CLOVERDALE â€” Dwain Kremyr has dedicated around 47 years to his career in racing and building cars and he is being rewarded for it this weekend.
The 62-year-old is being inducted into the Greater Vancouver Motorsport Pioneers Society during its 14th annual induction ceremony.Kremyr, who now focuses on his company Kremyr Racing, started building cars when he was 15 years old and started his drag-racing career four years later.
"Nowadays, I get as much out of the construction of the cars, the building of them, as I did racing them. Back when I was younger, it was the thrill of going fast and competing in racing," he said.
"It was also building the cars, which was a big part of it and the challenges of building competitive cars."
His parents took him and his brother to road races at the old Westwood Motorsport Park up until he was 12 years old.
The first car he bought was a 1950 Ford Meteor.
"Then we (were) taken to a drag strip by a neighbour and that was the end of ourroad racing (interest). The smoke and the noise and everything got my brother and I hooked to drag racing," Kremyr said.
Three years later, Kremyr and his brother started working on a 1949 Ford Thames, which was their first drag-racing car.
When he started racing competitively, Kremyr bought a 1957 Ford Thunderbird, which is more famously known as Blackbird.
The person who sold Kremyr that vehicle met him for the first time that day and, 43 years later, they still remain friends.
The car seller, Carl Tjorhom, was the one who nominated Kremyr to be inducted into the society.
"To me, that’s as important than being inducted … he has that much respect for me. Forty-three years later, we’re still friends and it was his car that got me racing," Kremyr added.
Mission Raceway closed in 1978, seven years after he started driving, which put racing on pause for the Cloverdale native.
However, he came back and competed for five years starting in 1989.
Kremyr went on to say that there was no educational program that taught him to work on cars; the skills he taught himself landed him a job working on aircrafts.
"There was no schools or training back them. You were pretty much self-taught everything. I’m a self-taught welder and fabricator."
Two other Surrey residents will also be joining the society.
Art Brumpton will be inducted for his contributions as a hotrod and custom-car enthusiast and Carl Blomfeldt will be inducted for his extensive motorcycle-racing career.
The ceremony will take place at Shannon Hall at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds on Saturday (Sept. 20) starting at 1 p.m.
There are a total of 17 inductees this year, joining the 215 current pioneers.
Tickets to the event cost $15 and include a light lunch.