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

Raymond S. Hughes

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

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

ORANGE — Len Chaloux once owned two 1966 Ford Fairlane GTs, a single for drag racing and one for street driving. He bought both equally vehicles to pay for a down payment on a home, but often skipped the cars.

When Chaloux retired in 2019, he went on an 11-month-lengthy mission to uncover his old friends. He uncovered the motor vehicle of his dreams in Florida in February 2020. But, getting it a month before the pandemic established in, he was not able to go to auto exhibits. Now he delivers his auto throughout New England every weekend.

Chaloux was among the the around 100 automobile house owners at this year’s Orange Drag Strip Reunion auto display that took spot Saturday at the Orange Municipal Airport. Auto fans from across the point out and outside of flooded into the airport to show off their rides and chat shop.

The Orange Municipal Airport drag races have been initially held on July 18, 1954, when the Massachusetts Automotive Council acquired permission to use the airport for “acceleration trials.” The next 12 months, the New England Timing Association took over and ran the drag races until the conclusion of racing in Orange in 1970.

John Durfee was too young to enjoy the initial races, but his sister was equipped to show up at. He founded the reunion of this party in 2011. The reunion has continued since the commence, traveling to distinct areas in previous a long time and having a hiatus in 2020 and 2021 amid the world-wide pandemic.

Bernie Brouillet remembers likely out to evening meal throughout from the Orange Municipal Airport on Father’s Day Sunday in 1964, when he was 16 several years aged. As he sat with his household, he grew antsy hearing revving engines across the avenue from the drag racers.

“They ended up hitting speeds at 133 miles for every hour,” Brouillet claimed. His enthusiasm for vehicles has not waned because.

“It will make you come to feel great when you choose a piece of steel and it will come to existence,” stated Dave Chagnon, an attendee who showed his car at the party. Chagnon has owned his Chevrolet Chevette for nearly 50 a long time, getting rebuilt it numerous instances.

“Cars weren’t just to shift you,” Chagnon reported as he described vehicle society in the 1960s. “Cars have been your fun.”

“I arrived for the reason that I often liked automobiles,” Stanley Miknait stated, sitting in a tenting chair in entrance of his 1964 Ford Falcon. “It has always been a fantastic hobby. I employed to avenue race as a child.”

Miknait then showed his Falcon on exhibit.

“I place my granddaughter in a car or truck seat in this a single,” he said.

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

“If individuals want to take about the exhibit and provide racing back, I would be pretty joyful,” Durfee mentioned. “This is the final clearly show for me.”

Get in touch with Bella Levavi at 413-930-4579 or [email protected].

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