Not only was F.J. (“Fred”) Smith one of the top drag racers in both Canada and the US, he went on to build some of the finest, most competitive Stock and Super Stock class cars. The cars built in his shop by the banks of the Grand River at Cayuga in Southern Ontario have won numerous NHRA “best engineered” awards.
Smith’s crowning achievement was the conversion of a front-drive car, which became the norm in the early 1980s, and stuff in a V8 engine with a traditional rear-drive setup without butchering the car’s integrity.
Working with the Oldsmobile Division of General Motors, who at the time was heavily involved in drag racing, Smith developed a car for the Super Stock classes in NHRA and IHRA competition, a car which received the blessing of the sanctioning bodies. By 1987 Smith was very busy building these cars, always improving on the basic design. Some of his achievements, such as the four-link rear suspension and front-end strut are used exclusively in the classes.
The former high school teacher has not raced himself for some years now, but is actively involved. He continues to build cars, has passed the driving torch to his daughter Victoria, and is the main proponent behind the Can-Am Stock/Super Stock series which tours throughout Ontario and several US states.