A Racing Enthusiast with the Urge to Innovate

McIver Portrait Photo [left]  Ladabouche Photo [Right]

   One of the most involved and loyal participants in the history of stock car racing in Northern Vermont was Burlington, Vermont entrepreneur Jack DuBrul. At the time of his first involvements, DuBrul ran a speed shop called "Speed and Race Engineering" in the Burlington area. He also was the proprietor of a nightclub called "The Cave".

    True to the name, most of DuBrul's equipment was black. In the earlier days, he had a team of two cars - an early 1930's flat-topped coupe, #11, that ran Thunder Road, and a Royce Tucker - built NASCAR-legal sportsman coupe, #7. Traditionally, the DuBrul cars would have a motto on the side "Built in The Cave by cave girls; but, in reality, he used some of the best help he could find in the area in the early 1960's to construct his cars, which were transported on a shiny black flatbed 1950 Chevrolet truck lettered up with the name of the speed shop, the numbers of the two race cars, and the saying "This truck hauls the best damn race cars in Vermont" [which may or may not have actually been the case]. Most money invested ? probably.

      Jack definitely had class, enough to attract the attentions of a youngster from the Fonda, New York area named Bob Novak. Bob may be the only dyed-in-the-wool Black Jack DuBrul fan in Central New York, but he is still devoted, at age 57. When Bob drove a support class car at Fonda, some years ago, he numbered and painted the car to be just like Jack DuBrul's used to look in the 1960's. In 2005, Bob and I are exchanging every picture of DuBrul we can come with - and he is still very excited about his favorite driver.


Courtesy of Ed Fabian
Jack [tall guy in middle] stands on the track at Otter Creek Speedway, near Vergennes, for the driver introductions during a
special event for the sportsman coupes at a track that had [under NASCAR sanction a few years before] featured these
cars. Also seen are Ken Shoemaker, Wayne Chandler, three drivers I cannot ID, and starter Danny Rumpf.


    I first saw Jack with the #7 at Vergennes, Vermont's Otter Creek Speedway, around 1962. I was taken with the nifty 1936 Chevrolet Sportsman coupe he had, because it looked just like the cars from legendary Fonda Speedway. I actually became a devoted DuBrul fan - perhaps the only jacket-wearing rooter at Fonda in those days. Jack ran down at Fonda on certain occasions for the next few years, with modest success.

DuBrul Coupe 2.jpg (28280 bytes)

DuBrul's Tucker-built sportsman arrives for another race at Otter Creek on the Speed and Race Engineering flatbed.

DuBrul_atSpeed_Vergennes.jpg (121454 bytes)

Photo Courtesy of Darrell Tucker

A forerunner to DuBrul's car broadslides out of turn four into the frontstretch. None else is even close right now.

DuBrul_Heatwin_Vergennes.jpg (147453 bytes)

Photo Courtesy of Darrell Tucker

The 7VT [here driven by Dutch Reed] enjoys a parade lap after a heat win. They sure ran the suspension soft in those things  ! Jackie Peterson, another driver of that car, complained about the chassis flexing.


DuBrul_Color_Coupe_1963.jpg (92724 bytes)

A year later, the DuBrul hauler leaves Otter Creek after a Sunday afternoon program. That's probably the Blackjack at the wheel of the hauler.

DuBrul_Fonda_Consi_win_1962.jpg (240181 bytes)

Courtesy of Bob Novak

Black Jack DuBrul wins a consi at Fonda, 1962

dubrul_probably_fonda_pitsnearby.jpg (140252 bytes)

Courtesy of Bob Novak

Very likely, this is Otter Creek Speedway in 1962.

DuBrul_Fonda_1963_Moredpi.jpg (139687 bytes)

Courtesy of Bob Novak

Black Jack DuBrul at Fonda, 1963

DuBrul_Consi_Win_Victoria_1963.jpg (269624 bytes)

Courtesy of Bob Novak

Jack DuBrul wins a consi at Victoria, in 1963

   DuBrul went on to have a number of other cars. He may have been the first to introduce tuned headers to a sportsman car in Vermont. His #8 black coupe had them. It ended up in the hands of Granville, New Yorker Nelson Moore, an ageless veteran racer. I don't know who bought the car for him. It could be seen at Devil's Bowl, in those days. DuBrul built a 1964 Chevelle to race at Catamount, and later he had the snazziest AMC Javelin-bodied modified you'd ever want to see; but, he was losing interest by then and had become active in hot air balloons.

CLICK HERE to go to a page on the 1959 Pontiac.

My Photo from My Collection

Bob Pratt poses at Otter Creek Speedway with the Pontiac DuBrul had driven at Daytona. The car was originally an Elmo Langley car that found its way up North through Jean-Paul Cabana. Gordy Owen drove it at Vergennes.

dubrul_pontiac_on_track.jpg (340705 bytes)

Photo from ACT Archives courtesy of Cho Lee

DuBrul poses with the Pontiac at Thunder Road, on the front stretch.


Mackey Photo from Mike Watts

The Dubrul Pontiac, here numbered 1, in lineup for Daytona Permatex race.

DuBrul_in_pontiac.jpg (89009 bytes)

Photo from ACT Archives courtesy of Cho Lee

DuBrul in the Pontiac in the pits at Thunder Road.

16GN_AF_promo_MartyLittle.jpg (54252 bytes)

Courtesy of Marty Little

The Pontiac when it was a Grand National car - sponsored by the Air Force and driven by future Winston Cup pace car driver Elmo Langley, from Maryland. 


Mackey Photo from Mike Watts

The Dubrul Pontiac, in the pits during practice, apparently. Anyone know the crewmen ?



Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of John Rock
DuBrul, at Airborne, around 1968 with the car he would soon sell to Dooger Jones, of Poultney, VT.


