TOM TILLER    
The Kentucky Colonel



McIver Photo, Courtesy of Cho Lee
The Kentucky Colonel, from Rush, Kentucky and Winooski, Vermont

    From the limited knowledge and contact I have had with Tom, I would conclude he came up into our region while a member of the armed forces - maybe the Air Force. While in this area, Tom saw racing at Airborne and at Malletts Bay. He raced briefly at Malletts Bay and even at Otter Creek Speedway; but, he became well - known while driving in the Flying Tiger division at Catamount Stadium.
    Using yellow cars numbered 77, Tom became labeled as "The Kentucky Colonel" by inventive announcer Ken Squier. He became a regular feature winner at Catamount and Thunder Road by the time I saw him in 1968. With occasionally hiatuses from the sport, Tom participated from the 1960's - on into the late '80's and maybe the early '90's.
    One thing I remember him for is innovation. He tried some very different cars, such as Pontiac Tempest and a Plymouth Roadrunner. His last car, in the new Tigers, was a Ford T Bird. Like Beaver Dragon, Tiller is an avid outdoorsman. His son, Tom, went on to the Presidency of Polaris, Inc. - a source of pride for Tom.


Courtesy of Chris Companion
Tom's familiar early Tiger sits
near his Gas Station in Winooski.

Courtesy of the Gilbert Family
Tom at Catamount
around 1967.

Courtesy of Jim Watson
Tom, with a familiar
Catamount pose around
1970.
 
     

Courtesy of Rich Palmer
Tom hastily built this
4 door after a mid -
season wreck. Only to
wreck it, too.

 

Courtesy of Andy Boright
Tom's 1957 Chevy
chases Bob Dragon
around 1969.

Courtesy of Andy Boright
Tom's 1962 Dodge.
He eventually built
two of them.

Courtesy of Andy Boright
A rare shot of
Tom and Bob Dragon
as team mates.

Bill Ladabouche Photo
One of several cars
Tiller ran in the early
 1970's.

Bill Ladabouche Photo
Tiller's short-lived
but popular
 Roadrunner.
 

Courtesy of Chris Companion
A heat win with
the Roadrunner.

Bill Ladabouche Photo
Tiller's nifty little
Dodge Dart.
 

Courtesy of Andy Boright
One of several cars
Tiller ran in the early
 1970's.

Courtesy of Chris Companion
Going for a spin in
the Dart.

Bill Ladabouche Collec.
Running against Don
Bevins.
 

Photo Source Unknown
A 1969 trophy after
a big win.

Courtesy of Jim Watson
Tiller poses with the Dart

Ladabouche Collection
The Dart heads up
to the track at Catamount.

Courtesy of Justin St.Louis
Tiller, towards the
end of his career in
an ACT late model.


ACT Archives   Courtesy of Cho Lee
Archie Blackadar hams it up with Tom after a late spring snowstorm
delayed Catamount's opening day.


 

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