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Atlantic Racing Scene

Wheels speeding in His Honour

They might not have been the fastest dragsters in Newfoundland; they may not have been driven by the top drivers on the Atlantic race scene, but fans cheered for each and every hot rod, classic, and well-treated antique that made a pass down the Bell Island race track in support of Ronald MacDonald House.

Andy Dunn was the heartbeat of the hot rod community, both in Newfoundland and worldwide as the adopted child of the Hot Rodder’s HAMB organization. Diagnosed at a very young age with chordoma, a rare and fatal cancer, Andy and his friends began fulfilling his dream of owning his very own hot rod. The hot rod community reached out and provided Andy with the body from a 1930 Model A Ford, donated from an ER doctor in Saskatchewan. A 19-year-old in California donated a drop axle when he heard the story. Soon donations of tires, wheels, a dash, seats, and other parts were rolling in. For three years Andy fought cancer and with the help of his friends, built his hot rod, finishing it in time to drive it at the age of 13 for 11 km. He passed away March 17, 2009 at the age of 14.

Island Racing wanted to do something in Andy’s honour, so with the help of his parents Chris and Rose, and sponsorship from NAPA Auto Parts and Atlantic Powertrain, the Andy Dunn Memorial Race was born. The day turned out numerous hot rods and classics, including Andy’s dream car, the 1930 Model A. Based on the old air strip on tiny Bell Island, Island Racing hosts 1/8 mile drag racing, old-school style. Last year racing was strictly heads-up, arm drop racing with nothing to show for winning but bragging rights, but in 2010 a sponsorship from NAPA Auto Parts allowed the club to purchase a brand new Porta Tree system. The heart of hot rodding beat on at Bell Island that day, with each hot rod making pass after pass, followed by a burn out in Andy’s honour by his father.

Andy would have been proud.

Much, much more in the print addition of Auto Atlantic.
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