This year’s Hall of Fame inductees, Bryne McKay (from left), Pat Fletcher and Dino Calvert.
Since 2006, three new members are inducted into the Manitoba Motorsports Hall of Fame each year when Piston Ring’s World of Wheels car show hits town. Inductees are recognized for their outstanding devotion and contributions to motorsports in Manitoba and come from the ranks of drag racing, oval track racing, motorcycling, fabrication, customizing, the automotive industry and the street rod and hot rod communities.
Special recognition should be given to Don Daley; his dedication to Manitoba’s rich motorsports history is a big reason why the Hall of Fame has been such a great success. Here are edited versions of the bios Daley penned for this year’s inductees.
Calvert’s interest in automobiles began as a young boy building model cars. After graduating university he decided a career in auto mechanics would be best for him. He attended Red River College and attained his provincial mechanic’s licence. His specialty was import cars and in the 1970s he worked at shops including Mathon Motors, Lone Star Motors and Marion Motors.
Calvert has been involved in the motorsport hobby for more than 43 years. He started volunteering in 1974 with the Winnipeg Sports Car Club (WSCC) and became a member in 1975. He is now an honorary member and over the years has held many positions within the club. He has competed and won in rally, road race, auto slalom and hill climb events. Vehicles he competed with include a 1967 Volvo 122S and a 1978 Ford Fiesta, which he raced until 1995 and still owns today.
One of Calvert’s special accomplishments is his position as regional steward of the Western Canadian Motorsports Association, where his duties include helping write the rules and teaching steward training (which is the judicial side of the motorsport hobby).
An accident in 2012 left Calvert a quadriplegic — but his enthusiasm for the hobby continues. According to Calvert “a bad day of car racing is still better than a good day anywhere else.”
McKay has loved cars all his life. At an early age he began building model cars. At age 23 he turned his love into a career and in 1973 he took over the Datsun/Nissan dealership in Swan River from his father. He learned all about Datsuns and Nissans while attending the Datsun training school.
In 1986 he moved to Thompson and opened a General Motors dealership, and was also part owner of a Mazda dealership in Red Deer, Alta.
McKay has belonged to a number of clubs and associations, including the Manitoba Motor Dealers Association, the Corvette Club of Manitoba and the Manitoba Classic and Antique Auto Club (MCAAC). He also founded the Thompson Automobile Club and was president until 1998.
McKay has owned a variety of vehicles over the years, including several Datsun Z cars, a 1996 Impala SS, 1966 Chevelle and a 1970 Chevelle SS 454. His current collection includes a restored 1941 Plymouth coupe, 1966 Buick Wildcat and 2000 Chevrolet Corvette. McKay has also been involved in snowmobiling and held several positions with the Thompson Trailbreakers Snowmobile Club.
Fletcher began his automotive career as a mechanic at Riel Motors. He soon went on his own and began working out of his home garage installing performance parts on customers cars for Softy’s Speed Shop.
Fletcher was well known in the drag racing scene and local racers would hire him and his brother, Jack, to improve their cars. By the 1970s business got too big for the home garage and Pat and Jack operated what became the Gulf service station on McGregor Avenue. They moved to the McPhillips Avenue location with Gulf, which eventually became a Petro-Canada station in the 1990s. The Fletcher brothers then owned and operated the Goodyear store on McPhillips Avenue until they both retired several years ago.
Fletcher has belonged to the Fabulous 50’s Ford Club of Manitoba, the Manitoba Mopar Association and the Minnesota Street Rod Association.
He began drag racing in the 1960s and has won numerous races and awards. He has also owned many stunning show vehicles and built most of the cars, including mechanical, paint and body work, himself. Fletcher’s cars are so special they have graced the covers of magazines.
His 1955 Dodge convertible won the Minnesota Street Rod Association’s Street Rod of the Year in 1999. The car has won numerous other awards including Best Dodge at Mopars on the Strip in Las Vegas.