The Canadian Driver 1961

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The Rest of the Story

by John Kinnear

This story was written by St. Lac member, Doug Phippen about the work of fellow member Tony Polivka and appeared in the First Issue  ( May 1961 ) of the now defunct magazine, The Canadian Driver – The Voice of Canada’s Most Exciting Sport. The cover photo was of Peter Ryan driving the Chev. powered, Sadler Formula Libre at Watkins Glen the previous year.  Access to this magazine and story was provided by member David Shannon.

Tony Polivka passed away several years ago, so I asked his old friend Vince Murray about the Peugeot powered Formula Junior. Vince says that they raced the car with that engine for a number of races and then Tony acquired an aluminum block Buick 215 cu. in. V8 engine and installed that in the car and ran it as a Formula Libre. Vince drove that car several times and thought it to be pretty good. Then in a race at Green Acres, which was an old RCAF field near Goderich, Tony spun and was then run over by a Chevy II. The front end of the car was destroyed and Tony suffered injuries to his feet that Vince thinks plagued him for the rest of his life. Tony then installed the engine in an old VW, which they raced a number of times. This car went on to become something of a local legend and I remember hearing it spoken of in hushed tones in local watering holes. I only saw it once or twice and you would never suspect that it was a’wolf in sheep’s clothing’. One guy, MG racer Jack Hughes, even claimed that Tony would throw an old overcoat over the engine cover in the back seat to disguise the fact that an engine resided there.



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