Catching the auto racing “bug” while attending Junior High School in the late 1950’s started 2009 “Pioneer” award winner Bob Bissenden on his journey behind the wheel of a racecar.
Learning the basics of automotive mechanics after school and on weekends at a local auto wreckers, Bob subsequently received his driver’s licence at age 16 and entered his first racecar, a 1941 Chev Sedan Delivery, in a “Road Stock” race meet at Western in July of 1960. He placed 2nd in his heat and finished 7th in the Main Event. His 2nd appearance in a ’48 Desoto on August 13th got him into the trophy dash with 3rd fast time. The next year he graduated to the “Jalopy” class which he also competed in in 1963 and in ’64 began working at “Victoria Auto Wreckers” where he approached his boss, John Biggs, about sponsoring his racecar. John agreed (catching “racing fever” himself!), and for the following season they built a 1949 Ford Club Coupe which took Bob to a 2nd place finish in the points standings.
More ’49 Fords followed for the 1966 and ’67 seasons which Bob piloted to another 2nd and a 3rd place points finish respectively, after which they moved up to the newly-formed “Super Stock” class with a 1957 Ford that in addition to running at Western, they also ran at Langley Speedway and at 2 tracks in Washington state, “TriCity Raceways” in Richland and Monore’s “Evergreen Speedway”.
Bob retired from driving at the end of the ’69 season but did return to run in an “Old Timer’s” race which was part of Western’s 25th anniversary celebrations in 1978.
Bob passed in 2011.