When I was a young lad growing up in St. Vital,
thanks to my older brother, Wayne, I was already well versed in Hot Rod magazines,
dragsters and custom cars.
A small paper route paid for my 3 in 1 AMT model car kits and the like.
I gained an early appreciation for the finer points of custom cars.
I became adept at recognising primer spots, Dodge Lancer wheel covers, dummy spots and such.
Imagine my surprise, while delivering the daily newspaper one day,
I happened to spy a gorgeous black '51 Merc turning off Fermor onto St. Mary's Road.
The car struck my fancy to such a degree I found myself waving at it.
To my great surprise and eternal gratitude, the driver waved back.

As it happens, the driver was one Bill Balicky and the car was actually a Monarch.
As years went on, our paths crossed a few times, most notably at Keystone / Bison Dragways.
Some years ago, I mentioned this story to Bill and he remembered it well.
As webmaster for the Keystone / Bison reunion website I promised Bill
I would put something together sometime for him.
Sadly, real life has a habit of getting in the way of things at times.
Late as it is, I do hope William is able to see this.
I can tell you, if I ever saw the car again, I would most assuredly wave.
Thanks for that moment, Bill.

Gregory Nix

1951 Monarch coupe
purchased partially customized for $2,000 CDN in 1957.
A true lead sled, that medium was used throughout the entire process.
Nosed and decked with all outside chrome mouldings removed
and hood scoops also moulded with lead.
Dummy spots with mirrors inserted
front and rear bumperette backs filled in
hide away antenna located to left rear fender.
Swing foot pedals installed with master cylinder relocated to firewall.
Upholstered steering wheel cover, brake and clutch covers
along with license plate covers & exhaust pipes used in shows.

In 1964 the '53 Merc flathead was replaced with a 390 cubic inch Ford powerplant.
Far from stock, the engine received a dual four barrel manifold sporting a pair
of Carter AFBs fed by a Stewart Warner electric fuel pump located near the fuel tank.
Doing their part were an Isky solid lifter camshaft and a Spalding dual coil ignition.
Passing along the power initially was a later model 3 speed OD Ford trans
soon after replaced with a 4 speed unit with a Drag Fast shifter.
A hydraulic clutch was used in concert with a steel Weber flywheel, clutch & pressure plate assy.
After reworking the inlets and outlets, the stock radiator was deemed serviceable.
The car's electrical system was converted to 12 volt utilizing a volt-a-drop for the stock radio.
Buddy Holly never had it so good

Excerpted from the Winnipeg Roadster Club's "Torque Talk" publication
Vol. 4 No. 2
February 1962

lady and the car, Jeannine Balicky strikes a pose

award winning interior in persimmon & off white rolled & pleated leatherette
the fine handiwork of Alphonse King when he wasn't working at Dickson Motors on Portage Ave.

Bill Balicky on the left and Roy Mikkelson with trophies won at Regina Road Knights show
Bill garnered Best in Show for his efforts

a handsome couple, Mr. and Mrs. Balicky
car's not too bad, either

All good things come to an end and in the Monarch's case
that end came after competing several times at Keystone Dragways.
A connecting rod finally let go and in doing so destroyed the block.
Unable to find a readily available 390" Ford, a stock 352" was pressed into service.
With the handwriting on the wall, a growing family and an expanding business
a more suitable vehicle was called for.
Enter a 1967 Ford Squire station wagon with a 345 hp 428 engine
and just about every option Ford offered that year.

from a tasty custom to a grocery getter
it happens to the best of us

It gets worse for the Monarch
Needing a paint job and in primer, it was sold to a fellow from Portage la Prairie for $1,000.
Within 3 months it was totally destroyed by a farm truck running a stop sign.
The engine and interior were transferred to other vehicles.
Unfortunately the frame and dash were buckled so badly
that any thought of saving the car was soon abandoned
A sad ending to a fine piece of Winnipeg hot rodding history.

Bill Balicky Part Two

Rods & Customs

John Dubois and Towne Pontiac

Back to the Beginning

do you have snapshots of William's Monarch?
we'd like to see them, especially good images of the interior
contact us