The Manitoba Street Rod Association (M.S.R.A.) was formed to promote interest in the various types of street rod activities among members and to create understanding by the general public, the press and law enforcement agencies toward such activities.
MSRA was formed in early July of 1972 when an ad appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press saying “Manitoba Street Rod Association now forming” along with a phone number. The first few meetings were held at this fellow’s house but he dropped out shortly after that. There were also some other people that attended 1 or 2 meetings and then decided that this was not for them, however (counting couples as 1 person), the 6 that stayed and persevered were Doug & Phyllis Bodnar, Ralph & Lorraine Kaptain, Mark McLachlan, Darryl Brune, Richard Wood, and Sara & Marv Ginter.
After the fellow that placed the ad dropped out the meetings were moved to Ralph & Lorraine Kaptain’s basement and the first MSRA executive was elected. Doug Bodnar was elected president, Mark McLachlan was vice president and Marv Ginter was the secretary treasurer. One of the first things done was to draw up a constitution and at some point not too long after that incorporation papers were filed, and officially the Manitoba Street Rod Association Inc was created.
The first event held by MSRA was a rod run at Bird’s Hill Park in July of 1972. Richard Wood had actually come up with the idea of a rod run in Manitoba the previous year and had already done a lot of the initial planning before MSRA was formed. There were about 14 or 15 cars there including 1 from Saskatoon and 3 from Brandon.
The following summer the run was held at Riding Mountain National Park and that event drew about 20 or so cars including one from Mankato, Minnesota.
In 1974 the MSRA took on it's biggest challenge yet, hosting the Canadian Street Rod Nationals. Although the first MSRA executive was still in place, a number of committees were formed to look after the various activities associated with the Nationals, and although there were some problems, it all came together. There were more than 250 pre-‘48 street rods at the event with every province represented except the Maritimes and there were cars from the U.S. as far away as New York, Texas and California. To say the event was an overwhelming success would be an understatement.
Having the NSRA Nationals in St. Paul in July of 1974 was believed to have been a contributing factor to the success of the Canadian Nationals in Winnipeg as the Winnipeg event was scheduled (Can-Nats as it came to be called) for the weekend before. Part of the publicity for the event urged participants to “Join the World’s Longest Rod Tour – Winnipeg to St. Paul for the NSRA Nats” . The run was supported by MSRA members who were going to the NSRA nationals in St. Paul.
After the tremendous success of the 1974, the Can-Nats were held in Winnipeg again in 1977 and after which the MSRA hosted the Western Canadian Regionals in 1979. Some early members that attended all three still believe the best of the 3 was the 1974 Nationals.
In 1981 what some people referred to as our 10th Anniversary Rod Run was held. Some referred to it as the 10th Annual Rod Run. It was a point of contention at that time as it was not really the 10th anniversary, but it was the 10th annual run. For the record, the engraving on the dash plaques that were handed out at that event read “10th Annual Rod Run,” however, the dash plaques from the run in 1991 are engraved “20th Anniversary Rod Run.”
While the Manitoba Street Rod Association was formed by 6 founding members, there were a lot of people that joined shortly after that were instrumental in making The MSRA successful. A few of these people are active members to this day.
|1972||Doug Bodnar||1973||Doug Bodnar|
|1974||Bill Noakes||1975||Bill Noakes|
|1976||Doug Bodnar||1977||Wayne Gutoski|
|1978||Wayne Gutoski||1979||Norm Milne|
|1980||Craig Hamill||1981||Craig Hamill|
|1982||Griff Gill||1983||Tom Milne|
|1984||Avril Kousof||1985||Tom Milne|
|1986||Kelvin Flett||1987||Al Gerbrandt|
|1988||Dale Hamill||1989||Doug Bedford|
|1990||Chuck Wilson||1991||Pat Unrau|
|1992||Russ Erskine||1993||Wilf Kornelson|
|1994||Jim Gagnon||1995||Ron Sweeney|
|1996||Perry Perchel||1997||Perry Perchel|
|1998||Terry Kereluk||1999||Terry Kereluk|
|2000||Terry Kereluk||2001||Ralph Thomas|
|2002||Ralph Thomas||2003||Dick Brasher|
|2004||Gary Misko||2005||Gary Misko|
|2006||George Knight||2007||George Knight|
|2008||Tom Milne||2009||Tom Milne|
|2010||Chris Jelfs||2011||Chris Jelfs|
|2012||Chris Jelfs||2013||Chris Jelfs|
|2014||Don Swaffer||2015||Don Swaffer|
|2016||Don Swaffer||2017||Don Swaffer|
|2018||Don McLean||2019||Don McLean|
|2020||Don McLean||2021||Don McLean|
|2022||Don McLean||2023||Bill Toews|