The Story of AWR Racing, “How did we get here.” 1st installment.

In memory of Harry Woodford. June 30th, 1932 – March 15th, 2020.

Harry Woodford leading the pack through Moss corner at Mosport.

Many of you may not know AWR Racing, Incorporated is a family owned company. AWR has been in business since 1995, but motorsports have been in our blood since 1960. Today, March 15th, 2021 we remember the multi-talented craftsmen, Harry Woodford. Harry, Tony’s father taught him everything he knows about racing, restoration, metal fabrication, and the automotive world.

Harry’s racing journey started in 1958 where he and Bill Hayes designed and built a car to race in what was known as Canada class. It specified various rules and price limits on the donor car.

They chose VW rear suspension and Morris Minor front, both with adjustable torsion bars; Ford 100E engine for it’s proven reliability, VW trans which was turned upside down to lower the engine and added 1-1 top gear. Mr. Woodford and Mr. Hayes gained a lot of experience with this car. They then thought that the Canada class was not competitive enough so decided to go to Formula Junior. Independent rear suspension was the only choice at that time. Fiat 500 trans, build their own arms, drive shafts and hub carriers, Herald front uprights, disc brakes, and even widening custom crafted steel wheels. They then decided to go into sports racing, building to international specs. At that time, it included a passenger seat and spare wheel. This time they went with 105E 1100, installing all the mods they could find. The next year they purchased a Holbay (Ford) 1100 and a Hewland 5 speed that didn’t have enough room for a reverse gear. All these cars used welded steel round tube for chassis and suspension; all were gas welded. Harry and Hayes were one of the first Canadian mid-engine race car builders. This car was never crashed and was sold to a Quebec motorsports fan.

Harry Woodford owned Monza Motors and was a British Layland dealer in Bronte, Ontario, Canada. Harry was very well known in racing and the MG restoration field. Dave Lawley, David Clubine, Phil Lamont, and Robert Mackenzie knew Harry through his restoration business, or were competitors of his at the track.

We remember Harry today, and everyday through the use of his equipment that was used to build the original scavengers. Tony Woodford imported Harry’s machinery from Canada to Southern California. We use these machines every day to keep our parts and restoration business rolling. We have a 1944 English Wheel that was built by Brown and Boggs in Hamilton, Ontario, A pair of Junior Niblers (metal shears), etc. And we use them to this day at our facility here in San Diego, California!

Stay tuned for the next segment of “How did we get here” The story of AWR Racing, Incorporated.

Thanks everyone for your continuous support of our families journey in the motorsports community.

Sincerely, the AWR family.