Jimmy Mahan’s legacy started in 1962 working at the Sanford Drag Strip as a member of the Strokers Car Club of Malden, MA.
The Strokers were one of thirteen clubs that operated Sanford. In 1963 Jimmy left to attend College in Southern California where he met Connie, his beloved wife of 50 years. In 1967 Jim built his first dragster with Mike Chamberlain and Paul Delaney, using a second-hand Dragmaster chassis with a blown gas Chevy. The following year Tom O’Connell joined the group and they built a brand new A/Fuel Dragster, which was the beginning of the original Hard Guys team.
The Hard Guys ran out of the famed Edmond St. Garages in Malden, with its leaking roof and deteriorated condition, but on the positive side, it was adjacent to the package store.
Jimmy drove the Hard Guys dragster until 1973 when he retired from driving to concentrate on his family and business, Automotive Parts and Performance. During this time Jim’s generosity kept many teams going to the next race. A few years later Jim teamed up with Charlie Seigers and John Corcoran to race the famous Seigers, Corcoran & Mahan, Sundowner’s Top Fuel dragster until the early 1980s.
When Jim retired from Top Fuel racing he campaigned a couple of blown small block Chevrolet alcohol dragsters in NHRA Pro Comp. Retired from active competition Jim continued his passion for Drag Racing as an active member of the New England Dragway Board of Directors and was instrumental in securing the original sponsor for the New England NHRA Auto Select Nationals in 2013. Don Roberts fondly tells the story of when Jim was looking to purchase New England Dragway and came into the office. Don asked him how he (Don) fit into Jim’s plans for the track, and Jim replied, “YOU DON’T”. With Jim, you always knew where you stood.
When Jim’s time on the Board expired he remained active, working on special projects for New England Dragway and with friend Jack Brady campaigned the Brady and Mahan nostalgia altered. Jim would also be found with his fellow barn rats on most evening sharing a beer, and working on cars occasionally, as he did 50 years ago in those Edmond St. garages. Jim’s contributions to drag racing and New England Dragway were immense and we will never know all that he has done to enhance the lives of so many for so many years.
With great pleasure and admiration the Orientals Hot Rod Club presents Jim Mahan with this plaque recognizing his Induction into the New England Hot Rod Hall of Fame.