    Jack was a very important figure in the creation of Catamount Stadium. He was a familiar figure there, on and off, for years with his trademark crook cigar and sunglasses. He seemed to, at once, long to be in the midst of the latest racing and - at the same time - not have the time necessary to pursue the racing properly. So, he would show up with a state-of-the-art car and, more often than not, not re-appear for long periods of time until he had come up with another new car. Many guys were happy to buy these cars - as they were always well made.

Courtesy of Bill Richards

Models of Jack's cars done by Bill Richards.


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Photo from Cho Lee Collection

DuBrul's Thunder Road - legal coupe. His nightclub in Burlington is prominently advertised.

Bobby.DuBrul.Beaver,jpg.JPG (121360 bytes)

Photo from Burlington Free Press

DuBrul poses with Bob Dragon [center] and Beaver Dragon [right] when all three were running pavement at Airborne.

DuBRul_8_Mod.jpg (63975 bytes)

DuBrul was one of he first racers in Vermont to use tuned headers with this car - later driven by Nelson Moore at Devil's Bowl. [Poor quality is from scanning off newspaper]

Russ_Shaw_8VT_1967_Malta.jpg (104417 bytes)

Photo Courtesy of John Grady

This shot of Russ Shaw shows the car more clearly. It is not clear if DuBrul still owned the car by now.


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The DuBrul sportsman enters the gates at Fonda for the Mohawk Valley 300 in 1963. Jack would finish several laps down - but he WOULD finish.

DuBrul_1_Mod.JPG (325090 bytes)  DuBrul_1966_Malta.jpg (118554 bytes)

Photo [right] from Bob Novak [left] from Cho Lee Collection

This DuBrul modified could be the 8VT shown above.  Similar, except no tuned headers.


dubrul_shattuck_car.jpg (311461 bytes)

Photo from Cho Lee Collection

At one point at T_Road, DuBrul acquired the well-used but proven Rex Shattuck coupe for a period of time.


Courtesy of Bob Novak
DuBrul super fan Bob Novak models his near-perfect version of the DuBrul racing jacket we all saw in the 1960's.

    Jack's biggest effect on Vermont racing was that he was in on the planning and building of Milton, Vermont's legendary Catamount Stadium, built to attract NASCAR and to be a sister track to Thunder Road. Jack is best known to most Vermonters as the owner of Automaster Motors in South Burlington, Vermont, and he did occasional sponsorships with area drivers for some years. He is a private man, and he does not talk about racing much any more. He retired from racing, having run at Malletts Bay, Fonda, Thunder Road, possibly Northfield, Catamount, Airborne, and Victoria - to at least name the tracks I know about.

Dubrul_LMS_Chevelle_1.jpg (76785 bytes)

Ladabouche Photo

The Automaster Chevelle arrives at Catamount in 1972. DuBrul ran it only a few times before selling it off. His business interests were making it hard to put in the time necessary to race successfully.

Photo from Chris Companion

DuBrul sits out a race in the infield in '72 with the Chevelle.

DuBrul_Javelin_Mod.JPG (79491 bytes)

Ladabouche Photo

As darkness settles [and ruins the shot] DuBrul makes a last-minute arrival for a Catamount modifieds special program around the mid 1970's. This Javelin was considered very "leading edge" at the time. As became his fashion, DuBrul used it little and sold it.

dubrul_javelin_large.jpg (567642 bytes)

Courtesy of Rich Palmer- Burlington Free Press Photo

An article describes how DuBrul acquired the Javelin.

Courtesy of Rich Palmer- Burlington Free Press Photo

An article [below] describes how DuBrul acquired the Javelin.

dubrul_68_chevelle_color.jpg (487754 bytes)

From ACT Office Archives

This 1968 Chevelle is one I was not even aware of. 

DuBrul_and_Doyle.jpg (206139 bytes)

Courtesy of Bob Novak

Jack DuBrul poses with Bardahl Representative Bob Doyle, a leading race photographer.

Courtesy of CJ Richards

A pose from Catamount around 1967, in the modified days.

Courtesy of CJ Richards

Looks a little like Elvis here. [Thank you very much !]

Bob Mackey Photo        Courtesy of Mike Watts

This photo shows the 1 VT with the GMC truck hood.

Bob Mackey Photo        Courtesy of CJ Richards

The discovery of this photo has made me question some of my previous beliefs about Jack's cars. This is Royce Tucker, one of Jack's main car builders, at right; and Vermont racing legend Jackie Peterson, who apparently drove this car at Airborne for Royce. I always assumed that Jack was the only driver; but Mackey's notes on the back say that several drivers tried it before ,apparently, Jack took it over. It also contains the note that this is the car that Ernie Ried was seriously injured driving. Royce's nephew Darrell had always said the injury car was the other Tucker car - the 14 VT.

Mackey Photo from
Mike Watts

The snubnose coupe, recently purchased from Vic Wolfe, in action at Airborne Park Speedway.

[I will try to go back to Jack and get better quality on some, if I can]


Courtesy of Jack DuBrul
Outside of Speed and Race
Engineering speed shop in
Burlington. That's Jack in
the background.

Courtesy of Jack DuBrul
The '64 Chevelle, at speed
on Thunder Road.

Courtesy of Jack DuBrul
The ex - Vic Wolfe car
with the truck hood.

Courtesy of Jack DuBrul
The Javelin, after it
was changed from a
GT car to a modified.

Courtesy of Jack DuBrul
A T Road win in 1963.

Courtesy of Jack DuBrul
The same car 11
from the stands at
Thunder Road.

Courtesy of Jack DuBrul
The1964 Daytona
team. The car is now


Courtesy of Jack DuBrul
The go - kart hauler.

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