By Bill Ladabouche

A Historic Day in JACKsonville

        The Jacksonville 100, a short Grand National race held late in the 1963 NASCAR season, was hugely historic in so many ways. Firstly ,and most importantly, we who have learned about Wendell Scott, the pioneering African – American stock car driver from Danville, Virginia, know that he won this race but was not given credit for it until later- after all of the fans and media had left the grounds.

        Although the movie “Greased Lightning”, a loosely – accurate story of Scott's struggles as a stock car driver in a predominantly white, red neck sport in the South does address this miscarriage of justice, they have it at a late model sportsman race. They have him winning a big superspeedway race, later, crossing the finish line with one wheel coming off the car. Most of that was bull crap.

HOT ROD Magazine Photo
Courtesy of Andy Towler
Very likely, the same car he used to win at Jacksonville. Below – Wendell worked as hard as any
low level crew member on any team; and he had to do it before and after driving the hot, ill-handling car for hundreds of laps.

Courtesy of Lew Boyd


        The 100 miler on an apparently rough dirt track at the Jacksonville, Florida. Several top runners fell out of the race with technical issues consistent with a very rough surface: Jimmy Pardue, broken axle; Lee Roy Yarbrough, broken axle; Larry Frank – broken wheel; David Pearson, hole in the oil pan; and the Wild Indian, Roy Tyner – another broken axle. The other car out of the race with track – related damage was my friend and former Catamount driver, Jack Anderson, who suffered a a hole in the radiator.

        Anderson's participation in this race was likely due to an effort by NASCAR to scrape together a field for one of their smaller races; but his being there for the Scott victory and subsequent Victory Lane screw job puts him on the ground floor of one of racing's more important historical events. Jack belongs to the Living Legends of Auto Racing and regularly rubbed shoulders with the likes of Ray Fox and David Pearson. Jack tried a little of everything for NASCAR: Grand Nationals, Grand Touring, Baby Grands, late model sportsman, and likely more.

Because it is hard to read, I am putting a thumbnail below with a link to the bigger - sized image of this paper.

Courtesy of Jack Anderson
The Southern Motor Sports Journal bravely told the truth [sort of] about the Scott win in Jacksonville. They had to be careful if they ever wanted Big Bill France to let them into another race. Below - Jack Anderson [rt] sits at a JRA banquet with fellow Catamount late model driver Dave Dion, another member of LLOAR.

Courtesy of Jack Anderson

        To get back to the race, the results and all of the controversy about how the scoring was handled came from The Southern Motors Sports Journal, which I give a lot of credit for bravery seeing as almost everyone was content to sweep the whole Scott thing under any rug they could find. According to the Journal, Scott had actually finished about two laps ahead of the next driver, having actually completed more than the required laps of the race. The article says that one of the scorers, in failing to hold up his card for the chief scorers to see one time, was responsible for this mess. An inadvertent error ? I bet.

        In the movie, a sheepish official walks out to the gate, where the Scotts are sitting, fuming, and hands Wendell his trophy. Scott always maintained he received a second rate [and somewhat damaged] trophy in the mail the following week. Talk about buzz kill ! The article is nice enough; although Scott gets a sort of second billing to Junior Johnson and Ray Fox moving over to Chrysler and doing some testing. Wendell got a big photo next to an equally big one of Junior.

Courtesy of ThunderPlex.Com
Two shots of the pampered conditions under which Wendell Scott went about Grand National racing.  Below -
Wendell takes a break to get away from the dozens of highly - paid, bustling technicians working around his race shop in Danville, VA. [not].

Source Unknown

        The Jacksonville race was, as I mentioned, very small when compared to something like the Southern 500 or Daytona. There were 22 cars there, with the major teams needing to show up for the points: Buck Baker, Richard Petty, Jimmy Pardue, Billy Wade, David Pearson, Ned Jarrett, and points leader Joe Weatherly. Some mid level [at that time] teams like Jack Smith, Lee Roy Yarbrough, Tiny Lund, and Larry Thomas were in the field. The rest were guys like Anderson, Catfish Crider, Possum Jones, Roy Tyner, G.C. Spencer, Jimmy Lee Capps, and more. Rookie of the year candidate Bully Wade was there, as well. Within less than two years, Wade, Weatherly, and Pardue would all be dead from racing accidents.

