Local Kar Klub member to race homemade land-speed car

By Kellah Lavoie
July 10, 2011 - 12:27pm Updated: July 10, 2011 - 1:15pm


paNOW Staff

A project, six-and-a-half years in the making, will bring a pair to Wendover, Utah to race their land-speed car.

Omer Houle, of the Klassic Kruizers Kar Klub, based out of Prince Albert, and his partner Keith Downie, of Calgary, are set to head to speed week next month at the Bonneville Salt Flats, just outside of Wendover. There, they hope to send their hand-built ’29 Ford Highboy Roadster down the flats at a speed of 200 miles per hour.

“What appeals to us is you’re not racing against, well there’s records, but you’re racing mostly against yourself. You just keep trying to improve your car and get better,” said Houle, explaining both have been racing cars all their lives.

Downie is the one they hope to license. Houle said it just made sense because he is the one who is usually in the driver’s seat.

“I have always been the other guy, I’ve owned race cars and everything, but I don’t drive most of the time. I am the guy that makes them go fast,” Houle said.

The one thing he is anticipating — to be thoroughly intimidated.

“They are guys who have been racing for 30 years. It’s a big happy family ,but still guys that we’ve heard about and talked about all our lives will be there,” he said.

“We’re going to be the new fish in the pond.”

The pair does know a handful of racers who have a little more veteran status than the two freshmen.

“We know a slew of people, I think that’s really what got us to turn the curve and build our own car, just all for the people that we knew and it was just a new venture for us,” he said.

The roadster is not quite finished yet. Houle is leaving for Calgary in about two weeks to spend a week with Downie putting the last pieces together.

t is the final assembly — the pair has taken it apart and put it together again about 10 times in total. As of right now, the chasse is in Saskatoon with Houle, while Downie has the body and fuel system.
Houle said the distance has not played too much havoc on the project. The men have been friends for the past 20 years and have worked together for almost as long.

The car they will take out for Aug. 12-19 has never been raced. They took it out to the salt flats two years ago to get it inspected.

“It would be very disappointing to build the car and get down there and them say that’s unacceptable,” Houle said, adding they hope to bring it home in one piece.

He said they will be taking Sheldon Novac and Randy Stene, both from the Klassic Kruizers Kar Klub, with them.

He said they are unbelievable excited.

“This is going to fulfill what we have been working for a long time.”

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