Sonny Rabideau

    Moran "Sonny" Rabideau, a Vermonter, actually raced more in New Hampshire than Vermont. He drove a car for Brattleboro car owner Frank "Stroker"  Smith. The car was lower and more powerful than most of the rest of the field. He was awarded the first Vermont State Championship that C.J. Richards ever held, around 1964.

    Rabideau and the Smith 311 were such a potent combination that, after Richards started allowing overhead valve V-8's, it was still the 311 that usually came out on top. When Smith got out of racing, Rabideau drove for a few owners, without much success. he was an accomplished machinist at Angell's Automotive.

  We lost Sonny in August of 2011.

To read Terry Marks' wonderful writeup on Sonny - CLICK HERE

             Ken Paulsen Photo -

The restored Stroker Smith car. Terry Marks did a great job on it.

Rabideau_Car_TerryMarks.JPG (844177 bytes)
Bill Ladabouche Photo - 

Terry Marks walks over to his restored 311 at the Swanzey show.

Rabideau_with_restoredcar.JPG (834885 bytes)
Bill Ladabouche Photo - 

Sonny Rabideau poses with is car at the Swanzey show.

    Bill Ladabouche Photo -

Winning the 1964 Vermont State Championship

Sonny Rabideau, of Brattleboro, VT. actually raced more in New Hampshire than Vermont. He drove a car for Claremont, NH car owner Frank "Stroker" Smith.

Rutland Herald Photo -

Sonny Rabideau [right] starts to move on [from left - Little Joe D'Avignon, Elmer Erickson, and Howard Stevens at the Rutland Fairgrounds around 1963.

Terry Marks Photo -

A car he drove at Cheshire & West Brattleboro

Terry Marks Photo -

Sonny Rabideau seen lining up at the old West Brattleboro Speedway a few places ahead of Buddy Bardwell.


LadabouchePhoto -

Rabideau with one of the
other Northeast HOF
legends, Don Rounds.


Cavalcade of Racing Photo -

Rabideau, with the recently - purchased car that had been driven by Howard Stevens at Fairmont.

Photo Courtesy of Ed Fabian -

Rabideau gets the checkers from Fairmont's first starter, Danny Rumpf



Photo Courtesy of Ed Fabian -

I think this is Rabideau
at work at Angell's
Automotive, in Brattleboro

Courtesy of R.A. Silvia Collection
and Three Wide Site

Rabideau, with the familiar
Stroker Smith car.


NEAR Bio from Hall of Fame Program

Click on this to see the NEAR bio on Sonny




Tim Allain Collection
via Ron Wetzler

A newer overhead V-8
car, probably belonging
to Sonny, himself.

Courtesy of NEAR Site

Courtesy of John Snarski


Courtesy of Ed Fabian
With Leo Vallaincouort's
#333 overhead V-8 car,
leading Vince Q.
at Devil's Bowl.

Courtesy of P. Zampieri
With owner Frank
Stroker Smith at Fairmont.

Courtesy of CJ Richards
At the 1962 Rutland fair
program, winning the
hazardous feature in front
of nearly 10,000 people.

Jerry King Collection
In the Vallaincourt 333
coupe, with Jerry King
in the 99, finishing up
a heat race. Check out
 the Daredevil division
coming out next.

Courtesy of Ed Fabian
With Leo Vallaincourt's
#333 Falcon.


Courtesy of John Grady
Sonny did not like
pavement, but he did
race this coupe for
Vallaincourt at Malta
and Devil's Bowl.

Courtesy of Ed Fabian
Danny Rumpf flags off
another Rabideau / Smith
at Fairmont Spdwy.

Courtesy of Norm Vadnais
With starter Danny Rumpf
after the win. Sometimes,
it seemed like he'd never
lose another race there.

Terry Marks Photo
Rabideau with one of
the many Leo Vallaincourt
cars he drove


Courtesy of Racers Bored Site
Towing into some track
with Stroker Smith's cutdown

Courtesy of Norm Vadnais




From Dan Ody's 8MM DVDs
Getting a heat or consi
win in 1967 - still using
Smith's flathead versus
overhead V-8 sportsmans.

From Dan Ody's 8MM DVDs
Former Fairmont Spdwy
flathead rival and another
Fairmont state champ,
Rudy Charbonneau is
in the background, left.

From Dan Ody's 8MM DVDs
Running Smith's flathead versus
the overhead V-8 sportsman cars
of Gauthier [128] and
Vince Quenneville, Sr.


From Dan Ody's 8MM DVDs
Running with Quenneville
in the ex-Dexter Dorr #3
down the front stretch
at Devil's Bowl, 1967.

Courtesy of Joe Crowley
Very early Rabideau racing. Here, ironically, he is leading his future ride, the Stroker Smith 311.
He has his brother's #7, which he said was easily the worst - handling car he ever drove. This is
at the Brattleboro Speedway, in West Brattleboro, VT.

Source Unknown
More of the brother's lovely equipment, apparently.

Courtesy of Walt Ryan
A recently - discovered shot of Sonny [7] chasing the X of Joe Ryan at Cheshire fairgrounds.


Ken Robertson Photo
Work goes on on an early version of Frank Smith's 311 - near the track at
the Cheshire fairgrounds' Safford Park Speedway. This is post 1959.

Ken Robertson Photo
The last [and probably best ] of the Rabideau 7 is loaded on a flat bed
as a young admirer looks on. This is likely the car that, I am told, showed
up at Malletts Bay Raceway [or Colchester - Bayview Speedway] in 1959.

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