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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

More on Roller Starters

By Don Roberts

The roller starter in the pits at New England Dragway was powered by a DeSoto and the Torqueflite transmission was hooked to a drive assembly that was made by Sy Sidebotham.

The DeSoto combination came out of the sedan that Jack Doyle's mother drove, and when she totaled it in an accident it found a new home in the pits at Epping in 1968.

Last time I was on it was 1975 with the Jade Grenade. With the advent of self start cars that old DeSoto sat there for many years doing nothing. The management that was in control in the mid 1980's junked the starter and filled in the hole. I asked them to please keep it as a historical site, put up a sign telling what is was and what is was all about in the early years. Nobody would listen. They said it was taking up valuable space (all 50 or 60 square feet maybe) and that it was an eyesore. This management team didn't know the front end of a race car from the back.

Don Roberts
Topfuel169@aol.com

See James Morgan's story on the roller starters at Epping, NH

 

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