Ladysmith car racer honoured

Don Carmichael inducted into Island Racing Hall of Fame

Don Carmichael was inducted into the Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame and Museum on April 6. (submitted photo)

Gerry Beltgens Special to the Chronicle

Back in the heyday of Vancouver Island stock car racing, Donald Carmichael of Ladysmith was the one to beat.

He only raced for five years but his record was enough to get him inducted into the Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame and Museum on April 6 this year.

In the winter of 1966, Carmichael and his friend John Davis built a 1953 flathead Ford two-door sedan into their first race car. In the 1967 race year he finished eighth in the point standings and was named Rookie of the Year.

Carmichael mostly raced at Grandview Bowl but also raced at Western Speedway and Oyster River.

In 1968, he raced a 1955 Chevy sedan with a hot-rodded 261 Pontiac motor. He was third in points 1968, second in 1969 and first in 1970. In 1971 he was first and points champion.During his racing years he won many trophies and main events, including the Kenny Cook Memorial, and the Corby Cup.

Carmichael is not related to another Hall-of-Fame Island racer, Fraser Carmichael. Many people ask but though they share the same last name and both raced stock cars on the Island. In fact, they were once announced as brothers at a race at Western Speedway and Don had net even met Fraser at the time.

They became friends and raced together many times. Fraser was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

Don’s best memory?

“I never rode her on the roof, I always kept her on four wheels.”

Born in Ladysmith, he retired from racing when he purchased the Ladysmith Welding and Truck Repair business on the site of what is now Extend Rentals and Home Hardware.

Don has been retired for several years and still lives in Ladysmith, close to family and his four grandchildren.


Don Carmichael was points champion on 1970 and 1971. (submitted photo)

Don Carmichael celebrates his induction with family earlier this month in Victoria. (submitted photo)

Just Posted

Chemainus sea walk plans get a boost

North Cowichan to sign right-of-way agreements with VIHA

Local beekeeper wants residents to use pesticides more responsibly

Paula Masyk has kept bees for a little over two months, and has had two pesticide events since then

Sizzling season starts with Summer Fest celebrations in Chemainus

Rotary Club event features plenty of food, entertainment and a parade

Memorial Midget C Hockey Tournament supports Puska

Ladysmith man in need of a kidney transplant receiving abundant financial contributions

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

Most Read