The Chequered Past: Sports Car Racing and Rallying in Canada, 1951-1991 / Edition 1

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Overview

In the forty-year period between 1951 and 1991, Canadian sports car competition underwent a massive change, transforming itself from an amateur recreational pastime to a commercialized profession and from an individual sport to a spectacle for mass consumption. The Chequered Past is the story of the struggle over power and purpose within the Canadian auto sport that led to this transformation.

The first comprehensive history of sports car racing and rallying in Canada, The Chequered Past traces the efforts of the national governing body - the Canadian Auto Sport Clubs (CASC) - to bring its sports car competition up to a 'world class' level, and to manage the consequences of those efforts in the second half of the twentieth century. David Charters traces the social origins of the sport and the major trends that shaped it: professionalism, technological change, rising costs, and the influence of commercial sponsors. Charters argues that while early enthusiasts set the sport on a course toward professionalism that would eventually produce world-class Canadian events and racers, that course would also ultimately change the purpose of the sport: from personal recreation to mass entertainment. As technological innovations drove up the costs of competing at the top ranks, racers were forced to rely on sponsors, who commercialized and ultimately gained control of the sport. The end result, Charters argues, was the marginalization of the amateur competitor and of the CASC itself.

Based on extensive research into the CASC's records and dozens of interviews with former competitors and officials, The Chequered Past opens a window into the rich but virtually unknown history of the auto sport, and claims for it a place in Canadian sports history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802093943
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 2/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 382
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

David Charters is a professor in the Department of History at the University of New Brunswick and an amateur sports car racer.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Abbreviations     xiii
Introduction     3
The Amateur Age, 1951-1960
The Visionaries and Their Vision: The Founding of the Canadian Automobile Sports Clubs     15
Canadian Club: Origins of the Sports Car Subculture, 1950-1960     23
Run What Ya Brung: Sports Car Competition in the Amateur Age     38
Rules and Regs: Professionalizing the Amateurs     56
Powershift: The Rise of Commercial Professionalism     72
Gathering Speed, 1961-1966
Behind the Wheel: Power Politics in the CASC     87
Trans-Canada: The Shell 4000 and the National Rally Championship, 1961-1966     101
Making Tracks: Commercializing Canadian Racing     119
Reach for the Top: Canadian Racing Driver Development in the 1960s     133
The Cutting Edge: Bill Sadler and the Can-Am Series     148
From Sport to Spectacle, 1967-1991
Coming of Age? Canadians and International Racing     163
Winning Formula: Formula Racing and the National Championship     173
Stage by Stage: Transforming the National Rally Championship     188
Downshift: The Crisis in Amateur Auto Sport, 1969-1975     203
Final Laps: The Decline and Fall of the CASC     221
Epilogue     247
Notes     261
Select Bibliography     307
Illustration Credits     321
Index     323
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