Heading to the Vallis Motor Sport shop outside of Welland, ON, you’d expected to pass through Radiator Springs. Bill Vallis does give off a strong Doc Hudson vibe…if Doc was a human, but not Paul Newman. This rusty old Tow Mater assures you that you’ve entered Carburetor Canyon.

Arriving at the shop, you can sense the history. The weathered blue paint on the exterior doesn’t draw much attention, but a dozen VW rear transaxles just outside the shop door indicate that there’s something special going on inside.

Bill Vallis has been running this race team for 45+ years, and is one of the foremost authorities on VW engines and transmissions in the country. Decades of parts, tools and memories are on display in every corner of the workshop.

On the walls, a grid of prints and framed pictures of VMS alumni. There’s even a photo of a Lynx Formula Vee car from the late 70’s that was Vallis’ first ‘rent-a-racecar’. It won a championships before being retired to the rafters of the shop, but Bill says the plan is to rebuild the car for next year’s 60th Anniversary of the Formula Vee events. It’s a piece of history now.

4 thoughts on “The Race Shop

  1. Such an amazing shop, thanks for sharing. I am guessing since the name of the formula is 1200, the engine is 1200cc?
    In Brazil, during the 1970s and 1980s, there were 2 classes of Formula Vee: the entry-level 1300cc and the “pro” 1600cc.

  2. Correct. These are air-cooled, VW, four-cylinder, 1200cc engines. Everywhere else in the world they call them Formula Vee, and from what we’ve read about the history of the series in North America, there was a higher class called Formula Super Vee which had 1600cc engine, just like you described in Brazil.

    There is also a Canadian series called F1600, also called Formula Ford., which apparently is not the same as Formula Super Vee, despite the displacement being the same.

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