Francis “Buddy” Scurto may be best known for his eight-year tenure as the Tech Director for New England Dragway, but Buddy’s racing and motorsports history goes back decades. He owned many early Corvettes, a 1933 three-window Ford coupe, and of course the unique 1955 big block powered van. If nothing else, Buddy was creative.
Buddy had drag racing in his blood. He raced at Oxford Plains in the 1970s, starting with a 1968 Camaro named Instant Insanity. He had that car for many years, but he loved his Chryslers. Buddy raced a 1968 Dodge Dart and then a 1985 Dodge Daytona Top Sportsman car. Buddy never got to drive the Daytona when it was completed, but he did have the opportunity to tune it and watch his friend Mark Mancinelli compete with this wild Chevrolet-powered Dodge.
When he wasn’t racing, Buddy found time to open a chassis shop in Londonderry, NH called Pro Street Chassis with his friend John Hale.
But even with these accomplishments, what made Buddy unique and worthy of Hall of Fame induction was his dedication to helping people.
As the Tech Director many saw Buddy as the LAW, but as stern as he was about the rules, he was always willing to debate the rules without wavering on safety. And Buddy would lend a hand to anyone willing to try and do things right. It was not about being right for Buddy; it was about getting it right and getting it done. His exterior may have been stern but that was just his internal strength showing on the outside.
The New England Dragway Tech building is dedicated in his honor, and with good reason. His service as Tech Director from 2005 to 2013 was unprecedented, and his dedication to that job, even when his health was failing, was unsurpassed.
Buddy dreamed of seeing an NHRA National Event at New England Dragway, and thankfully he was able to see that dream fulfilled in 2013 before he passed.
Buddy has earned induction into the New England Hot Rod Hall of Fame not just for his accomplishments, but for his legacy as a person and the impact he continues to have. We all miss Buddy and appreciate all that he did for everyone. God Speed, Buddy.
The Orientals Hot Rod Club is proud to induct Francis “Buddy” Scurto into the 2017 class of the New England Hot Rod Hall of Fame.