Photos and Event Report courtesy of Angie Bullock
The re scheduled Summer Knights Car Show is set for this Sunday, May 20th, from 9-3. Bring out your NEAR cars and have a great time!
Automobile racing in the Northeast lost a giant on Thursday, May 10, when Maynard Troyer died after a long illness. He was 79.
Troyer rose to prominence in the 1960s, the perfect era for his creative mind to exploit the loose rulebooks of the day. Endlessly tinkering with innovative cars that looked nothing like those of his competition, he soon became a fan favorite. By the dawn of the ’70s, Troyer had established himself as one of Modified racing’s premier drivers, securing track championships at Lancaster Speedway (where he would ultimately capture four titles), Spencer Speedway (where he won more feature races than any other driver), and Fulton Speedway. He was also crowned champion of the All Star League in 1970, at the absolute zenith of that region-wide, multi-track series.
As the decade progressed, Maynard and his poppy red #6 cars – owned and sponsored by Ford dealer Dave Nagle – began to regularly venture beyond his home state. Truth be told, few drivers stomped up and down the East Coast with the authority Troyer displayed. He won from Cayuga Speedway in Canada’s Ontario province to Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway, and at numerous points between. Among the tracks he conquered were high-profile venues like the Richmond International Speedway in Virginia, New Jersey’s Trenton Fairgrounds Speedway (the 1976 Race of Champions), Pennsylvania’s Pocono International Raceway (the ’77 edition of the ROC), the Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut (three straight Spring Sizzlers, 1977-79), and the Oswego Speedway in his native New York (both the Budweiser 200 and Port City 150).
If his legacy as a driver was enormous, his impact as a car builder was incalculable. In the first half of the ’70s, rival team owners lined up to purchase the equipment Maynard had raced the previous season. But after his 1977 split with Nagle, Troyer attacked car building in earnest, hanging out his shingle under the name Troyer Engineering.
The company’s initial focus was the asphalt Modified market he knew best, and Maynard was his own best marketing tool. In 1978, Troyer and his house car – a gleaming white Pinto with a highly offset chassis – had a blistering campaign, winning a NEARA series crown and scoring 36 victories in 54 starts. It was one of the most productive seasons any Northeast driver has ever put together. In no time at all, Troyer found dozens of customers in New York, New England, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and his products won major races and track championships in the hands of pavement superstars like Ron Bouchard, Greg Sacks, Bugs Stevens, George Kent, and, of course, Maynard himself.
In 1981, Troyer jumped into the dirt-track world. Rather than dipping the proverbial toe in the water, he cleared the pool with the cannonball splash of the Mud Buss, his take on a dirt Modified. Instantly a winner with development driver Alan Johnson, Troyer’s dirt machines were soon in the hands of legends like Will Cagle, Merv Treichler, and Jack Johnson, and their success only increased demand for the cars. Checkered flags waved over those early Mud Busses at tracks in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and in Canada.
His success as a manufacturer played a large role in Troyer’s decision to call time on his driving career. In the autumn of 1982, on the cusp of his 44th birthday, Maynard pulled off his helmet and gloves for the final time, closing an epic chapter in the sport.
In the years that followed, he became the region’s preeminent builder of race cars, hands down. Troyer watched his creations win multiple championships on the NASCAR Modified Tour, in the Super DIRT Series, and on every other Modified circuit of consequence. It was a hectic period for Maynard, and as the ’80s closed he began the process of stepping back to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Longtime employee Billy Colton – who had been a winning Troyer chassis customer – became managing partner of the Rochester business in 1989, and later the sole owner of what is now Troyer Race Cars. Meanwhile, Maynard kicked back and fiddled with hot rods, boats, and the other toys one would expect a mechanical wizard like him to appreciate.
Though widely considered a New Yorker – particularly by his legion of fans in the Empire State – Troyer was actually born in Ohio, and spent his early adulthood in Florida. But once he came north and turned his attention to going fast, he belonged to racing more than to any given point on the map. Maynard Troyer’s real home was Victory Lane.
Courtesy of Troyer Race Cars, Bones Bourcier
Photo by Howie Hodge
Story and pictures courtesy of Bill Henry
Mother Nature took the start of the New England Antique Racer’s season by storm on April 29, 2018.
The annual Summer Knights Show was stopped in it’s tracks by rain at the Berlin Lions Fair grounds in Berlin CT. The early morning rain deterred many folks from making the yearly trek to show number one. Not surprisingly, the hardy members of NEAR were there waiting for the start of the season.
In attendance waiting when John Jarush, of the Summer Knights, made the decision to pull the plug were:
The 02 Vega of Butch Burbank, the 110 Coupe of Curt Snow, the 00 Corvair of Mike Rucci, and last year’s Show Champion Angie Bullock, accompanied by Bill Kemp, and Angie’s black beauty 088 coupe.
