Yesterday’s Speedways preserves and promotes racing history

An interactive element will become part of the Yesterday’s Speedways display this year, as a slot car track will accompany the photos and cars featured in their display at the Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo presented by eBay Motors, which takes place March 8, 9 & 10 at Toronto’s International Centre.

Anyone interested in trying their hand with the fast little cars can come and see Jim and Tracy Toye. They will be running the events at “Crosstown Speedway,” a slot car track in the Yesterday’s Speedways booth, located in the Gulf Race Fuels Racing Zone presented by Stoneridge Specialty Insurance, in Hall 1B. Yesterday’s Speedways founder and racing historian Rick Sharples hopes the track will create some fun through friendly competition.

“It’s a hand-squeeze trigger, you control the throttle and control the brakes; if you fly into a corner, you’re going to crash, it’s just like driving a car… there’s a little bit to it, you’ve got to get the hang of it,” said Sharples. “A lot of people get into it once they’ve tried it. We’d like to get drivers taking on the media, drivers taking on drivers, drivers taking on fans, fans versus fans, the public just taking each other on.”

The slot car track will be joined by two historic racing vehicles. A returning favourite will be the Don Biederman Nova, which the Canadian short track legend drove to victories in the Oxford 250 and Cayuga Speedway’s Maple Leaf 250 in 1977.

The Yesterday’s Speedways booth at the 2023 Motorama show.

Making its first appearance will be a No. 38 Supermodified, driven by Jimmy Howard, one of the top contenders in the 1950s and 1960s at short tracks in Ontario and the Northeast, including CNE, Pinecrest, Flamboro and Delaware speedways. The car was found on the TV show Salvage Kings.

Murray Robertson and Tom Harber now own Jimmy Howard’s No. 38 Supermodified. These are the two men behind the restoration of this well-known car.

The Yesterday’s Speedways booth will once again feature 300-400 photos on a picture wall, including 50-60 photos that have been switched out from last year. Sharples is also planning to have some racing videos playing in the background.

Founded in 2012, Yesterday’s Speedways is preserving Ontario’s stock car racing history through its website, where thousands of photos have been uploaded. Racing programs are also being added to the website.

“There were about 400 tracks in Ontario and now we’re down to about 15,” said Sharples. “The history in Ontario itself is just incredible… every little town had its own little track, somewhere to go play. It’s part of our history. It’s important to me to keep that alive and help people remember this kind of stuff.”

For more information about Yesterday’s Speedways, visit YesterdaysSpeedways.com. For Motorama tickets and show info, visit MotoramaShow.com

ABOUT YESTERDAY’S SPEEDWAYS: Yesterdays Speedways was first started in 2012 after the completion of Rick Sharples’ book, “Remember When; The Early Years of Stock Car Racing in Southern Ontario.” The purpose of Yesterday’s Speedway is to preserve and promote the history of short track racing in Ontario. In addition to the YesterdaysSpeedways.com website, Sharples also puts on a display, each year, at the Toronto Motorama show.

ABOUT THE EBAY MOTORS PRESENTS MOTORAMA CUSTOM CAR & MOTORSPORTS EXPO: The ninth annual eBay Motors Presents Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo takes place March 8, 9 & 10, 2024 at The International Centre, across from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. The show features more than 330,000 square feet of custom cars, hot rods, racing vehicles of all kinds, trucks, tuners, displays and exhibitors. Motorama is Canada’s biggest late-winter celebration of automobiles and motorsports. For information about the show, including tickets, sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, and more, call (416) 962-7223, email info@MotoramaShow.com or visit MotoramaShow.com.