CLEM The Page of Clement Despara


CLEM
The Page of Clement Desperate Despault
A Pretty Unique Character in a Sport Where Characters Are Vanishing

     According to Clem , himeself, he ended up in the racing game when convinced to drive at the new Thunder Road track in Barre, by track creator Ken Sqauier, himself. It not clear why Squier chose this young man from Morrisville because Clem Despault was a real baseball star in his region. Clem says he did watch an uncle race at one of the tracks in Colchester in the 1950's; so, he was already aware of the burgeoning new sport that had spawned dozens of short - lived tracks in or near his home town.
      Clem says that Squier provided him with a late model Studebaker with which to fashion a B Class racing entry. The rest is history. Despault went on to be a star, particulary at Thunder Road [and he did pretty well at Catamount Stadium, as well]. Clem first appears as a feature winner at T Road in 1964. He would win a track championship at Thunder Road in the late 1960's, going on to race late model sportsman cars into the '70's. Clem never did have the money to run the expanding late model sportsman circuit, but he did return to the "New Flying Tigers" support division into the 1980's. He ran in that and in the ACT late models unitl 2013. Then, at age 74, he won a race at Thunder Road and retired.


Courtesy of Cho Lee
The Studebaker

THE ORIGINAL FLYING TIGERS

 
Courtesy of Flanagan
An extremely rare shot of
Clem in the Studebaker at
Catamount racing Jimmy Saltus.
 

Courtesy of Cho Lee
An early version of his trademark Chevy Tigers. 

Courtesy of Rich Palmer
His best - remembered
car ever.
 
 
Steve McKnight Photo
Clem pauses after a
race at Catamount to
pose for a young
Steve McKnight.
 
  
Ladabouche Photo
The Chevy, in 1970, on opening day at Catamount.
He was using his same car now as a limited sportsman.
  
Courtesy of Cho Lee
Clem gets by as Bobby
Giroux hits the wall.


Ladabouche Collection
Clem works the wheel hard getting up on Jimmy Gates [38] and fighting off Moe Dubois.

\
Ladabouche Collection

THE INFAMOUS CATAMOUNT TIGER CRASH 


Courtesy of Cho Lee
An early visit to Victory
Lane at Catamount.

 
Courtesy of Rich Palmer
About to be clobbered by
an out - of - control Tiller.

Ladabouche Collection
Clem takes the air and
begins his scary trip
off turn 3 at Catamount.
 

From The Outside Groove
The car, midway through
the disaster.
 
 
Courtesy of Chris Companion
He checks out the car, probably marveling at how close he got to making it out to the interstate.

Ladabouche Collection
A week after the crash,
at speed at Catamount.

 

THE NASCAR LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN CARS 


Ladabouche Collection
Clem chose Mopars, for some reason, when the circuit went to the late
model sportsman car.

 
Courtesy of Cho Lee
A closeup - same car.
 
Courtesy of Cho Lee
Exiting the same car.

Ladabouche Photo
Going back to his
traditional number.
 
Courtesy of Cho Lee
An early T Road late
model lineup with
Clem's car repainted.

Courtesy of Andy Boright
Different body type. 

Ladabouche Collection
Clem spent a lot of time
reworking bodies in this
time.
  

Courtesy of Chris Companion
Clem in Victory Lane
with Jack Paradee.
 

Ladabouche Collection
Clem had a brief stint
with Bob Pratt's snazzy,
but heavy Chevelle.
 
 
Lalancette Photo
The Pratt car at the
annual Zayre car show.
 
Ladabouche Photo
The Pratt car at the
Catamount Spring practice.
 
Courtesy of Andy Boright  

THE SECOND SPORTSMAN CAR ERA  

 
Ladabouche Collection
Clem, in another Tiger
from the 80's.
 
 
Ladabouche Photo
Chuck Beede loses a wheel in
front of Clem at T Road.

Courtesy of Andy Boright  
One of the late models
he drove for a while in
the ACT era.
 
Courtesy of Andy Boright
Clem and Topo with their
"New Tigers" at Catamount
around 1986.
 

 

CLEM, HERE'S THE MODEL, AS PROMISED  
Sorry about the dirt, it's been in storage and too much cleaning breaks stuff on old models.


Ladabouche Photo

My model of Clem's
car from 1970.

Ladabouche Photo
My model of Clem's
car from 1970.
 
 
Ladabouche Photo
My model of Clem's
car from 1970.

Ladabouche Photo
My model of Clem's
car from 1970.

Ladabouche Photo
My model of Clem's
car from 1970.

Ladabouche Photo

My model of Clem's
car from 1970.

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