MALLORYTOWN, Ont. - A 1929 Legend car will be roaring through Eastern Ontario truck stops over the next two years along with owner Don Darling's hopes to raise $100,000 for the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa (CHEO).
WORK IN PROGRESS: Don Darling is building a 1929 Legend car in an attempt to raise $100,000 for CHEO in Ottawa, Ont.
MALLORYTOWN, Ont. – A 1929 Legend car will be roaring through Eastern Ontario truck stops over the next two years along with owner Don Darling’s hopes to raise $100,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa (CHEO).
Darling, a former trucker, is rebuilding the vintage Legend, which was once the number three car for the late Carl Murdock, a stock car racer at the Brockville and Cornwall Speedways in the 1980s.
Once a tractor-trailer mechanic, Darling has always had an interest in race cars and antique muscle cars and decided it would be a good premise for a fundraiser as well as being something enjoyable.
“What I plan on doing is taking keepsake photos for the children who want to sit in the race car and in turn, hopefully, the child’s parents would make a donation to CHEO,” said Darling.
At the races, Darling will take the car for a spin around the track. During intermission track officials will hold a draw for three children in the audience to go out on the track and get their picture taken with the car. The rest of the time the car will be parked in front of the grandstand.
The vintage car, which will have a 1929 Ford Model A Tudor body and a Chevy 350 cubic inch small-block engine, should be ready to motor out to various truck stops, Canadian Tire stores and race tracks throughout Eastern Ontario at the beginning of racing season in May.
The $11,000 project stemmed from Darling’s love of cars and desire to give back to the community. Darling, the father of a 12-year old himself, has many close friends who have had to take their children to CHEO and he feels strongly the hospital can use some extra financial help.
“Canada spends a great deal of time and money helping out other countries financially, which is great, but I want to help take care of our own people first,” he said.
Giving back to the community is also something that seems to run in the Darling family. Don is the son of the late Con Darling, a renowned clown in the Brockville area, known for his black tattered jacket, red nose and baby carriage. He participated in many children’s events and was a key fixture at the CHEO telethon as well.
“It’s in the blood I guess,” said Darling, “and it’s a way to help out while still getting to drive a really cool looking car on the ovals to show it off.”
Norma Lamont, vice-president of community development for the Children’s Hospital Foundation, is certain Darling’s idea will prove successful.
“First of all, the kids will love it and it will certainly catch the attention of everyone out there as well,” she said. “I know the race events are quite popular throughout Eastern Ontario and the fact that he has worked on this project all himself – he is doing something good for all the right reasons.”
Lucas Oil is the main sponsor for the Legend car and director Don Baker said he is only too happy to help out with Darling’s endeavor.
“We’re always interested in events that have to do with families and children and we feel since we are very fortunate, we would like to help out where we can for those who need the help,” said Baker. “I think it’s very commendable what Don is doing. He is doing what everybody else should be doing.”
Other sponsors and contributors for the Legend car are Digital Networks, Finishline Racewear, Bell Helmets, Leaf Racewear, Federal Mogul, Speed Pro Racing Cams, S&S Performance, Fieldings Tire and Automotive, Kingston Spring and Muffler and Kirkey Racing.
For more information about tour dates and locations, or to offer help, please contact Don Darling at 613-923-1208. And keep an eye out for the Lucas Oil/CHEO Legend car this spring at a truck stop along your route.