One day in late September 1972, my friend Tommy Carone and I were hanging out at the Farm Shop Restaurant in Glastonbury, Connecticut, and I asked him what he wanted to do for the weekend. His answer surprised me: “Let’s go to the Canadian Grand Prix.” Tommy had a tired 1959 MGA roadster, and I thought he was kidding when he suggested driving 500 miles each way in that thing. He wasn’t. On today’s roads, it might take eight hours if you drove straight through, but 50 years ago, it took closer to 12.
Read the full article at Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/motorsports/carini-my-wet-and-wonderful-canadian-grand-prix-road-trip/
Nice story about your epic trip to my home race track, really enjoyed it. The photo is of the current go-kart track at Mosport, however, not the world class race track that saw vintage F1, Can Am, etc. action; and recent and future IMSA racing.
Those were good days, and good races, at Mosport. I went there a couple of times in high school with a friend, who's father was kind enough to drive us in his family car, an early 1960s Comet. Mosport is still alive and well, with a good selection of races each year - except for this Covid year, of course. Let's hope we can get back to normal soon, and I can get back to Mosport. This story was a good read. Thanks.
Thanks for the refresh of my memory of the GP at Mosport. I was returning to the west coast after a year of back-packing around Europe. It was '71 and I also camped at the track. The wail on the Matra was something it seemed as if you could hear it blasting around the entire circuit. Access to the pits was virtually unrestricted as noted in the article, I recall a single strand rope as being the only device to prevent folks from joining the drivers and mechanics in the pits. This was not so effective in the Ferrari pit where Mario Andretti was, driving for Ferrari at that time. Toronto has a large Italian community and his fans would simply slip under the rope walk up to him, say something in Italian to their hero, and grab him in a hug for a picture. His tolerance and graciousness for the fan really impressed me. Only when they fired up the car and he was belted in to go out for practice did he get some peace.
Went with a friend to Moparfest at Indianapolis Raceway park. At a friends apartment with everyone standing around and doing the “what are we gonna do this weekend” when my friend says “Want to go to Moparfest?”
I said, “When is it?”
he said, “This weekend”
I said, “Let’s go!”
We lived about 30 west of Toronto and I think is was dark by the time we were on the highway. We took turns driving be he did most of it and by the next morning we had travelled nearly 600 miles and got a room at a motel next to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We got enough rest to go out to IRP, and on Sunday went to the Indy Speedway Museum before heading home. Got back late and still made it to work Monday. The friends who stayed home would comment, “I can’t believe you guys just got up and went to Indianapolis”
1984 Monaco Grand Prix: I got soaked, as well. 2004 Nurburgring: Soaked again. Both combinations of misery, thrills and joy. Wayne, thanks for the memories.
Your story takes me back to my own experience at the Canadian GP, 1973 edition. I guess there are more than a few of we late-teenagers doing similar things. I lived in Toronto so my buddy and I could make it a last-minute day trip. Other than the unregulated pits (mentioned by others) my strongest memory was the unrelenting rain. Eventually the FIA figured out that an outdoor event in Canada in late September was an iffy proposition and started scheduling them in June. I also remember Graham Hill stopping in the middle of the hairpin during practice and waving to the crowd.
I had access to company vans as fleet manager of a prominent Northeast racing school back in the 90's. Another friends family owned a package store and used to get free tickets to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal from one of the larger breweries. With four other friends we made the trip to Montreal for 11 years straight for a weekend of great racing, camaraderie, good food, and overindulgence. The subway to and from the race track each day with thousands of fans was an experience in itself. The sound of F1 cars is etched in my memory for life. Those trips still rank as some of my best memories. The US dollar was strong back then and we would feel rich when we converted our cash. We rented the same couple of rooms in a little motel in the old city for years. A few years into our run we called to make our reservation and the owner said "yes I know who you are, you are the guys that bring beer instead of luggage" Racing, brotherhood, and beer. Ah those were good times!
Great story Wayne, thanks! I went to the Canadian GP in 1997 and 1998. One year I got sunburned, the next year I was shivering. I love Montreal, it is a great city to visit.
The photo in the story is actually the kart track located on the outside of turn 8 at the end of the long straight where the guys camped. 1972 was the first year that I attended the Canadian Grand Prix as well. I was sixteen at the time. I have been to every Canadian Grand Prix since then, getting soaked at some, freezing on other occasions and getting totally fried in the sun at others.
The Mosport Karting track! I'd recognize it anywhere, lots of good arrive & drive weekends were had there. I miss the old owner Ken, the new karts are about 30km/h slower than the old 105km/h toys.