John Corcoran started racing in the late 1960s with his friend Charlie Siegars, and a gentleman named John Pulver.
They campaigned B/Gas dragsters throughout the Northeast and then switched to Junior Fuel running nitro-powered small-block Chevrolets.
In the early 1970s, John made the switch from Chevrolets to Chrysler Hemis and eventually to “A Fuel”. As funny cars started to emerge, John and Charlie partnered up with Tom Dawes and started campaigning the “Freedom Machine” nitro funny car, originally driven by Don Roberts, until one day when John looked at Don and said, “Do you realize you’re the only one getting paid?”
Shortly after that, John jumped into the Freedom Machine Funny Car. John was really a dragster guy at heart and he will tell you that he much prefers the blown nitro Hemi behind him when they let go.
John returned to the driver’s seat of top fuel dragster with partners Charlie Siegars and Jim Mahan, in what would be his favorite ride of all time, The Sundowner’s Top Fuel car. An old Tommy Ivo chassis was acquired and they carefully placed the famed, Siegars-Corcoran & Mahan names on the side to hide Ivo’s name.
There was one race in which John was competing against Shirley Muldowney and something happened to the fuel pump. The car went lean, burst into flames, burning two holes in the back of John’s fire suit. John maintained composure and got the fueler across the finish line ahead of Shirley. This was a prime example of John’s ability as a driver. In the words of his former competitor, Don Roberts, John could drive anything and did it well.
John retired from the driver’s seat in the late 1970s when work obligations forced him away. The rumor mill has it that will be John returning to the driver’s seat in the near future of the Colonari and Bober injected fuel dragster.
It is with great pleasure and admiration the Orientals Hot Rod Club presents John Corcoran with a plaque recognizing his Induction into the New England Hot Rod Hall of Fame.