Alan Watson Dalby
Born: December 24, 1922 (Victoria, British Columbia)
Died: February 5, 2015 (Victoria, British Columbia)
Member: Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame (1999)
In the midst of the Depression, Alan Dalby and his brother, Johnny, began building sprint cars and tinkering with engines at race tracks around Victoria. Over the years, the Dalby boys designed — and altered the design —of midgets, stock cars, sports cars, and even a hydroplane.
One of Alan Dalby’s early alterations involved placing the chassis lower to the ground for a car specifically designed to race on a paved course. (Other race cars had higher clearance for use as well on gravel and dirt tracks.) The Dalby name came to be associated with innovative design and he influenced Grant King, a Victoria area team owner who went on to own and build dozens of cars raced at the storied Indianapolis 500.
Dalby enlisted in the armed forces during the Second World War, serving as a mechanic. He later became a master heavy-duty mechanic and worked as a shop superintendent for trucking and bulldozing firms.
The Dalby family was associated with Western Speedway in suburban Langley, outside Victoria, where three generations worked as mechanics and thrilled spectators as drivers.
In 1990, Dalby barnstormed with the Old Time Racers Association, contesting events at Flamboro Speedway at Hamilton, Ont., as well as at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto.