Setback for Shoebox Affection-ado

It’s a saying that’s often used — but it’s not one we all necessary like; sometimes in life you must take a step backwards in order to move forward…..


But that reality is a bit applicable right now for Edmonton’s Toni Moretto who experienced both ups and downs in very recent times driving his ’55 Chevy Pro Mod car.

Moretto, who is the driving force, owner and director of one of the most successful and versatile speed shops in all of Alberta, Moretto Motorsportz, had been on the very fast track this season racing his ever improving and off the cool meter ’55 Chevy.

After clocking a couple of career bests this year – a 4.00 @ 199 MPH during a 1/8th mile race in Michigan followed by an equally impressive 6.13 secs (in the 1/4) during qualifying for the recent IHRA Rocky Mountain Nationals — things were pretty much ticking along perfectly for his team.

But then things took a curve literally when during a 2nd round match-up at IHRA Edmonton racing alongside Calgary’s Glen Kerusnky, his pristine machine suffered some heavy damage, a consequence of a fluke. While coasting in his car after a shutoff run of 6.613 secs and well past the finish line, Toni’s car spun out when the transmission caused a drive train lock up.  He did have a slight glancing blow with Glen’s car before making major contact himself with the Castrol Raceway top end guard wall. Kerunsky was able to make cosmetic repairs and continue to the final round — but Toni’s car – well not so much!  But most importantly — the strict Pro Mod class safety standards did their job and Toni emerged unscathed.

Tony\i Moretto

Toni Moretto

“I know the car hit the rev limiter in 2nd gear – because the car didn’t shift,” Toni recalled. “I manually shifted to 3rd and got back on the throttle but realized soon I wasn’t going to run down Glen – so I put the car in neutral and was coasting. Then about 300 yards past the finish line the transmission locked up – I did a 360 degree turn and slide down the left wall. Then I hit the barricade going backwards.”

“We really didn’t know what happened until we looked at the graphs — but it sure was a helpless feeling,” he recalled.

Toni is now in consultation with the car’s original chassis builder Jerry Bickel with regards to repairs needed and the time line for all that. “The car will need a new body and back half,” he assured.

While the setback is significant in anybody’s books — it is for sure also just a temporary one. His plans to continue his quest in the unique car which he had massaged and developed over 3 seasons to a very promising point before the accident.

“This year we made a lot of upgrades to the car including a 904 CID engine which we are doing ourselves,” Toni added. “I’ve got a lot of great people behind me including all the guys at my shop as well as Billy Albert, Scott Blake and Robert Ease. Jerry Bickel built me an excellent and safe race car — there is no compromise anywhere. I plan to be back as soon as I can — but I will need to do a little sales job with my wife before that,” he winked.


Off the cool meter scale!

Moretto’s Pro Mod drag racing operation is the flagship for his very diverse Moretto Motorsportz facility.

About 5 years ago, Toni purchased the assets of what was formally Campbell Automotive,  and is continuing on accentuating that with a broadband of services that includes chassis and engine dynos, welding and fabrication bays and pretty much any installation you can think of. His company specializes in all brands with particular focus on fast street and muscle cars, hot rods and drag racing.

Visit Moretto Motorsportz website : HERE


Photos and posting by: Bruce Biegler