The Northeast Heil operation, located in South Burlington, Vermont was a shop that produced industrial materials such as tanks, lifts, and the like. Out of that shop came some of the nicest race cars ever made in Vermont, thanks to the efforts of Royce Tucker. Tucker,  a particularly fussy craftsman, had a cast of supporters that included brother, Lee, Jim LeClaire, Pat McGrath, Wayne Chandler, and many others. Beginning around the nearby tracks in Colchester [particularly Colchester - Bayview Speedway, commonly referred to simply as Malletts Bay], Tucker began to be more interested in the blossoming NASCAR limited sportsman class at Plattsburgh, New York's Airborne Park Speedway. To that end, Tucker and the boys produced a number of coupes for competition, primarily at Airborne.

Courtesy of Mike Watts
Royce Tucker, with the first 7VT, driven by Jackie Peterson and Dutch Reed.

      The sportsman coupes were largely 1936 0r 37 Chevies, with one being a Pontiac of similar vintage. The first coupe was either a bronze colored #99 or the 7VT. They used a peculiar bronze color in their first cars perhaps because they had the paint from the Heil Northeast trucks. I don't know much about the 99, but the 7VT performed at Airborne and it won some races at Otter Creek Speedway in Vergennes, Vermont, driven by Loren "Dutch" Reed of Glens Falls, NY. The crew eventually produced a second black and bronze 7VT which was purchased and driven by "Black Jack" DuBrul, of Shelburne, VT. They also built a Buck Holliday look-alike #C37, the Pontiac coupe, that was driven by Jim "Sapphire" LeClaire.
       Perhaps the most beautiful car ever built in the Vermont was their last, the 14VT, a yellow and black '36 Chevy coupe driven by Wayne Chandler and Ernie Reid. Reid won a feature, one night at Plattsburgh, but the team's joy was snuffed because Royce Tucker suffered a heart attack in the pits and later died. It is unclear if the 14VT was wrecked, but it ended up in the hands of young Saranac Lake mechanic and driver, Bernie Kentile. He supposedly restored a wrecked car and re-lettered it as 141 NY - an almost exact restoration. The car was then driven at Saranac Lake, before going off to an unknown fate. The DuBrul car, after raing Fonda and other NASCAR venues, was sold to Harry Provost, of Cadyville, NY and became the #100.

Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of Mike Watts
Royce Tucker [cab of truck] and the team arrive at Airborne with the 99, which might be their first project.


Courtesy of Mike Watts
The Tucker 7VT in a
sportsman lineup at
Airborne Speedway
around 1960.

|Courtesy of John ROck
The Tucker 7VT in a
pit stop. Probably it's
Jackie behind the wheel.


Courtesy of CJ Richards
The TuckerC37 in a
payoff lineup after
the races.

Courtesy of John Rock
Royce Tucker, with
driver Jackie Peterson
at Airborne.

Courtesy of Darrell Tucker
The Tucker 7VT in the
lead at the first program
of Otter Creek Speedway.

Courtesy of Darrell Tucker
Dutch Reed takes a
victory lap after winning
the inaugural Otter
Creek Speedway program.

Courtesy of Jackie Peterson
The Tucker 7VT in the
Heil Northeast garage.


Courtesy of Jackie Peterson
Jackie P and
Jim "Sapphire" LeClaire
at the Heil Northeast garage.

Courtesy of Jackie Peterson
The Tucker 7VT ready
to go outside the
Heil Northeast garage.

Courtesy of Jackie Peterson
Leaving for the
races at Airborne.

Courtesy of Jackie Peterson
Royce Tucker and Jackie,
by the 7VT, in the
Heil Northeast garage.

Courtesy of Jackie Peterson
An extremely rare photo
of Tucker's only Ford.
That is Jackie inside,
Corliss Peterson, Mrs. Tucker,
and Royce.

Ladabouche Photo
The Tucker 14VT at the
Otter Creek Speedway.

Courtesy of CJ Richards
The Tucker 14VT in a
sportsman lineup at
Otter Creek. Wayne Chandler
[2nd from left] was the
driver then.

Courtesy of Wes Moody
The former Tucker 14VT
 in the hands of Bernie
Kentile, at Saranac Lake.

Ladabouche Photo
The second 7VT,
owned and driven by
Jack DuBrul.


Courtesy of Darrell Tucker
Lee Tucker, with his grandson, at Bear Ridge Speedway with Darrell's car.

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