The weather continued to be poor after the 9:10 a.m. decision to call it a day. The Summer Knights went to work with the facility owners, the Lions Club, immediately. Mr. Jarush established a new date, with the same sign in time and venue on Sunday May 20, 2018.
John hopes to see everyone who did not make the trek this time on Sunday May 20, 2018, from 9 to 3. This is a huge fundraiser for the Knights, and NEAR’s long term association with this event has helped raise awareness for their causes.
Attendance points were awarded to those who made this trip, and will be awarded to those who make the show on the new date. Lets hope that the rest of the season will be safe and dry for the rest of the schedule in 2018!
Thanks again to those who attended, and we look forward to showing more cars on the new date.
Harold C. Hanaford
Harold C. “”Hard Luck”” Hanaford, 89, died at his home with his family by his side on March 17, 2018. Born in Plymouth on March 2, 1929, he was the son of George and Eva A. (Brooks) Murphy. Harold was raised in Lower Intervale by Frank and Maude Hanaford. He attended the one-room school in Lower Intervale and graduated from Plymouth High School.
Harold served his country in the U.S. Army in Korea. After serving his country, Harold returned home and went to work as a mechanic and later on owned his own excavation business. He was member of the American Legion Post No. 26 in Bristol and the Northeastern Speedway in Vermont.
Harold was an avid stock car racer. He raced during the winter at the Plymouth Fairgrounds; he also raced his flathead coup at short-tracks all over New Hampshire and Vermont. He won the Thunder Road Track Championship in 1964; he raced in Daytona in 1966; and was inducted into the New England Antique Racers hall of fame in 2009.
Harold is survived by his wife Florence (McLoud) Hanaford of Bridgewater; his daughter Lynn Comeau; sons Brian Hanaford, and Robert Hanaford; his grandchildren Samuel Harold Comeau, Sabrena Florence McPhail, and Chelsie Burland; great-grandchildren David Comeau, Stacy Comeau, Nicholas Comeau, and Jamie Comeau; his sisters Pearl O’Brien of Meredith, Edna Bowley of North Haverhill; and his brother Calvin Batchalder of Alton. He was predeceased by his sister Jule Gurall, and his brother George Murphy.
Services will be at the convenience of the family. Donations may be made to the , or the Newfound Area Nursing Association, 214 Lake Street, Bristol, NH 03222. Dupuis Funeral Home in Ashland is assisting the family. For more information, go to dupuisfuneralhome.com
Blue Knight #73 1982 Chevy Cavalier
Driven by: Donnie Bunnell
Over $28,000 invested asking $16,500
Contact Dennis at 401-413-5107 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
|Our deepest condolences to the Seller/Blanchette family on the passing of Rachel Seller, wife of the late Bob Seller, mother of Rod Seller and Rhonda Blanchette, and Grandmother to Megan Blanchette – all well respected long-time past officers and members of NEAR.
Rachel M. (Goetchius) Seller
SOUTHINGTON – Rachel M. (Goetchius) Seller, 88, of Meriden and formerly of Southington, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at HOCC of New Britain. She had been the loving wife of the late Robert J. Seller for 62 years.
Born in Quincy, Mass., on Jan. 12, 1930 to the late Kenneth and Pauline (Plummer) Goetchius, she had been a longtime Southington resident. Rachel graduated from North Quincy High School and went on to enroll as one of the first women at MIT, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering. Rachel moved to Southington in 1954 after marrying her childhood sweetheart, Bob. She established her own residential home design business so she could work at home while raising her children. Rachel loved auto racing, singing in the chorus and playing bingo. She also played the piano and the organ. Rachel is survived by her daughter, Rhonda Blanchette and her husband, Gerry, of Plantsville; her son, Rodney J. Seller and his wife, Kristin, of New Britain; and three grandchildren, Amanda Seller, of Hebron, Robert Blanchette and his longtime girlfriend, Jenn, of Panama City Beach, Fla., and Megan Blanchette, of Plantsville; and several nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Rachel’s memory may be made to the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, 103 Vision Way, Bloomfield, CT 06002 or at https://www.fidelco.org/.
Rachel’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the entire staff at the Village at Kensington Place for the exceptional care and compassion they showed her for the last 6 years.
Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, March 20, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Plantsville Funeral Home, 975 S. Main St., Plantsville. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 21, at the Plantsville Funeral Home, with an hour of visitation prior to the service from 9 to 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will follow in South End Cemetery, Southington. For online condolences and directions, please visit www.plantsvillefuneralhome.com.
Plantsville Funeral Home
FREE LUNCH FOR PAID MEMBERS – ALL OTHERS $10.00 CHARGE
BRING ALONG ANY ITEMS YOU WISH TO CONTRIBUTE/DONATE TO RAFFLE