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Charlestown r . I dragway 1956-1964

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hotrodbob406, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. Kentuckian
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 717

    Kentuckian
    Member

    Tasca Ford 406 at Charlestown

    [​IMG]
     
  2. japar
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 263

    japar
    Member
    from Seekonk Ma

    Here's another shot of that same car, not very good to many people trying to get in on the shot. The 2 kids in front are Carl and Bob II. John Healey would be the 3rd person down
     

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  3. Angry Frenchman
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,747

    Angry Frenchman
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  4. oldebob
    Joined: Oct 21, 2008
    Posts: 782

    oldebob
    Member
    from Spokane WA

    Good East Coast thread.. Went down there in 1956 with our club (Headers of Haverhill). to run the Bernier Bros A comp coupe. I remember a few things about the place. It was cold and damp the night before. We had a good party. My sleeping bag caught fire. It was so foggy in the AM you couldn't see the runway until about 10:00. The Nomads dragster ran really strong. That was sure good times at the airfield drags(Orange, Sanford & Charleston) back then.
     
  5. Bangkok Dean
    Joined: Jan 31, 2008
    Posts: 210

    Bangkok Dean
    Member

    Great picture, I remember when that car was raced, Notice the rear quarter (Ralph P.) Ralph P is still at Tasca and has been there 51yrs. now and is the main tech man on the cobra jet.

    Ralph and A good friend of his Joe Slocume used to also drag race a 37 Chevy coupe with an Olds engine and a B&M hydro. Ralph also had had own funny car, but I am not sure if he still does.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  6. Bangkok Dean
    Joined: Jan 31, 2008
    Posts: 210

    Bangkok Dean
    Member

    I still remember when Tom was racing a blown big block Ford FED, it was a hot day and Tom was sitting in the dragster waiting for his turn to be pushed for a start up. He was as cool as a driver could be, stetting there eating an ice cream.

    There are so many cool stories that I remember from those days, but one more memorable event was when George Dorley from Lincoln raced a twin 413 dodge engine FED and with the layout of the air field the shut off area was so long you really did not need a chute to stop, so during the morning time trials George went threw the traps and shut down then after a minute you hear the motors stat up and you could not see him as it was a long way down the strip but you could hear him go down the end and drive over to the parallel air strip (only used for the scales and inspections) and drive back to the pits.

    Talking about George, there were many stories going around that he would at night start is FED and drive it on the back roads in Lincoln, now I never saw this but I always beveled it.

    One more story from the old days was the time that Bill drove the Thunderbolt down the street from the dealership on route 44 over the line to the local hamburger (car Hop) that we used to go to called the Pink Elephant.

    [​IMG]

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    Most of us in the club also raced there including Jim Vigeant and I with a couple of cars including this model A with a bored our 352 FE motor.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  7. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,176

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


    There was another 37 Chevy coupe Gas/Class from CT, with a early Olds motor and Lasalle trans, that ran there. He still has the coupe but he went streetrod with it now, and has a SBC. His name was listed in "Cool cars/Square Rollbars" as a class winner at Sanford? I think
     
  8. Bangkok Dean
    Joined: Jan 31, 2008
    Posts: 210

    Bangkok Dean
    Member

    I wish I could remember all the names and cars that raced back in the day. All I can say is we lived in a time when there was no drugs and all we were addicted to was oil and grease, well I still am...LOL
     
  9. Angry Frenchman
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,747

    Angry Frenchman
    Member

    hey Dean, A guy name Ray was at my house last week sharing photo and he had same club pics as about. real nice guy, do you know him?
     