        Wendell Scott would never again win a NASCAR Grand National race. Always running on the leanest of budgets and always seemingly looking old and worn out, he would field Fords mostly after his '62 Chevy became too old to campaign. He had a 1965 Ford for as long he as he use it, and then a few other cars. At one big Charlotte race, Charlotte furniture mogul Richard Howard set up Scott with what was supposed to be a top flight ride for a big race, The brown Howard Furniture Monte Carlo didn't produce much for results, although I have no idea what the circumstances were.

Courtesy of Jacksonville.Com
Wendell, looking pensive in the garage area with the Howard Furniture Monte Carlo in Charlotte. Below – He did apparently have a
 better Ford for a while after the faithful 1965. For example this is one he ran in Grand National East.

GrandNationalEast.Com Image

        My fondest memory of Wendell is from back when the Grand Nationals did a long [and unpopular among the drivers] Northern Tour in the summer; and Wendell was in attendance at the race at Fonda Speedway. The tired looking pale blue #34 Ford appeared on the track for practice and Scott promptly inserted it into the wooden barriers on the front stretch. The totally asymmetrical former horse track [while fast for the local sportsman coupes] was an abomination to get used to – particularly with a heavy, ungainly Grand National car.

        In the grandstands at Fonda, the pits were then in the infield and you could see a lot of the activity going on in there. As my friend Bob Allard said, “Ya could see black guys running back and forth, all over the places, clutching borrowed parts”. Well, Wendell didn't have much of a large crew, so those guys must have been putting in some serious lap times. Sure enough, when time trials were almost over, out limped a multi - color #34 and Scott managed an acceptable time.

Courtesy of Andy Towler
The car at Fonda probably didn't look this good. Below – It likely looked more like this. It had been a long tour by then.


        Wendell managed to keep up and finished the race in something better than last place. After the races were done, and knowing he had to go to work early the next day, Bob insisted we go across to the infield to see the stars. Getting over to Wendell's pit area, he told Scott [who was already busy working] that we were big fans of his , from Vermont. “Oh yeah”, the tired driver said softly, “I never heard of that – what state is Vermont in ?”

        Seeing as Wendell Scott got into the Grand Nationals at a later age than the average driver and that he had to do far more labor than the average driver, he wore out after a while, just like his tired old equipment. He has received much more positive attention since he stopped, but much of it came after his passing. In looking at a promotional magazine pushing attendance at the upcoming [and final Grand National race at Fonda, I saw where he rated one of the full page, color portraits that were in the center of that publication. It was the least they could, seeing as he was one of the more loyal supporters of the Northern Tour.

Racing Pictorial Photo 1966

Wendell poses for a 1966 Racing Pictorial portrait. The pen in the pocket of his driver's suit might indicate his popularity, always ready for autographs. Below – leaning on a tired – looking late '70's Ford. Many teams had a car for various track situations. Wendell usually had A CAR.

Courtesy of

        As for Jack Anderson, I haven't seen him since around 2007, when he helped me gather some rare family photos of local 1950's tracks in Chittenden County, Vermont, at which he raced as a mere teenager. Starting at Ivahoe Smith's Colchester Raceway, Anderson raced an old Nash coupe that rolled over on at least one occasion. Colchester, Vt had at least five tracks within a two year period in the early 1950's, and Jack told me he had raced on at least two of them. [Some track managements were more fussy about driver age than others].

        At the long, dusty, bumpy rural Otter Creek track, Jack had the chance to run against the likes of then NASCAR 1961 National Sportsman Championsship contenders Bill Wimble and Dick Nephew, as well as Kenny Shoemaker, Tom Kotary, George Baumgardner, Paul Marshall, Dutch Reed, Roger Gauthier, Bob Bruno, Doc Blanchard, Jim “Sapphire” LeClaire, and a host of other Fonda and Airborne Speedway – based NASCAR sportsman drivers looking for easy national points at that track.

