View Full Version : The Saga of Parker Bohn & Rene Charland

Dwight Clock
11-03-2006, 02:32 PM
As mentioned in the "Wildest Finish" thread Rene Charland made his Saturday home at Islip in the mid 60's. It began in 1963. Charland dominated early, winning the first three features of the '63 season in the Smith Bros. #3. Larry Mendohlson, being the great promoter that he was, realized that he had to do something to save his show. He made a call to N.J. for Parker Bohn to make an appearance at Islip. Parker drove the Tom Skinner owned #659 '37 Chevy coupe out of Freehold, N.J. It was a stock height, nearly full bodied car that sported a 302 c.i. GMC truck engine for power. The first time Bohn came to Islip he beat Charland handily. Several weeks later, as Charland was again beginning to dominate, Parker returned and beat him again. In August Parker returned for a third time. As Parker went to the outside of Charland to pass him in the feature Charlands car made a right turn and Parker went crashing along the top of the wall past the starters stand ending up near the pit entrance. This resulted in one of the most hilarious scenes I ever witnessed. Parker, who was a six foot 200 lb man as strong as an ox, went after Charland. Somehow the scene shifted to the pits. On top of Tom Skinners GMC flatbed there was Parker trying to get at 5'8" 160 lb Charland. Only Big Bob O'Rourke was in the middle! This went on for a while with Bohn trying to reach around O'Rourke to get at Charland and Charland doing every dance he knew to stay out of his grasp. Eventually the melee was ended without injury. But what a night!

11-03-2006, 03:54 PM
Keep these stories coming Dwight, they are GREAT!!!! :applause:

11-03-2006, 05:27 PM
I agree! I unfortunately suffer from youth, because I was too young (well I wasn't born yet) to witness these great battles. It's good listening to them. Good war battles are always good to hear! :)

11-03-2006, 08:11 PM
A 302ci 6 cyl.

Dwight Clock
11-03-2006, 09:25 PM
Yessir, forgot to mention it was a 6 banger.

11-04-2006, 12:42 PM
I can still hear it over all the other cars. She had a sound all her own.

Dwight Clock
11-04-2006, 12:48 PM
:) ...And that flame out the back when he got off the throttle for the turns! In one race at Islip Charlie Jarzombek, in his Vega, tried for many laps to pass Parker unsuccessfully. He began to tap the back bumper of Bohn's car, sometimes not too lightly. Parker, tiring of this, corrected the problem. Going into three on one lap he positioned himself so that, when he backed off, the flame would go right through the cockpit of the 1J! Jarzombek only had a small wind screen that covered the drivers area. After that flame went through the car Charlie backed off a couple lengths and was never a factor again that night! :applause: