Ted Hector was born in Ottawa. His father was in the military and the family moved often. From the age of 12 to 15 he lived in France, where his love of motorcycles and airplanes began. He had both his driver's and pilot's license by age 16 and obtained his commercial pilot's licence at age 18.
Moving to Winnipeg in the late 70's, he hung out at Tiny Robbins motorcycle shop. For more than 30 years Hector was a commercial pilot and aircraft engineer. In the early '90s Hector flew through countless war zones while working with World Vision.
In the mid-'90s, he opened Thunder Road Motorcycles. In 2004 Hector's passion for vintage motorcycles took him, his wife Holly and longtime friend Gary McDonald to Bonneville for the first of eight trips. With Hector riding a vintage Harley-Davidson, the group set five land speed records for vintage motorcycles that still stand today. He currently rides a Norton with a 1948 Harley engine.
Hector recently sold Thunder Road Motorcycles and has moved to a small hobby farm in Alonso, Manitoba where he enjoys his other passion, horses.
Bob Forzley's interest in cars began in the late '50s when he acquired a 1934 Ford sedan. In 1964 he opened Forzley Chassis on Furby Street.
Over the years he expanded the business and moved to several different locations. He operated Forzley Chassis until 2000 and then sold the business and retired. During his time in business, Forzley continually upgraded the standards of cars built in Winnipeg and Manitoba. It's estimated that 80 per cent of all street rods, muscle cars, altered and dragsters have been worked on in Forzley's shop.
Forzley has owned a 1934 Ford sedan, 1949 Ford, 1934 Ford cabriolet and three dragsters. He currently has a 1932 Ford Phaeton and a 1934 Ford Roadster. Forzley has belonged to the Clutchers Car Club, the Cam Winders and the Double 4's, and is currently a member of the Gimli Car Club.
Forzley's most memorable moment in the hobby was his first time racing at Indianapolis in 1967 with his Double B Dragster. In 2002, he moved to Gimili where he is enjoying retirement, driving his 1932 Ford Phaeton and working on his 1934 Ford Roadster.
Wally Dyck's passion for cars dates back to the early '60s when he worked at Brooklyn Speedway doing odd jobs. His career as a mechanic began at Consolidated Motors, and he opened his first shop in 1961. Dyck operated up to three shops at any one time in East Kildonan, and in 1976 opened Sturgeon Creek Garage on Portage Avenue, which he is still operating today.
After a trip to Minneapolis in the early '60s, Dyck was hooked on drag racing. He had a 1963 Chevrolet that his wife Erica raced at Keystone/Bison. He rebuilt the engine and she proceeded to win her class.
Wally raced a 1965 Pontiac with brother-in-law Jake Klassen and won many races. After he purchased a front-engine Hemi dragster from Bill Balicky, his racing career took off. Over the years Dyck has won many national and international drag racing events.
In addition to his dragster and super gas Corvette, Dyck currently owns a 1968 Cougar, a 1970 440 Dodge Challenger and a 1968 Hemi GTX.
The big voice speaks!
Jason Ryan has been the announcer at Piston Ring's annual World of Wheels car show for 16 years and was also a clelebrity bodyguard in the '80s. We caught up with Ryan at this year's show and he shared some fond World of Wheels memories.
"I started helping with the show about 25 years ago with celebrity bodyguard Jeff McWhinney," Ryan said, "Jeff is without a doubt one of those unsung heroes who quietly works behind the scenes to help things run smoothly. He seems to know everyone in Winnipeg."
Way back in 1987 McWhinney asked Ryan to help him keep the celebrities safe and the pair worked together for the next nine shows. "I started doing the announcing in 1997 when Wings, the usual announcer became ill, I've been doing it ever since."
According to Ryan, there have been a few close calls but thankfulkly no bruises on the many celebrities the dynamic duo protected.
"One of my favourite memories was when Jeff pulled up in a limousine just in time to help me save celebrity guest Vanna White from an entire junior football team outside the old Rory Street Marble Club."
Ryan also has fond memories of the cars and stars that travel with the show each year.
"Lightning McQueen and Mater were among the most popular vehicles over the years, and The Red Power Ranger and a Ninja Turtle were among the most popular celebrities."
Ultimately though, for Ryan the show is like therapy after a long winter.
"The World of Wheels always seems to be the unofficial signal that spring is here, we see families, couples, individuals, who all seem to put away the stresses of life and spend some quality time together."