Courtesy of Jack Anderson
An underage Jack Anderson, posing with a flag at Colchester Raceway around 1951. Below – Jack, fifth car in black, is holding his
ground as Beaver Dragon [white coupe] and Jack Dubrul [1] are flying to the front at Otter Creek Speedway in 1961.

Courtesy of Cho Lee

        Others in the hobby division at Otter Creek who competed with Anderson were Harmon Beaver Dragon, a future hall of famer; Vince Quenneville, Sr, another future hall of famer; Ed Foley, a future star at Lebanon Valley and Devil's Bowl; and former 1950's stars like Rex Shattuck, Red Dooley, Wayne Chandler, and others whom Anderson had raced with in the Colchester area. Jack would finish 13th in the NASCAR hobby standings, his 44 points indicating he did not race often there. While most of those drivers stayed with dirt, he, Dragon, and Sonny Gover would all race at Catamount within four years.

Courtesy of Jack Anderson
Jack says this Nash was numbered 737 because, upside down, it was his owner's initials. Looks like he tried out the theory. Below – The 1962 Hobby Division points from Otter Creek. This is confusing because Jack ran only in 1961, as did Beaver, Herbie Swan and Ansel Quintin; but this list came out in the 1962 book.

Courtesy of Gary Nephew

      When Catamount Stadium first opened in 1965, Jack would field a sportsman coupe with the help of crew chief, Bill Boisvin, The #5 car bore the same number as a 1950 Chevy business coupe he had run a few times at the old NASCAR dirt track Otter Creek Speedway. I don't know how much success he had running against established pavement stars like Jean – Paul Cabana, Andre Manny, the Marcel “Mr. Clean” Godard, Georges Loiselle, Ray Forte, Bob Bruno, Ernie Reid, Charlie Trombley, and others, but I do know the coupe ended up wrecked hard enough to bend the frame like a pretzel. Jack would head down South soon after.

Courtesy of Jack Anderson
Crew Chief Bill Boisvin poses with the sportsman coupe, perhaps while doing some test laps. Below – It didn't need any more testing after this incident. Jack had tested it enough. {Further Below] – Maybe Bill and Jack were on foot at Catamount just for this reason.

Courtesy of Jack Anderson

Courtesy of Jack Anderson

        After some of the Southern adventures, Jack would arrive at Catamount and begin racing again in the early 1970''s, having returned to operate a transmission business on the north end of Burlington. While not knowing Jack then, I noticed how fairly important people would gravitate towards his garage when they were involved in racing at Catamount or Thunder Road.

        Jack had a circle of unique characters such as local motor cycle club members Phil {Super Hog] Bowler, Kenny Bucklin, Terry [Ox] Osterman, and others who would end up helping out with not only local late model teams but with major league teams down South. Bucklin could crew chief for just about anyone; the huge Osterman could lift a full gas can like a Pepsi, and Bowler ? He was so smart that straight-laced IMB put up with his long hair and beard for years in the skinny tie and white shirt era. Anderson, Bowler, Osterman, Bucklin, and Bucklin's father – in – law simply known as “Mr. Coke” formed one of the more interesting groups to ever carve a niche in Northern NASCAR racing history.

Courtesy of Jack Anderson
Jack takes one with the wierd Chevelle, bearing Rene Maxfield's number, around 1972. Below - The Super Hog bunch around Jack's car at Catamount. Bucklin [outside car in driver suit[ had just qualified the car in Jack's absence. Phil Bowler is kneeling and Mr. Coke is in the foreground. The next car over [the 6 is showing] is the same car [different owner] that was ripped off at Jack's a few months before.

Courtesy of Jack Anderson

        Jack once fielded the damnedest – looking late mode Chevelle with friend Rene Maxfield. He finally explained what the hell made it so weird: it had started out ads a convertible and they really didn't want to take forever getting some other roof to fit onto it. [And it sort of didn't, really]. Jack would become known for red and black #11 Chevelles at Catamount until either escalating costs or moving back out of the area forced his departure.

