Wilson, the first Canadian to win a world championship in any form of motorsport, won his first speedboat race when he was 15 in the 1926 Muskoka Lakes Regatta. In 1934, he won his first world championship event. Driving the Muskoka-built Little Miss Canada III with his future wife, Lorna Reid, beside him as riding mechanic, he won the 225 c.i. Class race at the Canadian National Exhibition. He successfully defended his title in 1935.
In 1939, the International Motor Yachting Union organized a world championship race in Washington, D.C., for the 7 Litre Class. Wilson defeated the U.S. entry, Notre Dame, to win the President’s Cup and become World Champion. After the war, the American Power Boat Association declared the Gold Cup Class for unlimited hydroplanes as its top class. Wilson installed a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine in Miss Canada III.
In 1946, he set a class speed record of 119.009 mph at Picton, Ontario, and won the Silver Cup at Detroit. In 1947, he set a North American speed record of 138.865 mph with his powerful Miss Canada IV. He retired from boat racing in 1950 and went rally driving—he finished second the first two years of the Canadian Winter Rally, and second-in-class in the Shell 4000 cross-Canada rally. He was president of the CASC from 1957-59, and served on Mosport’s founding Board of Directors. In 2005, Wilson was inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame. He died on December 11, 1995.