Wider Horizons
In the 1920s, Lethbridge City Police Chief Joseph Gillespie complained about drivers and the Herald highlighted his reasons: “There is too much ‘joy riding’ going on in the city and that is probably the reason Chief Gillespie wants the speed limit reduced… The younger element of drivers is chiefly responsible for all the kicks that have been heard about the manner in which motor cars are being driven… If the younger men, who so often desire to show their lady friends what wonderful stunts they can pull with their cars would bear this fact in mind there would be less of the sensational and careless driving going on.”

Whether it was a continued desire to show off to their “lady friends” or simply a desire to test themselves and their cars, many car aficionados looked for decades for appropriate places (other than the streets) to race cars in Lethbridge. Over the years, several temporary sites have served as local race tracks, including Lethbridge Exhibition, but drivers have long searched for something more permanent.

In the 1950s, it seemed the need was answered. J.N. “Bus” Murdoch was building the Fort Whoop-Up Guest Ranch on the location where the college stands today. One feature of the plans was a stock car racing facility with a quarter mile track. This track did operate for a time at the current site of the college, but it was only a short-term solution and the race track eventually closed. (The guest ranch, which had ambitious plans in its early years, was also home for a time to a roller rink – the building now known as The Barn.) In the 1980s, several groups were looking for places to race. One group, the High Country Raceway, worked with the City of Lethbridge and set up a drag racing course at 9th Avenue and 43rd Street North. That same decade the Street Wheelers were also looking for a location for their 100-foot dash held during the Street Machine Weekend. The parking lots of Lethbridge College were one of the locations used for a few years.

There were also other types of racing at the college in the 1980s involving racing through circuits throughout the parking lots. There are two wonderful vintage videos on YouTube showing a 1984 gymkhana through the college’s roads. Volvos, Corvettes, Datsuns and more can be seen blazing down the familiar roads around campus (check them out learn.lc/1984race1 and learn.lc/1984race2.)

But, seriously, who hasn’t seen all of those connected roads and parking lots at the college and thought about racing there? (Maybe that’s a thought I should keep to myself.)
Wider Horizons
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