MY STORY and I’m stick’n to it.

1988 Corvette Pace Car

The short version: (reading time 3 seconds)

Hello my name is Mike, I’ve played around with and customized many vehicles, motorcycles, vans, cars and Corvettes for over 45 years and I still am.

The long version: (reading time quite a bit longer)

Hello my name is Michael Maguire (Mike) from Newmarket Ontario Canada. I’m not telling how old I am, just that I was around a few years before the first Corvettes were built. I’ve been customizing vehicles, cars, trucks, boats, vans, buses and Corvettes now for over 45 years and I’ve owned two custom and performance shops over the years.

I guess I first got interested in cars when my father would take me along with him every fall to see the new models at the local car dealerships. He owned Earl’s Radio & TV a repair shop, so when I was a teenager I would install car radios and 8 tracks (remember those) so being handy in that way I was always being asked by friends if I could help them with projects on their cars. The first customizing I did for a friend was on a Nash Metropolitan when I took a jigsaw to the rear wheel wells so that we could put on oversize wheels and tires and lengthen the spring shackles, this made for a wicked looking little ride.

After customizing a motorcycle and a few used cars like my ’62 Corvair, I did some custom work on my first new car a ’72 Vega GT Hatchback. In the meantime I had graduated from art college and at the age of 21 I became the Art Director of an 8 hundred million dollar corporation, the title just meant over worked and under paid. Several years later and a career change, I bought and built a 1974 Ford Econoline van which was a short box 102 inch wheel base which had never been customized before to the extent I had planned on.   This van won a number of international awards and after being offered jobs designing and build vans in Florida and Arizona I opened my own custom shop. Now with a family a daughter Meagan and a son Jeffrey this allowed me to be closer to home so that I was able to spend more time with them as they were growing up. After building a few more award winning vans I was then asked if I would do some restoration work on classic cars of which there was a ’55 T-Bird, ’79 Corvette, 56 Chevy convertible, 69 GTO.

Then a 1959 Corvette that I fell in love with, it was Tuxedo Black with Inca Silver inserts and a Roman Red interior. I bought the ’59 Corvette from the customer I was working on it for, as an investment and after 3 1/2 years of ground-up restoration it was winning awards. The building I was in was being sold so I moved the business to a new location and opened up the second shop with the new name Downtown Custom & Performance. It was now time to buy a house for my family so the Corvette was sold. After many years of restoring Corvettes for others and training people how to detail every type of vehicle you could imagine from motorcycles to planes, now years later, it was time for me to have another toy so I bought my 1988 Corvette coupe and that’s where this story begins.

Newmarket’s pacesetter

Check out the article that was written in the Newmarkat Era the link is below.–newmarket-s-pacesetter

View article as PDF if the link is broken.


History of the Pace Car

CCO Member Car Spotlight


Built as a Pace Car by owner Michael Maguire and D&R Electronics custom installing 12 strobe lights for the P.A.C.E.R. Program – Police And Community Educating Racers a program to reduce street racing.  This was the first domestic vehicle involved in the program, that was not a Police vehicle and after the graphics, it was now ready to go.

The Pace Car was first introduced to the media at Canada’s Wonderland along with Police Forces from the OPP, Metro Toronto, York Region, Peel and Durham Regions. The Pace Car was placed on display with the Police vehicles at several track events at Mosport and Toronto Motor Speedway and in 2003 at the Colossus Theater for the premiere of the movie 2 Fast 2 Furious, again with the Police vehicles to help educate people about the dangers of street racing.   In 2003 the Pace Car lead the NOPI Tour to Atlanta Motor Speedway for Performance Auto & Sound Magazine and was displayed on the track infield.    In 2007 we lead the Northern Leg of the NOPI Tour again from Toronto to Atlanta Motor Speedway for Performance Auto & Sound Magazine and our sponsors BF Goodrich Tires and LUCAS Oil, leading over 70 vehicles from the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario and the northern USA. On that tour we picked up several more sponsors SSBC Stainless Steel Brake Corporation, SPI Racing, Dynamat and OPTIMA Batteries to go along with our original sponsors D&R Electronics Highland Chevrolet Cadillac and Upper Canada Signs.

As of 2009 the Pace Car has been used at numerous charity events and has been on display at grand openings, in front of stages at concerts, the CNE Canadian National Exhibition, the Rogers Centre (SkyDome) for the Canadian International Autoshow in 2007 and 2008 also Performance World in 2009. It has appeared in 73 parades of which it has lead 62 of them with many VIP’s as passengers in the Pace Car at events such as festivals, Veterans Parades, Canada Day and Santa Claus Parades, with many more to come in the future.

Most recently it has been used to promote a Breast Cancer Fundraiser that Diane and I had done in 2008 and 2009 for the Cancer Program at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket raising $10,650.00.  The Pace Car also known as the LUCAS Oil Pace Car and can be seen on their website NEWS link Many great photos can be seen on several other website links such as this one:

At the end of the 2009 season the Pace Car has over 231,000 kms on it.

Welcome 2aTrack everyone!

I would like to welcome you to the home of the 1988 Special Events Corvette Pace Car. This site was setup to keep everyone informed and up to date on the happenings of this one of a kind Pace Car. I would like to thank all of my current sponsor and everyone that has helped over the years, lets make 2010 the most memorable year.

1988 Corvette Lucas Oil Pace Car

Leading Parade #60 - Special Events Corvette Pace Car leads 2009 Aurora Canada Day Parade!

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