Following his purchase of Billy Foster’s 1962 Daffodil Cup-winning Modifed Sportsman, 1986 Hall of Fame Inductee Geoff Vantreight put his driver Al Smith behind the wheel and entered it in the newly-formed Canadian American Modified Racing Association (CAMRA) circuit for that organization’s inaugural 1963 season.
At that time in the southern U.S. there was a new racing accessory called a “wing” which was mounted atop open-wheel cars that was claimed to give added traction and improved handling. Deciding that this new innovation was certainly worth a try after consulting with Al and crew, Geoff hopped a plane down to Miami, Florida to get one. After buying a return flight ticket for himself plus one for his new purchase, Geoff carried the wing up the gangway of his return flight. One can only imagine the looks from the stewardesses and the other passengers! After a stopover in Indiana to watch that year’s “Indy 500”, Geoff completed his return trip to Victoria. The hype around the “sheet metal monsters” (as some referred to them) seemed to be warranted as following the wing’s installation, Al scored a clean sweep at a race meet at Haney Speedway in Vancouver. It was the first use of a wing on an Island car and perhaps the first one in B.C. and Canada.
The airline-riding airfoil later found it’s way to Roy Smith’s car during Roy’s rookie season in a Modified in mid-1968 and today it resides in the Hall of Fame Museum.
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