Bellowing engines and squealing tires punctuated the tranquility of the peaceful countryside as about 60 vehicles participated in the third-annual North Hudson Car Show and Dragway Event.

The car owners put the pedal to the metal Saturday and opened up the throttles to display the attributes of their prized vehicles.

In addition to the audio and visual elements, there was history to be learned as vehicle owners were only too happy to expound upon their machines and the good old days of flying down the North Hudson drag strip.

The dragway, which continued through 1969, paralleled Route 9 and was located off Duntley Road where Wonder View Lane is now situated.


Octogenarian Norm Monette showed the youngsters what the 283-cubic-inch engine in his "Flying Farmer," a golden-hued Chevy, could do as it roared down a quarter-mile of asphalt in front of the Fire Hall/Town Hall complex.

"When I was racing, I hardly ever got beat. I probably won over 300 races," Monette proudly proclaimed.

He purchased his finned beauty in the summer of 1960 and laid down rubber at venues from South Glens Falls through North Hudson and Vermont and into Canada.

Three years ago, Monette's Flying Farmer was restored to 99 percent of its original elegance and performance.

Among the others who raced in the 1960s were Dick Curran in an "unsafe at any speed" '63 Corvair; Fred French and Willard Baker, in a black and white '57 Ford; and Don Dezalia, with "Mr. Blister."


Arnold Older from Minerva towered over his MG Midget chassis with a '32 Ford engine chopped vehicle. Though the car is street legal, Older has to squeeze into its cabin.

He takes his brilliant-blue open-engine roadster out only on fair weather days. Not all of the vehicles on display were dragsters, as Rosemary and Gary Hansen from Westport tooled up in their 1970 MGB. To add to the authenticity, Rosemary's native accent provided an accessory to the British-made convertible.


One of the organizers, Doug Bensen of Schroon Lake, said the event was initiated a few years ago by the Schroon Lake Historical Society as a one-time event.

However, the North Hudson Fire Department Auxiliary decided to continue the sponsorship.

Auxiliary member April Bessey, whose father-in law, Russell Bessey, dragged the strip in his car, "Scarlet Fever," said: "We decided to keep the event going. It's nice to get the people together to talk about the past. They get in the spirit and tell about what they love."

In addition to the occasional revving of engines, Mike Leddick and Friends performed hard-driving rock and roll and country music.

"It's pretty loose and mellow," Bensen said of the event, which does not charge admission.

Reflecting on the bygone racing days, he said: "They loved their cars and they liked to drive fast, so the strip was perfect to keep them out of trouble."

E-mail Alvin Reiner at:

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