  10. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,927

    Jimv
    Member

    The dragstrip wasn't next to the "atlantic ocean" it was next to Ninigret pond(saltwater pond). When i moved to RI in 1985 most of the airbase was still there.They just started making the base into a "Park".The drag strip was still there & the start line was very distinct as was the finish line. They have since chopped up the strip & made it all walking/bike paths.
    Almost all of the old base buildings are gone.Where the old hangers were is now basket ball courts & alot of the runways are now a bicycle race course( Still for racing!!).
    There is few people still in the hopkington/richmond area who raced there.They meet on tuesdays at a old farm & hang out to reminise.I'll see if i can get in touch with any of them to get some info.
    JimV
     
  11. hotrodbob406
    Joined: Sep 10, 2013
    Posts: 11

    hotrodbob406
    Member

    jimv. i was at Ninigret park last sunday walking all around that place from one end to the other. there are still pods in the ground near the basketball and tennis courts where they used to tie the planes down.I walked from Ninigret pond north to the property line near rt-1.Do you remember what runway they actually raced on? it's been told it was runway #22. that would be the one next to,what is known as Foster Cove along us rt-1.I think it was the longest of the three there.There is also remnants of steel tracks of the doors that was part of one of the air plane hangers there. Pretty cool stuff.I believe the end of the drag strip would have been where the recreation area is now, as they raced toward the north side.
     
  12. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,176

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    One thread a month ago, a hamber said which one. The satellite view of that place, shows the strips made a big "A" shape. From what he described, the left leg of the A is where they race, in a north-east heading.

    I'd need to look at the view again, but there is a named cove at the left side of that left runway, at it's southern end.

    Yes, my son and I saw the hanger door tracks a decade ago. I 4x4 camped throughout the 70s, out on the eastern end of East Beach, on the sand trail...just a stones throw from the start of the strip. One guy I camped with, helped a Aviation historical group retrieve a wing flap from a WW2 fighter plane, out in Ninigret pond. Those guys said back then, that there was also a track for a steam powered plane catapult, just like is on an aircraft carrier. They said pilots trained for carrier takeoffs there. I never found that when I was there 10 yrs ago.
     
  13. Bangkok Dean
    Joined: Jan 31, 2008
    Posts: 210

    Bangkok Dean
    Member

    Ray B,(glasses) second from the lower right in the club picture, he had a barber shop for years at bakers corner where our club house used to be. He was partner with the guy to his left with blond hair,J. Daniels.They raced a model A coupe with a straight 8 Buick motor.

    Ray was very knowledgeable in the sport as he read all the current hot rod and drag racing magazines in his barber shop cover to cover.

    If you see him again do show him the picture I posted above of the club members.

    Also maybe you could let Ray B know about this link, I would sure love to make contact with him.Thanks
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  14. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,927

    Jimv
    Member

    They use to have a Charlestown Drag reunion at Seekonk.It was a fund raiser for some guy who finally died so they don't have it anymore
    I trhink if you are in the booth for the bike races & put your back tothe tennis courts the strip was in front of you & ran to the pond, so it would have been the one almost running parrelle with rt1?
    Since i went there in the 80s the strip always had cross sections cut out of the run ways to keep "pouchers" from using them.
    JimV
     
  15. Angry Frenchman
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,747

    Angry Frenchman
    Member

    10 4 Dean, that's him. I'll past the word. Jared


     
  16. hotrodbob406
    Joined: Sep 10, 2013
    Posts: 11

    hotrodbob406
    Member

    for all you Charlestown Dragway racers out there,here is a picture of the remains of the old drag strip as it looks today.This is at Ninigrit Pond looking northeast. What a shame it is to be standing there and seeing what it now has become.
     

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  17. Bangkok Dean
    Joined: Jan 31, 2008
    Posts: 210

    Bangkok Dean
    Member

    Well at least it is a place for wild life and residence to enjoy the area. Not like many old drag strips that have become housing or industrial parks.

    We still have our memories of the good time spent there.
     
  18. japar
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 263

    japar
    Member
    from Seekonk Ma

    No but here's a shot of the Tom Dunn Ford-powered Top Gas
     

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  19. Angry Frenchman
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,747

    Angry Frenchman
    Member

    oh ya! that's his 3rd car. I believe a 430 Lincoln?




