John Edgar Petrie was a pioneer in his racing career, establishing a precedent in motorsports marketing that has become commonplace today. And he was a top racer in the world of Pro Stock drag racing, competing with the top names in the class in its early years. After drag racing in some of the slower Stocker classes in the early 1960s , this Toronto-based racer formed an alliance with Ford of Canada in 1966 when auto companies were heavily involved in drag racing and believed in the “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” philosophy.
At the time when both the NHRA Pro Stock and Funny Car classes were establishing themselves and evolving, this inductee received and drove one of six specially-made first-generation Funny Cars, campaigning a Mercury Cyclone flopper locally and in the US, the only Canadian to do so. His Funny Car established many track records, including a 7.8 second quarter mile record with a nitromethane=powered supercharged car in 1968. For Canadian drag racing enthusiasts at this time, this inductee was a strong ambassador in the sport.
After his alliance with Ford, he entered into a successful relationship with Chrysler in Canada, racing in the early days of the highly-popular Pro Stock class with the likes of Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, Sox & Martin, and Don Nicholson from 1969 to 1972. Also at this time, when not racing his Chrysler Hemi-powered Dodge Super Bee or Plymouth GTX, this inductee represented Chrysler in Canada as the first and only racer int he automaker’s Super Car Clinics which were presented by Chrysler at its dealerships in the heady days of factory performance.
While he has not raced since the early 1970s, this inductee continues to represent the sport, attending special racing-related nostalgia shows, where his talent as a racer, car builder, and a team owner continues to be recognized as a Canadian who provided enthusiasts with a home-town hero.