Norm Mackereth started racing in 1948 around his home of Toronto, and continued in oval track competition for the next 30 years.
He honed his skills on the bullrings of Speedway Park, Oakwood, and at the Canadian National Exhibition, where he witnessed the transition from the crude jalopy-like race cars with cut-down coupe bodies and Flathead Ford V8 engines to pure race cars known as Modifieds.
By the late 1950s, Mackereth was driving a full-blown, powerful, open-wheeled racer known as a Super Modified, and excelled in this class on the large pavement ovals that began to spring up in Ontario and the eastern US.
An interesting foray into road racing in 1960 raised a few eyebrows with the sports car crowd. Mackereth took his Ford-bodied, Chevy-powered Super and ran in the Carling 300 at Harewood Acres. He started fourth against the likes of Roger Penske, Al Holbert, and Peter Ryan, and was running in the top ten before a radiator hose ended his day.
But running the ovals was where Mackereth excelled, and he was a regular at the most famous of all Super Modified tracks, the 5/8ths-mile oval in Oswego, NY. In the 1960s he always finished well up in the points. He also competed at many venues in the Northeast US, and was track champion at NY’s Shangri-La Speedway and Delaware Speedway outside of London.
Mackereth retired from racing in 1978, but his legacy lives on. Not only did he pave the way for Canadian racers such as Warren Coniam and Doug Didero on the big US tracks, sons Andy, Brian, and Craig all continued the racing tradition in open-wheeled Midget racing, and grandson Tyler continues to race Midgets.
Image via Jakes Site