     
  20. japar
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 263

    japar
    Member
    from Seekonk Ma

    Maybe driven by Lee Tatro ? Here's a shot of Bill Lawton and John Healy collecting some hardware at Charlestown in the 63 406 Galaxie and in the next shot going over the race schedule with performance manager Dean Gregson
     

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  21. hotrodbob406
    Joined: Sep 10, 2013
    Posts: 11

    hotrodbob406
    Member

    Here is a nice aerial view of the Charlestown Naval Air Field runways.You can see the one next to Foster Cove near Rt-1 looking north.That is the old Charlestown Dragway from what i was told from this thread. Thanks to all the ones that remembered the place.
     

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  22. Angry Frenchman
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,747

    Angry Frenchman
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  23. japar
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 263

    japar
    Member
    from Seekonk Ma

    Foggy morning at Charlestown this Ford using early trick streamlining headlights
     

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  24. japar
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 263

    japar
    Member
    from Seekonk Ma

    The Charlestown reunion was put on by Bob George of Seekonk to benifit Ed Sarkisian. It was originally held at Warren RI gun club which it quickly outgrew and moved to Seekonk Speedway

    Ed Sarkisian, early National DRAGSTER contributor, passes away: Ed Sarkisian, a key East Coast contributor in National DRAGSTER's early history, died July 13 in Bristol, R.I. Sarkisian was New England's premier drag racing photojournalist of the 1950s and 1960s. Sarkisian worked in the early 1960s with ND West Coast Editor Dick Wells, who now serves on NHRA's board of directors.

    "Ed reported in on the Eastern tracks and also wrote a column for each issue, again referring to activities in the East, and was a fairly good photographer," recalled Wells. "He was a great guy, fun to talk with."

    Despite suffering from a severe case of multiple sclerosis for nearly 20 years, Sarkisian remained active in hot rodding. His last public appearance was in June for the Charlestown (R.I.) Dragway Reunion, an annual benefit staged in his honor by old racing friends. The event has evolved into one of the Northeast's most prestigious car shows. Sarkisian is survived by his wife Marge and daughter Pat.
     
  25. Car Fox
    Joined: Jul 28, 2013
    Posts: 28

    Car Fox
    Member

    I was a member of the Strokers and spent many Sundays at Charlestown. I can recall Ed being a well dressed man and handing out the hardware at the end of the day.
     
  26. japar
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 263

    japar
    Member
    from Seekonk Ma

    " Yes he was and yes he did" Here's Ed handing out the hardware to members of the "Strokers"
     

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  27. mrbelvedere
    Joined: Jan 23, 2014
    Posts: 5

    mrbelvedere
    Member

    I used to go to Charlestown from 1962- 1964. I saw Bill Lawton on the day he took over the driving duties for Tasca by beating their other driver in 1962. He was driving a white 406 Galaxie, beating the brown 406 Galaxie. I also saw the 1963 fastback Galaxie 427 and the 1963 Fairlane which was the precurser to the 1964 Thunderbolt. I have a pic of that, somewhere, racing Bud Fauble in the Honker Dodge. I was also there the day Al Oakes wheelied his race car "The Growler" and broke something in the front end, so he opened the dumps on his tow car, a 1939 Chevy coupe with a 409 and 4 speed, and won his class, they were both B/Gas, then towed the Anglia home. Pic is the Anglia with his coupe in back.
     

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  28. japar
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 263

    japar
    Member
    from Seekonk Ma

    Any pics I was to young, way befor my time
     

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  29. Roger Walling
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,139

    Roger Walling
    Member

    I still have that trophy. I'm the kid on the far right. :D

    My avatar is the dragster in the pic.
     
  30. Bangkok Dean
    Joined: Jan 31, 2008
    Posts: 210

    Bangkok Dean
    Member

    I remember that day when the Growler de-stroked 265 broke and he raced his 39 chevy tow car that he raced the previous year. Also the Early Tasca ford racing days. When working staging you could see Bill launch from the line at 6,000rpm in a big block 427 FE ford motor.

    The Growler lifted the front tires on every run.

    Those were great day.
     

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