Since the age of 15, Ken Svendson has been involved in Auto racing. A 1949 Ford Stock Car was his first racer built with the help of Jalopy driver Jack McClelland in Ken s father s service station at Chase River south of Nanaimo. Being to young to drive himself, he recruited Bob Raynor to perform the duties. Once old enough and over the next 47 years, Ken drove race cars in a number of classes, on many circuits including B Modifieds, Super Modifieds, Claimers, Island Super Stocks, Old Timers, and Sprint Cars. Racing every track, on Vancouver Island including Grandview Bowl, Western Speedway, Saratoga Speedway, and Cassidy Speedway. Travelling to tracks across B.C. and Washington State garnering many impressive finishes. In 1975 he won the MIARA Super Stock Championship and 1979 he captured the Strawberry Cup.
After hanging up his race suit and helmet permanently he spent the next decade as a co-owner of a Sprint Car that raced on both dirt and pavement. Ken s commitment to auto racing is unmatched. His involvement has included sponsoring other racers and an open door policy to assist many competitors in an array of classes. Often one would see a competitors race car in the shop along with his own. He always made visiting racers in all classes, feel at home and tried to accommodate their specific needs, sharing his own resources at no cost to those visitors. To this day he willingly offers advice or takes on projects to share his extensive knowledge with new competitors. With his long racing career, competitiveness, and desire to lend a helping hand to fellow racers his talents have often been untouchable, whether it was engine building, chassis fabrication, or fixing a set-up that resulted in a competitive advantage for himself or any of those he has assisted over time.
Ken s ingenuity for repairing broken parts or sweeping the shop floor to enable the assembly of a race engine has saved numerous racers from elimination. Ken has contributed tremendously to the sport of auto racing on Vancouver Island. In the eyes of many of those who have received his assistance, Ken is one of the local greats. When the green flag drops on a new race season you will probably see him in the stands at local events.
We are genuinely honoured to induct Ken Svendson into the Victoria Auto Racing Hall Of Fame.