In 1945, Bruce Passmore moved his family from their home in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to Victoria where the following year he became involved with a racecar at Jack Taylor’s “Langford Speedway”. He became the car’s driver in two of the scheduled race meets that were held that season.
Now severely bitten by the auto racing “bug”, Bruce proceeded to come up with as much capital as he could to purchase the Speedway from Taylor with an eye to scheduling the 1947 season of racing for local fans. His preparations included not only repaving the oval, building additional grandstands and installing an electric eye timing device but he also commissioned the building of 6 new race cars in the “Big Car” division. To say that his efforts were an unqualified success would be an understatement. Despite the enlarged grandstands, the opening day show on May 24th, with an admission price of $1.00 for adults, attracted an overflow crowd which was in fact the largest one ever seen at the track. His 17 events that year drew a total attendance of over 40,000 spectators.
The now 25 year old Passmore, in the span of 2 short years, amassed not only a $30,000 race track, but also a $40,000 apartment block and a new yellow convertible.
Bruce owned and operated the Speedway for the next three years, promoting many international events and had his track billed as “The only Big Car paved facility on the West Coast”. Judging by the number of “name drivers” from the U.S. who were attracted to race there, he certainly lived up to that reputation. Langford Speedway also had the distinction of being the first paved race track in Canada.
The 1948 season saw him schedule, in addition to the ever-popular Big Cars, a Stockcar race on July 1st which included a 50 lap main event and also a “Tin Lizzie”(Model T Ford) race which had a 25 lap main event. Bruce also brought in Leo Dobrey’s “City of Tacoma” Big Car which had competed in that year’s “Indianapolis 500” in which it finished in 6th place.
At the end of the 1950 racing season, Langford Speedway and it’s property was sold to the local school board with Bruce later devoting much of his time to a new business enterprise, a used car lot named “Speedway Auto Sales” which he opened in 1952. In 1954, he purchased 10 new Volkswagens and opened a new lot which he christened “Speedway Motors”. Many years later it would become the oldest “VW” dealership in Canada.
Despite the demise of his racetrack, Bruce continued his auto racing involvement as a Stockcar driver at Shearing Speedway which was built just north of Duncan in 1952. Bruce’s son Roy carried on in his Dad’s footsteps as a driver in Western’s “Foreign Stock” class in 1970 and 1971, winning many races and both year’s Season Championships.
He later became a member of the Pacific Northwest’s “Golden Wheels” fraternity of former auto racers.
Bruce passed in 1994.