving position, good roadholding and brakes, and enough power to make up for little mistakes. The engine can be in the front, the back or the middle."
Seat belts: "I'm not against seat belts for the others. I had two accidents, but had I had a seat belt on at those times I wouldn't be here."
The 1500 cc Formula 1: "I heard the FIA lowered the minimum weight by 10%. With the old weight regulation you would have to add weight to a Formula 2 car (to comply with the new Formula 1), and that seems to be going backwards."
Drifts: "Any drift that isn't deliberately set up is very dangerous."
Formula Junior: "A very good idea at the start, but now it is too expensive."
The Monte Carlo rally: "That is the only big rally that I have never run. In the Monte Carlo rally there is too much guessing about the weather conditions in finding the best starting point; I don't like the 'poker game' before the start."
Most promising young driver: "Definitely Bruce McLaren."
American drivers: "There are only two American drivers who could become world champion; Phil Hill and Dan Gurney." The American would have a better chance if they had 20 GP drivers. I've never been to Indianapolis, but I'm sure that with training many Indianapolis drivers could adjust to European driving."
At the end of the question period said he hoped to return to Westwood and bring some other drivers with him. He told the members to watch for him in the films of Le Mans; I'll be wearing my cowboy hat!"

#31 BS Levy

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 12:58

You're more than half right about the 1460cc Lotus 17 being a "hairy" car. It's VERY tiny (about 7/8ths the size of a Lotus Eleven) and it weighed all of 948 pounds when David and I rolled it over the scales at Watkins Glen complete with roll-over bar and about a half tank of fuel. It was nervous on fast corners because it was so short and narrow (as you said, designed for the "special" Climax 748cc motor to run for the index at Le Mans) and I beliueve it was also the first Lotus not designed by Chapman himself, but by Len Terry. It initially had strut type front suspension that didn't work very well and most of the cars were updated with dual a-arm kits supplied (uncharacteristically at no charge, I think!) by Lotus. Although caught on the cusp of the mid-engined revolution when new (it was the last front-engined Lotus sports/racer) thanks to the rules the 17 turned out to be a wicked vintage racing weapon both in the UK (in the hands of Westfield builder Chris Smith, with whom we co-drove at the Glen) and over here in the states, where David and I managed to win back-to-back Rolex Vintage Endurance championships with it in (if memory serves) '94 and '95. Had a wonderful time doing it, too, as we had great people to race against (Jack Boxstrom's Aston Martin, Jack Lewis' Porsce, etc.) and really enjoyed ourselves.

#32 David Birchall

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 21:50

This car is still very much alive. It has been owned and raced by Robin Marshall of B.C. since 1977 in Vintage Racing Club of B.C events and also at most of the West coast tracks. It still has the FWB 1460cc engine and has strut type front suspension. It reputedly has LeMans history. Robin is in the process of freshening up the car for the coming season.

#33 David Birchall

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 21:52

Robin Marshall also owns the ex Piggott Lotus 20 FJ referred to in the article but may be considering selling it

#34 BS Levy

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Posted 28 March 2003 - 14:14

Hmm. Right or not, my late friend David seemed to think that his 17 (which had the dual a-arm conversion, 1460cc engine, and which I believe he bought from Chris Smith of Westfield) was the car Gendebien drove to the lap record at Westwood. Not that it makes much difference. I believe the car is still part of his estate down in Birmingham.
BS Levy

#35 David Birchall

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Posted 28 March 2003 - 17:55

Sorry to disappoint your friend but he has definately been mislead. Robin Marshall's Lotus 17 has a proven provenance back to 1959 and has never left this area. It has been acknowledged by Dr Claire Wilson as the car that "Jellybeans" drove at Westwood. There were 2 other Lotus 17s that turned up in Vancouver in the early eighties. They were restored by Peter Price, resident in Portland Oregon for the past 20 years, and sold on. I will ask Peter where they went, I speak to him on a regular basis. Perhaps your friend has one of those cars and the Vancouver connection was made more of than should have been. Certainly they both had 'A" arm suspension. Robin Marshall may have done himself a disservice by not publicizing his cars more. I have noted that the English motoring press in particular can be very chauvanistic and will always accept the claims of an English car over a "Foreign" one. I say this having been born and raised in the S.E. of England not far from Brooklands! Another friend has the Elva MkV1 that Elvis Presley drove in the movie "Viva Las Vegas" with a continuous provenance and yet the English press trashed it because it does not have it's original body! You can always tell and Englishman but you can't tell him much! Best regards, David Birchall

#36 Magee

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 04:28

Here's a news report on the August pro race at Westwood in 1964. Do any of our French forum members remember starlet Winnie Dencker, mentioned in the report, from the 60s? If so, do you have a picture of her?

Jerry Grant is in a class by himself
The Province, Monday, August 10, 1964

Thirteen years of driving experience, week-long preparation and $30,000 worth of machinery, combined to produce a record breaking run in Sunday's professional sports car feature at Westwood Circuit.
Jerry Grant, international globe-trotting sports car jockey, steered his way to a new track record, bottles of champagne, money, and kisses from a French movie star, before 6,800 racing fans.
The 29-year-old Grant, who makes his home in Renton, Wash., and races cars full-time, took to Westwood's twisting 1.8-mile blacktop speedway like money to a cash register and pocketed $1,595 in Western Canada's biggest sports car race.
Driving a Lotus , powered by a 465 horsepower Traco-Chev engine, Grant put his foot to the floor early in the first heat to post a sizzling new track record of 1:12.6 on the third lap.
The new mark (89.4 mph) betters Westwood's previous best of 1:14.1 set in May of this year by San Francisco's Dave Ridenour in a Genie-Chev.
Grant blistered the Coquitlam track in 1:12.4 earlier in the day during qualifying trials, but the record will not stand as it must be acquired in actual competition.
In the first of two 40-lap battles Grant shot into the lead in the third lap, ahead of Oakland's Stan Peterson driving a Lotus-Buick, and held the lead for the balance of the 38 laps, each worth $5 in prize money.
The lightning-fast pace took its toll in lost machinery as 13 of the original 26 starters were forced to watch from the sidelines after mechanical troubles.
Second-half spectators included Cheetah-tamer Allen Grant, no relation to Jerry, out with a blown-up power plant; Chuck Parsons, of Monterey, transmission problems with his Cobra, and Vancouver's Bob McLean whose Lotus 23B refused to co-operate.
With the reduced traffic congestion, Grant, Sunday, drove to the money-earning lead from the start of the second 40-lap race and lapped the trailing entry by the 6th lap.
Grant continued to sail past the field and by the end had lapped all but the second and third place finishers. As the chequered flag dropped, Grant piled up a commanding 29-second lead over second-place Stan Peterson.
In the under 2-litre class, Jerry Bruihl of Portland captured the lead when Bob McLean called it quits and led for all but 12 of 80 laps.
Other money winners in over 2-litre: Stan Peterson, who ran second for the entire 144 miles, except for four laps, $310; Lew Florence, third $200; and Paul Reinhart of Oakland, fourth, driving a Genie-Chev, $100.
In the Westwood marathon foot-race at half-time, Vancouver's Garry Harrison paced the mountainside layout in a respectable eight minutes, 21 seconds.
Harrison, one of eleven runners, was presented with a trophy by the Sports Car Club of B.C. president Norman Cousins for his effort.
The distance runners displayed a sample of what British Columbians will see at the International Olympic Preview, September 19, at Empire Stadium.
PIT STOPS: Grant, who arrived at Westwood early Sunday morning and, along with his buddies, finished painting the fenders - altered to accommodate the 14-inch rear racing tires-between heats ….Movie starlet Winnie Dencker decorated Grant with kisses and a laurel wreath ….Vancouver's John Randall won the sub-race for production cars….race director Roy Shadbolt and Norman Cousins won congratulations from all sides after presenting the finest race ever at the Westwood track.
:cool:

#37 scurrg

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 22:40

Here's a Google Earth overlay from a map that my mother had.

Using roads still in existence I was able to line things up so you can see exactly where the track was.

http://members.shaw....am-Westwood.kmz

#38 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 23:43

If you'll permit me, Robert Barg, I'll post your notice from the CMSHG forum:

"For anyone interested in coming out to the the annual Sept. Westwood Reunion at LaFarge Lake in Coquitlam, please be advised we have lost our venue as the Sunday in the Park Festival has been cancelled.

Instead, all are invited to attend Tom Johnston's "Geezer Central" race pit at the VRCBC HMR Aug 16 & 17 at the Rivers Edge Road Course, Mission Raceway Park, and learn about the 50th Gala plans for 09.

See you there.

Robert Barg"

Posted Image

Vince H.

#39 Ted Walker

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 07:05

Just added another collection to my archive and there is a lot of Westwood material . Wont get sorted for a few months though. I think its mainly from mid 60s to late 70s