One of the highlights of membership in an auto racing historical society is the opportunity to meet some of the veterans of the sport and to have the opportunity to interact with them to experience the auto racing world as they knew it. At EARHS we are fortunate to have in our membership ranks some true pioneers of both local and national racing. We were saddened to learn of the passing on August 25, 2010 of EARHS member and pioneer drag racer, Ed Kowalski, of Reading, PA.
Although Ed was first attracted to the stock cars at Sanatoga Speedway in Pottstown, PA in the early 1950s, he became a competitor at many local drag racing venues in the mid-1950s, including his home track at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, PA. He was the owner / operator of the Ed Kowalski Speed Shops in Reading, PA from 1958 to 1965 with three locations at 9 th & Union Streets, on River Road, and another on Rt. 422.
After the U.S. Nationals at Indy in 1965, Ed retired from the top level of the sport of drag racing when costs to campaign a competitive fuel dragster grew well beyond amounts which could be undertaken by the individual enthusiast and vaulted into the ‘corporate sponsorship level'. Even after Ed's speed shop closed in 1965, the Kowalski name remained linked to the local racing community.
On August 10, 2010, Ed and E.J. capped twenty-two years of competition at Bonneville when E.J. set a world land speed record over the measured mile of 163.553 mph for an unblown flat-head Ford powered roadster.
Ed Kowalski died of natural causes on August 25 th , just three days after his final appearance in victory lane at Manassas, VA, where he was presented a plaque to commemorate his ‘Top Eliminator' win on July 28, 1957 and less than a month after his son, E.J., put the Kowalski name into the record books at Bonneville. Ed's enthusiasm for the sport he loved will be missed.
EARHS Corporate Level SponsorsPlease support our sponsors
Your monetary sponsorship in any denomination or donations of historically significant items, photos, documents, etc. toward projects undertaken by the EARHS are welcomed and encouraged. EARHS is recognized as a federally tax exempt charity by the IRS under Section 501c(3).
EARHS "wants and needs"
Wanted: Racing photo collections – share and preserve programs. If you have vintage racing photos, EARHS would like to be able to scan and copy these items. All items will be returned intact and we can provide you with a computer disc of those items from significant collections. We are especially interested in Dorney Park items from the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s and all Allentown Fair items, including indoor racing events, but all items are welcome.
Wanted: Showcases and display cases. Often cases of unusual configuration can be used for displays of trophies and memorabilia. Also, race programs from the '55 & '58 Allentown Fair.
We continue to fill our showroom - all members are invited to visit and check our progress. Please call Pete (610 398-2188) or Paul (610 395-5303) to arrange a time to visit.
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