JACKIE "SPEED"  PETERSON


 


                        


        Anyone who knows - or ever knew - Jackie Peterson has to agree on two things: he's a hell of a nice guy and he simply wasn't afraid enough to keep himself out of hospitals as a young race car driver and heavy equipment operator. Remarkable, at around 84 years old, Jackie hops on a bike and pedals over a mile to have coffee every day, and he makes almost every race at Airborne Speedway. He has lived his last several years, having almost no mementos of his long racing career until, just recently, he found two albums stuffed full of photos. Some of these are the only shots of tracks like Green Mountain Speedway in Sheldon, VT and the rare car races at Montreal's Richelieu Park horse track.
      Jackie's career spanned the late 1940's and went into the 1960's. He was never limited by extremely serious hearing  challenges, but his but racing career having begun at a later age than many of his peers did serve to limit the number of years he drove. Here's to you, Jackie - thanks for the memories. These are not every shot of him I have; they are HIS photos.

THE SPRINT CAR YEARS


Williamson Photo
Jackie takes his #16 through
its paces - possibly at
Green Mt. Speedway in
Sheldon, VT- around 1948.

Williamson Photo
Jackie runs 3rd, behind
Art Prairie and another
car. He said he won this race
at Sheldon, Vt.

Photographer Unknown
Jackie spent much time
in sprint pit areas just
like this one he photographed.

Photographer Unknown
This is likely Jackie, at
speed on the Richelieu
Park horse track in Montreal.

Photographer Unknown
One of Jackie's competitors
at Elwin Swinton's Champlain
Speedway in Ticonderoga. That's
Jackie's 16 at right.
 

Peterson Collection
Jackie drove one of P. A.
Soper's DO Hal cars for
a while when he drove
log trucks for the Sopers.

 

Peterson Photograph
The 16 sprint car is
sitting at Dad's Diamond
T Truck dealership on
Williston Road.

Peterson Photograph
Jackie poses at Dad's
Diamond
T Truck dealership
on Williston Road.

Peterson Collection
The 16 sprint car is
sitting in a lineup at
Richelieu Park. Notice
the odds board for the
horse betting.

Peterson Photograph
Salesmen and mechanics at
 Dad's Diamond
T Truck dealership on
Williston Road.

Peterson Collection
This is likely Jackie, with
a slightly different sprinter.
This looks like Sheldon.

 

Peterson Collection
Jackie, at Richelieu Park
with crewman.
 

Peterson Collection
Working on the sprinter
at Richelieu Park.
 

Peterson Photo
Jackie was always interested
in other people's cars.

Peterson Collection
Jackie looks like one of
those old Indy drivers in
this shot.

Peterson Collection
The 16 sprint car at an
unknown venue. It looks
a little like Smitty's
Colchester Raceway, but
I doubt they had sprinters
there at any time.

Peterson Collection
The 16 sprint car is
worked on at
Richelieu Park. Notice
the odds board for the
horse betting.

Peterson Collection
The 16 sprint car is
sitting in a lineup at
Richelieu Park.

Peterson Collection
Looking at Jackie's 16
through the fence at an
unknown track.

Peterson Collection
The cockpit of
someone's sprint car -
not Jackie's.

THE STOCK CAR YEARS


Peterson Collection
One of Jackie's first stock
cars is seen in the background
of this sprint car shot at
the dealership.

Peterson Collection
This blurry, damaged shot
shows what might be the 1st
of his trademark V1 cars. He had
sold his #19 rights to Rex
Shattuck, along with the car.

Peterson Collection
This is an early version
of the V1 - maybe at
Colchester - Bayview
Speedway.

Peterson Collection
This is an early version
of the V1 - probably at the
same track. These could
be his crewmen. Might be
that 24 car painted.

Peterson Collection
Enjoying a post - race
beer with Frank Hart [ctr]
and Ernie Haskins. The 24
is a car " ... that some college kid
had and I bought from a junkyard ".
 

Peterson Collection
Enjoying a moment with
another couple and Corliss.

 


Peterson Collection
The #24 in action.

Peterson Collection
The 24, over the bank,
at one of the Colchester
tracks. Jackie seems to
have really liked this car.

Peterson Collection
Jackie is at far left,
catching up with this
white car at Colchester - Bayview Speedway.


Peterson Collection
Two scenes of one of
the Colchester tracks,
I think.
 

Peterson Collection
Some of the entourage
pushing the 24 car at
the same track as its
other photos.
 

Peterson Collection
Enjoying a post - race
beer with a crewman -
maybe in Canada. I
don't recognize the
1937 Ford behind them.

Peterson Collection
A good shot of an early
'50's track. I assume
Jackie is one of those cars
in action.

Peterson Collection
A dressed - up Jackie, holding
the Vt. State Championship
trophy he won at Northfield.
One of the others in car
owner Eddie Reynolds.

Peterson Collection
Jackie, leading a race
at Colchester - Bayview,
in Ernie Barcomb's 71.

Peterson Collection
At the Heil Northeast garage
in So. Burlington. This is
Royce Tucker's 1st 7VT, of
which Jackie was the 1st driver.
 

Peterson Collection
At the Heil Northeast garage
in So. Burlington. This is
Royce Tucker's 1st 7VT, of
which Jackie was the 1st driver.

Peterson Collection
At the Heil Northeast garage
in So. Burlington. This is
Jackie with Jim LeClaire.

Peterson Collection
At the Heil Northeast garage
in So. Burlington. This is
Royce Tucker's 1st 7VT, of
which Jackie was the 1st driver.

Peterson Collection
Leaving the Heil Northeast garage
in So. Burlington. This might have
been the first race. Dutch Reed
later drove the car.

Peterson Collection
An early V1 car, winning
in Canada at LaPrairie.
 

Peterson Collection
The Dutcher Construction
D8 team car, in winter.
 

Peterson Collection
The Dutcher Construction
D8 team car, at Airborne.
 

 

 


Peterson Collection
A feature win at Saranac Lake Speedway, in the Shirley Wallace 1 NY with starter and former sprint car rival Art Prairie.


More to Come
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