        Jack's tranny shop was not in the best area of Burlington, along Riverside Avenue. He shared a building with the Road Chop Shop, the hangout for the Super Hog club. Allen Pidgeon tells the story of the time that Austin Dickerman [Brandon, VT used car dealer] had sent his late model sportsman up to be run at Catamount. The Jean-Paul Cabana – built car had been sold to Catamount owner [and driver] Jack Dubrul, who soon tired of it and sold it to Dickerman. All of the Dickerman bunch were used to dirt; but Devil's Bowl had been paved and had joined the Northern NASCAR late model circuit.

Ladabouche Photo
Although this is not Jack's best – known late model, this is his favorite shot because I happened to capture his dad during a rare visit to the races with Jack around 1973. Below – A more typical Anderson LMS shot although he preferred red and black on this car.

Ladabouche Photo


        Dickerman had tried his old dirt star, Ed Foley, in the car; but Foley couldn't make heads or tails of it. Pidgeon was to meet driver du jour the aforementioned Marcel Godard up there to run the car that night. Pidgeon was part of a very inexperienced and small crew. He described finding this pretty little driver with a pink driving suit on. Oh Christ, he thought. While no one else had had any luck with the banana yellow and light blue #57, Godard did [while complaining about how badly it was set up] do a very creditable job driving the Chevelle, according to Pidgeon..

        Jack Anderson told Pidgeon and the others they could park the car at his garage after they began to have trouble with the hauler after the races. Pidgeon said they came back the next morning to find anything worth removing quickly gone form the car. Dickerman nearly died from apoplexy; but Anderson assured him nothing like that ever happened to him. [Of course not, who was going to rip off a person connected to the Super Hogs?]

Courtesy of Jack Anderson
A group of what could be local talent fills the car outside of Jack's transmission business on Riverside Avenue. I wonder if Dickerman could have bought racing parts from any of these guys. Below – While I don't have the car with Dickerman colors, this is the same car that was ripped off at Jack's that night.

Ladabouche Photo

       I haven't been able to ask Jack much about the rest of his career, but I know that – much like Vermont native Paul Connors – he did experiment with an entry in the Grand Touring division. The car was connected with Jim Vandiver [van – di veer], who drive in that division, the Grand National East, and in the regular Grand National division. Jack's photos show that he also threw in with another of NASCAR's short – loved upper leagues ideas, the Baby Grands.

       The Baby Grands featured small four cylinder brands of cars whose races were to supplement Grand National programs much in the same way as ARCO, the Trucks. or the Xfinity series would work in today's world. The idea never caught on much, as most hardcore NASCAR fans loved the roar of muscle cars, not the whine of little four bangers. Anderson would campaign a Pinto in some of these races for a while before, I think, he decided to come back North and do the model thing along with the tranny garage.

Courtesy of Jack Anderson
[Above] Jack's nifty hauler is seen not only in my photos above but with the Baby Grand Pinto down South. His Grand Touring, with Jim Van Diver, is seen below.

Courtesy of Jack Anderson


        Today, Jack belongs to the Living Legends of Auto Racing, a group that I would hope would have welcomed Wendell Scott had he lived that long. Jack sends occasional photos of himself with well – known racing personalities or with him driving a restored race car of one sort or another. Perhaps he could get someone to help him reproduce that infamous Chevelle convertible hybrid late model sportsman he had for a brief spell at Catamount Stadium around 1974.

        I know I miss not seeing Jack more frequently and I certainly miss the existence of wonderful racing figures like Wendell Scott. I tried to find a photo of the two together, and – knowing Jack – one probably exists.

Keith Smith Photo via Jack Anderson
Jack drove the Harget – owned 35 SC in the South after he had wrapped up his Chevelle period up with Northern NASCAR. Below – Jack [left] and Tom Tiller [right joined George Chates who went to visit the highly popular Stub Fadden in North Haverhill, NH after Stubby was stricken with a stroke.

Courtesy of Jack Anderson

Please email me if you have any photos to lend me or information and corrections I could benefit from. Please do not submit anything you are not willing to allow me to use on my website - and thanks. Email is: . For those who still don’t like computers - my regular address is: Bill Ladabouche, 23 York Street, Swanton, Vermont 05488.


Return to the Main Page
Return to the Main News Page
Return to the All Links Page
Return to the Weekly Blog Links Page