Athol Daily News – Car enthusiasts show off their wheels at final Orange Drag Strip Reunion

Printed: 6/19/2022 4:43:38 PM

Modified: 6/19/2022 4:45:34 PM

ORANGE — Len Chaloux as soon as owned two 1966 Ford Fairlane GTs, just one for drag racing and one particular for avenue driving. He offered the two automobiles to fork out for a down payment on a household, but usually skipped the vehicles.

When Chaloux retired in 2019, he went on an 11-month-long mission to come across his old good friends. He found the car of his dreams in Florida in February 2020. But, buying it a month in advance of the pandemic established in, he was unable to go to motor vehicle reveals. Now he delivers his motor vehicle throughout New England each and every weekend.

Chaloux was amid the around 100 vehicle proprietors at this year’s Orange Drag Strip Reunion car display that took put Saturday at the Orange Municipal Airport. Vehicle fanatics from across the state and outside of flooded into the airport to display off their rides and communicate shop.

The Orange Municipal Airport drag races were being initially held on July 18, 1954, when the Massachusetts Automotive Council got permission to use the airport for “acceleration trials.” The next year, the New England Timing Association took around and ran the drag races till the close of racing in Orange in 1970.

John Durfee was much too younger to check out the primary races, but his sister was able to go to. He started the reunion of this function in 2011. The reunion has continued due to the fact the commence, touring to unique areas in past several years and getting a hiatus in 2020 and 2021 amid the international pandemic.

Bernie Brouillet remembers heading out to dinner across from the Orange Municipal Airport on Father’s Day Sunday in 1964, when he was 16 years old. As he sat with his family members, he grew antsy hearing revving engines throughout the avenue from the drag racers.

“They were hitting speeds at 133 miles for each hour,” Brouillet mentioned. His enthusiasm for cars and trucks has not waned due to the fact.

“It can make you truly feel superior when you get a piece of metallic and it comes to lifetime,” reported Dave Chagnon, an attendee who showed his car or truck at the party. Chagnon has owned his Chevrolet Chevette for approximately 50 yrs, acquiring rebuilt it quite a few occasions.

“Cars weren’t just to go you,” Chagnon said as he explained auto culture in the 1960s. “Cars were being your exciting.”

“I arrived simply because I always favored cars and trucks,” Stanley Miknait explained, sitting down in a tenting chair in front of his 1964 Ford Falcon. “It has constantly been a good interest. I used to street race as a kid.”

Miknait then confirmed his Falcon on display.

“I put my granddaughter in a car seat in this a single,” he reported.

Durfee, acquiring retired and moved to Florida, claimed this Orange Drag Strip Reunion will be the last he organizes.

“If folks want to get around the exhibit and deliver racing again, I would be extremely satisfied,” Durfee reported. “This is the past demonstrate for me.”

Speak to Bella Levavi at 413-930-4579 or [email protected].