Al Howlett recalls those memorable trips to Benny's
Check out the photo of a six cylinder GMC truck engine that may have found its way into one of the Strokers cars. Jim Dando put a GMC engine into his coupe. It could very well have been this engine. Bob Hayward ran these GMC engines in his famed street coupe and later in the rail dragster that first ran at Edenville. Canada's first rail dragster and possibly the very first rail anywhere.
Benny was a great fellow to deal with and he got a lot of amusement from us guys looking for junk in the yard. We were always looking for something stronger to rework for our cars. Ford V8's flat heads from trucks or out of WW2 Bren gun carriers, or those GMC six's. Then the Chrysler Hemi arrived to replace all the Chevys, Ford's and the Horse power race was on from Detroit.
I have heard that there are more records out there from those days so contact us if you have some tidbits from those old days!
Benny had a stock of new parts upstairs in the yard building. Andy Marsh reminded me that I bought a new still in crate windshield for my 33 coupe. I remember lots of exhaust pipes and mufflers up there. There was also a big selection of carburetors, generators and starters. There were no alternators as they did not arrive until a few years later.
The site of Benny's is now a housing development in Paris. The yard was alongside the CN railway tracks and after I moved to London I would take the train to Toronto on company business. I always liked to look at the yard as we passed on the train, because for a few years my 1931 Model A could be seen in the yard. I traded it to Benny for the 33 Ford coach. Later I traded Benny the coach for the 33 five window coupe. Benny's yard man made a statement one day to me like this. "It does not matter what you guys do with these cars, they will always come back here". He was right a couple of times at least.
Here's a few photos circa 1955 from Paris Auto Wreckers AKA Benny's. Click for larger images.