I'm one day late with this posting, but 50 years ago... May 6th in Vancouver... the first running of the Shell 4000 Rally (actually called the "British Columbia International Trade Fair Car Rally" that first year) concluded. The Studebaker Lark team took 1st and 2nd place.
Surprisingly, within the past year I was unable to interest either the Studebaker Museum or the South Bend Tribune from doing anything to celebrate this milestone. At any rate, Marcel Chichak's great site: www.shell-4000-rally.org pays great tribute to this event.
Is there anybody on this site who has any stories from any of these trans-Canadian events? I'd love to hear them.
I participated in the 1968 Shell 4000 from Calgary to Halifax as a crew member for the Bob Tanner/Doug Chute Ford Cortina GT and as a radio reporter for CFPL London. Our team's event ended during the second night near Esterhazy Saskatchewan.
That was the year that Paddy Hopkirk experimented with a new way to cool his Austin Cooper which eventually led to his disqualification.
Scott Harvey and Ralph Beckman won in one of three Michigan based Barracudas - the others were driven by Gene Henderson/Ken Pogue and Bob Hourihan/Tom Samida. Paul MacLennan/Jim Peters and Tom Jones/John Medwell came second and third in Rambler Americans leading the Rambler team to the team title. The start list included most of the stars of rally in the U.S. and Canada of the late 60s and early 70s.
Two of our Renault Gordinis from WOSCA in London fought for first and second private entry until the bitter end (actually after the bitter end) - driven by Haydn Gozzard/Sylvia Gozzard and Jim Potts/Ernie Wilson. Three years later Gozz teamed with Dave Grundy to win that year's transcontinental - the BC Centennial Rally - from Ottawa to Victoria in the Gordini "Old Blue", after some exciting moments including hitting a cow in the Rockies and changing the timing chain on the side of the road with just minutes to spare to board the ferry to Vancouver Island and the final transit to the finish.
In 1968 there were 73 starters and only 17 DNFs (plus Hopkirk's DIS) which is amazing considering the length of the event and the terrain driven over at times.