Boucher’s Automotive has been synonymous with racing at New England Dragway for over 33 years. Not only are they the longest continuous sponsor of the racing facility, but they have also produced some of the most competitive engines that we have seen run here at New England Dragway.
Tom Boucher is a longtime racer, and his interest in racing is what inspired him to open his own automotive machine shop business in Salem Mass in 1975. With the help of his former partner, Lee Goodwin, formally of Mr.G’s Speed Shop and his parents, Edgar and Emily, he opened the doors of his Machine Shop in January of 1975. In July of that same year he became full owner and operator. Tom has not looked back since.
With the steady increase of business and a growing reputation Tom incorporated in 1978 to Boucher’s Automotive Machine Shop, Inc. and moved to a bigger location in Salem. The business continued to grow and soon needed even more space requiring him to move to larger facilities in Rowley, Mass in 1983.
Today, Boucher’s has continued to grow by completing their Stuska Dynamometer facility. The Dynamometer is state of the art, incorporating all of the latest technology for engine testing. The Dyno is used for breaking in new engines or finding every last bit of horsepower that a combination will provide. This has enabled Boucher’s Automotive to be capable of completing all services in house, something that a lot of the competition can not claim. Boucher’s does everything from your typical street engine rebuild to high performance race engines for the strip, oval, dirt and truck pulling. They even offer complete repairs on farm equipment, motorcycles, marine and restoration. You name it, they can do it. Boucher’s also sells an assortment of race products including Phoenix Race Tires and Brad Penn Racing Oil.
Boucher’s currently employs some very experienced staff including Glenn Begley, who has been with the company since 1978, and Ron Boucher, who joined the team in 1985 as the crankshaft welding and grinding specialist. Tom’s wife Mary has been involved almost from the get go assisting in business matters. Vic Santos has offered his experience as the Mechanical Engineering Consultant whose superior knowledge is extremely helpful in the development of the engine dynamometer.
Other supporters of Tom Boucher are his three children. Chrissy, his eldest and only daughter, graduated from UMass Amherst and is now a licensed message therapist working in Newburyport, MA. His oldest son TJ is now working on his Masters in mechanical engineering at UConn after graduating from Roger Williams University. The youngest, Michael, is currently attending UMass Dartmouth where he is double majoring in electrical engineering and computer engineering. While on breaks all three do their share in helping out around the shop.
With the right facility, strong dedication, and complete family commitment, it is quite obvious why Boucher’s does outstanding work. The quality of their work was proven when Tom was honored with the prestigious Division One Wrench of the year award from NHRA in 1994, 2004 and most recently 2008.
Some of Tom’s strengths as an engine builder come from the fact that he is a racer as well. Competing in the sport that so many of his customers participate in allows him to connect with each individual racer and their particular engine combination. He is able to offer help and advice from his own racing experience. His personal racing career started at New England Dragway when he was in high school back in 1971. He ran the track’s bracket program with his 1966 Chevelle, equipped with a 283 small block Chevy and a four speed. In 1972 he won what was then called the Grand American event. In 1981, the Chevelle became a NHRA legal SS/M class car. A big block soon replaced the high winding 283 to run in SS/G and SS/H.
When 1987 came around, Tom built a new Camaro to compete in the super stock GT classes. This car was very successful as Tom accumulated numerous class wins and set multiple records in both NHRA and IHRA in the late 80s and through the mid 90s. He also won the granddaddy of them all in 1992 when he won the US National in Indy after being runner-up in 1991. After almost a decade of running this car he then built a 1995 Pontiac Firehawk which, at its first race, brought him the best appearing award. Tom has continued his winning ways over recent years with victories at a couple of points races as well as the North American Nationals win in Super Stock in 2005. He continues to campaign both cars with his son TJ as the other pilot.
Boucher’s has also enjoyed in the success of his many customers over the years that have won many races and have set numerous records. Boucher’s has supported these racers by sponsoring New England Dragway, Lebanon Valley Dragway, as well as supporting Division 1 through the likes of the Bounty Hunter Program. Tom Boucher mentions, “Our success and growth is attributed to the many racers that put their faith in us to build them quality engines. We are thankful that they have given us the opportunity to serve them and hope they will continue to do so”