Lloyd Shaw

Inducted 2006

Lloyd Shaw had a spectacular career as a builder of racing cars, as a champion racer at home and in the United States in both open-wheel and closed-wheel cars, and as an administrator and promoter. Born in Toronto in 1912, he was 20 when he built his first sprint car and went racing at speedways in places like Leamington, Chatham, and Sarnia. With most of the records missing, we don’t know how many races he won in those days but we do know that on his first visit to the circuit in Leamington, he set Canadian and British Empire speed records for a half-mile dirt track. Following the Second World War, in which he flew bombers for the Royal Canadian Air Force, Lloyd won Canadian Auto Racing Society sprint-car championships in 1948, 1950, ’51 and ’52. During the 1950 season, Lloyd also drove a stock car and won that year’s CARS stock car championship. In 1953, NASCAR opened up a Grand National race at Langhorne, Pa., to “foreign cars.” Lloyd’s sponsor, James Cook, who was the Canadian agent for Jaguar cars and had dealerships in Toronto and Winnipeg, entered a Jaguar for Lloyd and he won the pole in it. To this day, Lloyd Shaw is the only Canadian ever to win a pole in NASCAR’s premier division. As well as racing himself, he was also a builder. He was one of the founders of the Toronto Racing Drivers’ Club (he also served as treasurer and was instrumental in the club’s construction of Canada’s first post-war race track, Pinecrest Speedway) and the Canadian Auto Racing Society. He retired from active participation in the sport in the mid-1950s and died in 1983.

Image via Ed Moody

Jim Hallahan

Inducted 2002

Jim Hallahan started racing jalopy stock cars in Streetsville, Ont., in 1949 when he was 20. He graduated to late model stock cars five years later and retired from driving those same late models in 1982. In between, he won the track points championship twice at the old Pinecrest Speedway in Ontario and won features and international race championships at Pinecrest, Ont., River Glade, N.B., Fredericton, N.B., Bathurst, N.B., and at Riverside Speedway located near Antigonish, N.S.

Racing primarily in his home province of Ontario for several years, the mid 60s saw Jim often packing up the family – and the racecar – for a summer “vacation” in the Maritimes. He enjoyed great success and was featured as a celebrity racer at many of the events. In 1969 he moved to Nova Scotia after receiving a job offer and an opportunity to drive a stock car for Forbes Chev Olds in Dartmouth.

Veteran Maritime race fans will remember Jim behind the wheel of his familiar number 33, first in the bright orange Forbes-sponsored entry “The Hugger”, then in racecars he co-owned, until his retirement from driving in ’82.

But he didn’t retire from racing – he was just getting started. In 1983, together with other promoters and car owners, Jim spearheaded the creation of the MASCAR touring race series. In the late 1980s, while serving as president of MASCAR, Jim negotiated for the tour drivers to race through the streets of Halifax during the Moosehead Grand Prix weekends, bringing even more prestige to the successful Maritime stock car racing series.

Besides becoming an active and effective promoter, Jim was instrumental in helping son Jim Jr. and daughter Debbie to begin their racing careers. Debbie was showing great promise and was a rookie on the MASCAR circuit when she died in a racing crash in 1984.

Jim has tried on several occasions to retire but the lure of the speedways keeps pulling him back. “It’s the love of the sport, I guess,” said a humble Hallahan. “Even when we’re not racing at home we plan our vacations around other races. We get back from Toronto after the induction next week then start packing to leave a few days later for Bristol, Tenn. – a NASCAR race. That’s the way it’s always been for us. It’s a way of life.”

In addition to his racing duties, Jim has been a tireless worker for charity over the years and has been involved with, among others, the Boys and Girls Club of Dartmouth, the Children’s Wish Foundation and Rainbow Haven, a summer camp for underprivileged children.

Jim resides in Dartmouth with his wife Elizabeth (Liz) and, at 72, works three jobs. Besides his duties with Scotia Speedworld and the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour he still works with Forbes Chev Olds. Liz also works with Scotia Speedworld and the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour as well as being involved with numerous charities.

Jim Hallahan has made invaluable contributions to and is a credit to his sport. But his legacy goes beyond racing to include to his family, his friends, his work and his community.

Image via Ontario Oval

Don Biederman

Inducted 2001

Oakville, Ont., stock car driver, Don Biederman, was known primarily for his aggressive manner on short-track speedways. But he drove the big speedways as well and was the first Canadian to campaign full-time on the NASCAR Grand National circuit (now Winston Cup). He finished 39th in points in 1967, a campaign won by Richard Petty but including such names as Bobby Allison, David Pearson and Cale Yarborough. Don was more than a driver – he built the car that Dave Marcis drove in his first Daytona 500 in 1965 – and he’s credited with paving the way for compatriots like Earl Ross and Roy Smith “to go south.” Frequently described as an original who had the fire to win every time he got behind the wheel of a stock car, his presence at any speedway was enough to generate excitement. Described as crusty, cantankerous, opinionated and outspoken, he was one of the greatest short-track racers of his time. Famous for his activities in and around Southern Ontario at tracks such as Cayuga, Pinecrest, Flamboro, Peterborough and Delaware, where he won numerous races and championships, Don also raced across the border at Lancaster, Holland and Perry in New York state as well as in the Maritimes at speedways such as Riverside in Nova Scotia and River Glade in New Brunswick. This is where he would go head-to-head with arch-rival (and Hall of Fame member) Junior Hanley. In fact, he was instrumental in convincing Hanley to relocate to Oakville so they could race against each other more often. A man who built race cars and drove them for a living, Don would often start out on Wednesday night at Kalamazoo Speedway, race at Mount Clements Speedway on Thursday (both located in Michigan), cross back into Canada for a meet Friday night at Delaware Speedway near London, race Saturday night at Pinecrest Speedway in Toronto and then head right out for a big-money raced somewhere on Sundaqy afternoon. His greatest achievement was winning the 1977 Oxford 250 in Oxford, Me., where he beat many of the established Winston Cup stars of the day. Don was not averse to putting up the dukes if he thought someone was cheating him out of money and was at war on a number of occasions with promoters and speedway operators. But there was another side to Don that was not evident at the speedway: away from the track he quietly helped some of his fellow competitors such as Howie Scannel and Norm Lelliott, with parts and advice. He also quiety donated time and equipment to restoration projects. He liked nothing more than to see famous old stock cars and superrmodifieds restored to their former glory. But let’s not forget that first and foremost, Don Biederman was a character. When his shop was broken into in 1984, Don bought advertising space in two of the Toronto newspapers and published this message. “I hope you crash and burn with those parts.” Don Biederman was greatly admired for his passion and dedication. When he died in 1999, the outpouring of grief was overwhelming and impressive, considering that many of the people mourning his passing – fellow competitors, promoters, officials, journalists and fans – had just about all been the recipient of Don’s outspokenness at one time or another.

Image via Stock Car Racers Reunion

Warren Coniam

Warren Coniam prepares for the ’72 Oswego Classic

Inducted 1996

Warren ‘The Warrior’ Coniam starred in super modified racing for more than 25 years, twice winning the famed Oswego Classic, the only Canadian to do so and twice won the Oswego Track Championship. Coniam raced in the early days of the CNE and Pinecrest Speedway, but stayed with super modifieds when those tracks switched to late models.

Image via Jake’s Site