‘Unsung hero’ built first Canadian car to compete in a Formula One race

Bill Sadler decided to leave his job as a guided-missile technician in 1956 and moved to England to work for John Tojeiro as a car designer.

Returning to Canada, Sadler built race cars, sport racers, formula cars and specials. He became hooked on sports car racing while honeymooning in England in 1953.

Sadler was the first to use the 283 and 327-cid, GM V-8 engines, mounting them behind the driver, coupled to a Halibrand rear end and De Dion axle.

An unsung Canadian hero, Sadler built the first Canadian car ever to compete in a Formula One race, that being the 1961 U.S. Grand Prix. He also built the first mid-engine sports racer known as a Can-Am car. Sadler can certainly take the credit for the birth of cars such as the mid-engine Ford GT40.

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