Al has a tremendous history with all the vehicle situations he has been involved with. He was originally born in London, England and has lived in Victoria since he was three years old. He was one of the most successful drag racers at Mission Raceway. In 1961, he joined the Quarter Milers Car Club. Then in 1962 he drove a 1948 Chev Coupe to high school. He started drag racing by driving the Quarter Milers C/Dragster at Arlington, Washington and San Cobble, Vancouver Island (Bamberton Haul Road).
In 1963 he fired his dragster and ran it down the front straightaway at Western Speedway on Wednesday afternoon. In 1964 he raced at Arlington, San Cobble and Pacific Raceway in Seattle. He also helped to organize Quarter Milers Autorama. In 1965 he started a metal fabricator, boilermaker apprenticeship at DND (Dockyard). Again, he raced at Arlington, San Cobble and Mission City. He became show chairman of Quarter Milers Autorama in 1966 and also raced at Arlington, Mission and San Cobble. He drove the second dragster to appear at the Mission track and he continued to drive the Quarter Miler’s Dragster. He had bought the dragster from club and had started racing on his own Class Championship at Mission Raceways. In 1967 he started racing at the new Van Isle Raceways in Mill Bay. He won many match races with out of town cars including Balkins Falcon from St. Louis. In 1968, he set the track record at Van Isle running the injected Chevy C/Dragster at 9.76 seconds, 144 miles per hour.
He won Competition Eliminator six times. In 1969 he built a B/Dragster for Brian Roberts and Bill England. The next year he ran an E-Class Dragster with a straight 8 Buick engine at 122 mph, 11.5 seconds. From 1971 to 1974 he ran a “B” Class Dragster with an injected Chrysler Hemi at a top speed of 148.68 mph in 9.21 seconds. In history, he had raced at Mission, Arlington, Seattle, Edmonton and Van Isle with a fair amount of success and then he retired from drag racing in 1974 when he sold his dragster.
Since retiring from racing, he has become a very successful organizer for great displays. He started as show chairman for the International Show Car Association from 1974 to 1988, then produced his own shows in 1991 and 1994. He also spends some time building street rods and formed his Deuces Northwest Street Rods company in 1996. Also, in 1998 he became the fantastic coordinator of the Northwest Deuce Day shows held in Victoria.
The action photos in the accompanying gallery are used with the kind permission of photographer John Dutton and are supplied courtesy of Dan Dertien of the “Remembering Van Isle Dragways” Facebook site.