A Tribute….. by rp woltman
Mr. Michael Stephen Lowe. 1954-2020.
A Canadian patriot and motorsport enthusiast, par excellence.
MrSlowe…Mr. Canadian Motorsport Historian. Captain Nice, Mr. Canada. Generous and congenial to most everyone who happened along his path, especially to his family and those most in need.
Witty, funny and a marvelous story teller, with many tales to tell! Wonderful friend and confidant.
Loving partner to Janet; caring step father to his blended family. Loving brother to his sister. Gone too soon but not one easily forgotten.
Landsdowne Park on a bloody typical hot Ottawa August day, when I first officially met Mike. Sliding up to the line in my Datsun 240Z for my run at The MCO’s newish “Kinky Drags”! Likely against Nigel Mortimer’s 240Z, eh!
And, there ahead, was this bulk of a man; built like the proverbial, brick s…house; and shirtless in the hot summer sun. Looked like a bear! A bear not to be messed with…waving cars off on their runs.
So got me to thinking: this guy is nutso burning up in the hot sun, or incredibly dedicated? Time has proven the latter was the truth.
Dedicated to The Motorsport Club of Ottawa; dedicated to his friends; dedicated to his family; dedicated to Canada. Just bloody dedicated.
Over a long period of time, I got to know Mr. Lowe as one of the most knowledgeable motorsport enthusiasts I had ever met, and to this day, he remains, in my mind’s eye, one of the keenest. Especially when it came to the Canadian-built Dailu.
But more important, a darn right nice person. An individual of intense loyalty to the country, friends, the club and family.
And, always funny. A lovely story teller; always told with that amazing twinkle in his eye, silly grin and barrel laugh. A fun-loving guy. Always up to a prank or a fun turn of events, “dontcha know?”
I recall vividly a trip he organized to the Gilles Villeneuve Museum. Mike and Joanne loading this rowdy group of MCOers on to a bus, Mike chuckling all the way to Berthierville, his meaty paw clutching MCO “deecals” (that’s how you say it, folks), don’t argue!
His plan was to place them in a variety of discreet spots in the museum, with the intent of being uncovered in later years by curious museum goers, and likely museum staff, too! In other words, “we were there”! I bet there are some still hidden.
Club President; motorsport historian; parade organizer; party animal; but the most important and meaningful role was as the originator and leader behind, and principal author, of “The Motorsport Club of Ottawa: The First 50 Years; 1949-1999.” His legacy, I believe.
I was immensely proud to have been an integral part of the writing of that history, wherein I really got to know the Michael everyone loved so dearly. I recall traveling all over the place to interview some of the original founders of the MCO, then known as The Ottawa Light Car Club.
We grew incredibly close as we listened to the Rentons in their hide-away British cottage outside of Kars, telling us of the founding days of then, Ottawa Light Car Club…or late night interviews with many early folks who were still around and could recall the events of the founding, growth and interesting times of the club.
Writing the first chapter of the book, chronicling the founding days of the OLCC,, remains a moving and memorable experience for me. I cherished our times together in fashioning the history of this storied Club, now The MCO.
It was difficult when Mr. Lowe moved off to jolly old, but I was so looking forward to him ferrying me around Goodwood — which he knew so well — and meeting our shared hero – Stirling Moss, who he adored! Alas, that now cannot happen, but it gives me a warm glow to think MSLowe is now pitted with Sir Stirling, Jimmy, Big Mike and ah, so many others.
Bet you and Stirling are “rodding” round Goodwood in the Dailu!
The newly-minted Ottawa Sports Car Club has announced a trophy to be awarded to an individual exemplifying the attributes, character and grit of Michael S Lowe — not yearly, but when rare individuals stand before you like Michael did that hot August day back in the 70s.
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A Tribute….. by rp woltman