Harold Cole bought his first motorcycle at the age of 15 – then immediately took his newly acquired machine to a race track that very same day. Even though the Exhibition Oval in Toronto had turned away the young man and his 4 hp Yale, Cole’s brazen attempt turned out to be a seminal moment in the life of a Canadian racer.
Born in Toronto in 1895, Cole has been described as a pioneer of Canadian motorcycle racing and was known for his aggressive and exciting riding style. Although he couldn’t enter the races at either Scarborough Beach or Exhibition Place in 1910 because the Toronto Motorcycle Club said he was too young, he held onto his dream of racing a motorcycle.
On July 1st of the following year, Cole was finally allowed to participate in his first race, a three-mile event that was held at the Waterloo quarter-mile dirt track. The upstart racer dazzled onlookers; not only did he win his heat race, but the final as well with an average time of 1:20 per mile. Later that same week, Cole went on to also win a race at Exhibition Place, setting a new record for Eastern Canada in the process.
Cole continued his success on the race track and over the years established a career in motorcycle racing, establishing records in both dirt track and motordrome events. Before his death in the mid ‘50s, Cole would add becoming the Dominion Champion and a three-time winner of the Commeford Cup to his list of achievements.
Harold Cole will be honoured as an Historical Inductee at the Sixth Annual Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Reunion. Those interested in attending the gala being held on November 5th can find more information at the event’s website: www.hofbanquet.eventbrite.com. This year’s iteration of the Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will be held at the Delta Meadowvale Resort and Conference Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.