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'Terrible Tommy' finally gets his racing dues
Campbell River’s “Terrible Tommy” Hamilton has been appointed to the Greater Vancouver Motorsport hall of fame.
The Greater Vancouver Motorsports Pioneers Society (GVMPS) inducted Hamilton on Sept. 28 at a ceremony in the Lower Mainland. He was inducted as a Pioneer – Sports Car Road Racing.
The GVMPS is a group of motorsport enthusiasts from various motorsport activities whose goal is to recognize and record the contributions of those who were pioneers of motorsport in Lower Mainland region.
Pioneers are generally considered to have contributed, or have begun their contribution, at least 40 years prior to induction and have had a strong connection to Vancouver and its surrounding communities.
Inductees fall into one of many motorsport disciplines: Hot Rod, Custom Car and Drag Racing, Sports Car and Road Racing, Oval Racing, Motorcycling, Power Boat Racing, Supporter, and Others.
Inductees are selected in either of two categories: Supporters and Pioneers.
Pioneers are defined as ndividuals who personally contributed greatly to the sport as competitors, drivers, team owners or in other direct roles.
Hamilton began racing in the early 1960s in a Sprite and an MG Midget, but achieved fame racing a Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R sponsored by Brown Brothers Ford in Vancouver.
It was 1967 when he started driving the Shelby and for the next two seasons, he and his sponsors were an unbeatable combo, winning or capturing over 40 podiums in the process.
Not content with winning the Sedan or B-Production contests, they changed carburetors, wheels and tires, etc., to compete in various other categories.
He won five Northwest Driving Championships in 1968, two International Conference titles; two B.C. Regional Championships; and the overall Royal City Club title. That year was the high point of his road racing career.
In 1969, he won the Mount Douglas Hill Climb in victoria.
In 1970, he left sports car racing and turned to oval track racing at his home track, the Oyster River Speedway (now Saratoga Speedway).
He commenced with a B class car then moved to the A class (Super Sock) in 1972.
He competed at Oyster River, Western Speedway in Victoria and Langley Speedway near Vancouver.
His winning ways prevailed as he earned four point championships while being victorious in numerous heats and features.
As well as his wins, the media dubbed him “Terrible Tommy” after some aggressive racing moments which earned him eight black flags. He retired from active racing in 1976.