Ladysmith’s Don Carmichael began his race driving career in 1966 when his friend John Davis got the idea that they should build a Stockcar together and that Don should drive it.
During the winter months, they put together a 1953 Ford 2 door sedan, joining the Nanaimo-based “Mid Island Auto Racing Association” (MIARA) and being “race ready” with their #65 car for the 1967 season.
Running their car in 3rd (or high) gear made getting the correct diameter tires a problem, but at a race meet at Western Speedway, Ross Surgenor’s crew (who also ran in the same gear) gave them some advice and a loaned tire which solved the problem. Don and John subsequently had a good first season, finishing in 8th place in the Nanaimo point standings with Don also being voted MIARA’s Stockcar “Rookie of the Year”.
For 1968, Don switched to a mid ’50s Chevy and finished 3rd in points followed by a 2nd in both the ’69 and ’70 seasons.
In 1971 he captured the “Season Points Championship” and the coveted #1.
During this time period, Don won many races and many main event trophies as well as “Best Looking “A” Stockcar”, the 1971 “Ken Cook Memorial” race and the two day “Corby Cup” event which was run on the “Nanaimo Bathtub Race” weekend.
Don’s racing days were for the most part at Nanaimo’s Grandview Bowl but also included Western Speedway and “Oyster River Raceway” (now Saratoga).
Don retired from racing in 1971 to purchase a welding and truck repair business in which he became well known for his expertise in the rebuilding of heavy truck transmissions and rearends which he enjoyed doing for 36 years.