Hairy Canary

The Hairy Canary Rally Team was formed in 1973 by a Ford Motor Company engineer and two of his friends. A 1969 Ford Mustang was beefed up to be their first rally car.

They took turns driving and navigating, gaining more experience as family and friends joined the crew — even kids had jobs at each service area; e.g. washing the windshield and headlights. The car began rusting out so Hairy Canary II was built out of a 1979 Ford Mustang, which was totaled in a Minnesota rally in 1994.

Hairy Canary III (pictured above) was built next, and displayed at his funeral two weeks ago in Livonia, Michigan. Many team members wore their Hairy Canary t-shirts and sweatshirts to the visitation. The car is still driven today by son and grandsons.

Thought for the Day: Auto racing began five minutes after the second car was built.
Henry Ford

One thought on “Hairy Canary

  1. Larry, that was very nicely said. I am so glad that so many people came out to share parts of Don’s life and legacy. I am lucky to have been able to call him my father in law for 28 years. I also had the privilege of being part of the Hairy Canary rally team. It was a lot of fun trailing around after car, fixing things on the fly, not me, but Russell and the other members, to watch them troubleshoot things on the fly was so interesting and crazy to watch. Thank you again for coming into town and being their with the family. We love you all so much. Sincerely, Julie Rathgeber


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