As I researched Long Beach Wild, I came across so many references about Long Beach being one of nature’s best speedways. And it sure was used as one. Some references even said that Sir Malcolm Campbell was eyeing Long Beach as a potential natural speedway for his land speed record exploits.
As soon as it became possible for cars or motorcycles to make it to Long Beach, it was hard for drivers to resist speeding and racing along its shores. George Gudbranson, who had a garage in Ucluelet for years, estimates there are about 200 cars buried in Long Beach’s sand. They were mired in the soft sand or stalled out in the ocean and were caught by a rising tide.
There’s lots more to say on this topic, but for now I’ll leave you with this CBC film, Young in a Small Town. It focusses on Port Alberni youth, but Long Beach plays a large part in the film (especially at 3:54-5:12 and 7:12 onward). Long Beach a pristine wilderness? This might make you think again. For your viewing pleasure: racing on Long Beach, along with the interesting sport of pallet surfing (sledding?) and some drunken teen fight action.
Thanks to Ralph Tieleman for alerting me to this film.