Saskatoon’s Ken Achs was one of the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductees honoured this past weekend to recognize their achievements in the sport.
Achs’ accomplishments include being one of the first racers to surpass 200 miles per hour (322 kilometres per hour) in Canada. When asked about it, he said he considers himself a very fortunate fan who lived at a time when reaching that speed was an attainable dream on the weekend.
His involvement in the sport began as a member of the Draggins Rod and Custom Car Club and that interest led to him opening Saskatoon’s first speed shop, Mid-West Automotive, in 1964.
In the late 1960s, Achs bought a Top Fuel dragster and a Funny Car sponsored by the Black Sheep Boutique of Alberta. At the time, he was the only Canadian driver holding licences in both categories and racing them in the Prairies.
Drag racers compete, side by side, over a straight course from a standing start to speeds of over 332 miles per hour (534 km/h). The race for Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars follows a course, most commonly a quarter mile (402 metres) in length.
Due to the demands of his business career, Achs sold his cars in 1973 but never lost interest in sport. He was able to track down his Top Fuel dragster in 2000 and restore it to its original condition before donating it to the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame.
These days, he divides his time between Saskatchewan and Palm Springs, Calif. He is a real estate developer and the president and CEO of Mid-West Group of Companies in Saskatoon.
Twenty-three drag racing legends were honoured in Montreal during the second annual gala with a custom blue blazer and ring. Regina’s Abe Loewen and Geoff Goodwin, of Prince Albert, were also inducted.