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Barney Oldfield’s Spirit of Tomorrow

I saw the Spirit of Tomorrow sitting in a driveway today.

It was designed and built by Horace Basil (“Barney”) Oldfield between 1938 and 1942. (The Spirit of Tomorrow website notes that Johnny Norton and Barney’s brother Brian were co-builders.) I saw the car today at the home of Barney Oldfield’s relatives – and also learned about the house he built: a rotating house, with a central shaft that carries the utilities (in …and out). Apparently, the house still turns, provided the grass underneath is mowed.



Sitting in a driveway in Saanich just outside of Victoria, there it was, the Spirit of Tomorrow, fresh as anything.

Without a doubt the most amazing (and amazingly weird looking) automobile I’ve ever seen. Click through on the photo (or here) for more photos of the car.

For a more detailed overview, visit The Spirit of Tomorrow website.


PS/Edit: I’ve changed the photos link to go a set I created on Flickr – it seems some people were getting a log-in prompt when they hit Picasa. Hope this helps.


  1. That’s so cool!

    Comment by Eric Porcher — September 23, 2010 #

  2. This car should be in a museum. Did Barney’s relatives talk about what they plan to do with it?

    Comment by Ross — September 23, 2010 #

  3. Ross

    We are trying to expose it to the public more than the last 20 years. We took it to Reno last summer for “Hot August Nights” Our entire family made an event out of it. 5,500 cars….and we received the most attention.

    It has been at the Royal Museum and the Saanich Historical Society in the past year.

    So we are trying to get it out more. We are involving our daughters with the car. They will eventually carry the torch.

    Comment by Tim Lindsay — September 23, 2010 #

  4. Tim, thanks for commenting – and thanks again for showing us that amazing car!
    Yes, I was going to add that it makes sense for the family to have stewardship of the car. You can decide, quickly, where and when it should be displayed. If it were in a museum (here in Victoria especially) chances are that it would languish in storage and the public would actually see less of it than now.
    And PS: I get the sense that no one would take as good care of it as you do – it’s a lucky baby! 😉

    Comment by Yule — September 23, 2010 #

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