1932 – 2018
Jack ‘The Ripper’ McCutcheon
From Brussels, Ontario
Husband of 63 years to Esther
Father of three daughters: Lori, Michelle, and Jill
Jack’s Racing Career
(1957 – 1967)
Jack started his racing career as a young mechanic and member of the pit crew for his older brother Casey McCutcheon. Casey, who owned Brussels Motors built the Chevy race car, #73X and started racing it at the Tiviotdale Speedway.
The #73X was originally driven by Max Armstrong, then Casey experimented with other drivers. One night when the regular driver couldn’t make it, Jack jumped in and the rest is history!
Casey finally found a driver that could put his car in the winner’s circle, his kid brother Jack. This was the start of an eleven year racing career from 1957 through 1967. Jack raced against the late great Ted Hogan at the CNE in 1960 where he gained a lot of experience in his early racing years
Soon after that the letter X was dropped from the race car and later it became the red and white winged #73 car that the fans all came to recognize and love. Half of Brussels would travel to watch him race on the weekends. Jack aquired many loyal fans over the years from near and far.
Jack’s pit crew consisted of the McArter Brothers, Mel and Gerald, Ron Huether and Mel McCutcheon, Jack’s brother, all from Brussels. They would get the tow truck, load up the race car, and they were off to the track.
Jack was known for continually overdriving the corners (dirt trackin’ it, sort of) as he would race deep into the corners, slide the rearend around, step on the gas and come out of the turns throttle wide open without losing ground. Yes, Jack had a style all his own and his fans and promoters alike, loved it.
It was ‘Dizzy’ Dean Murray that gave Jack the nickname “Jack The Ripper”, Dizzy Dean owned Wheelspin News and was the announcer at the time for Flamboro Speedway. A special addition to the race car was ‘Woody Woodpecker’. This cartoon character was painted on the side of the car to attract the kids and everyone looked for ‘Woody’ racing around the tracks.
The Supermodified division is where Jack spent his entire eleven year career, racing 4 – 5 nights a week and usually twice a week at the CNE Stadium. Jack raced Nilestown, Delaaware, Flamboro, Bridgeport and the CNE Stadium until the CNE stopped running Supermodifieds at the end of 1963. There was even the odd trip to Sandusky Ohio or Oswego, New York where Jack finished 14th in the 1967 Oswego Speedway Classic.
The 1961 Pinecrest Speedway ‘International’ was won by Jack in his Corvette, 400 cid engine, winning the $1000.00 first place prize money.
Flamboro Speedway opened in 1962 and Jack won the first feature ever at this new racing facility. It was his first win of many at Flamboro Speedway. One of his many wins was the ‘Fireball 500’ held at Flamboro in 1966, an impressive win by anyone’s standards.
During the 1965 and 1966 racing seasons Jack didn’t have a lot of wins but the wins he had were big. Jack had many 2nd and 3rd place finishes keeping him right up in the thick of it in the points chase. The Delaware Mid-Season Championship race was won by Jack in both 1965 and 1966. The 1966 racing season was the best of Jack’s career.
Jack’s racing career ended after the 1967 season when many of the tracks switched from Supermodifieds to the Late Model division. Jack was one of the all time great supermodified racers from the past and battled against some of the best; Jimmy Howard, Howie Scannell, Glen Schurr, Warren Coniam, Harvey Lennox and Jack Greedy just to name a few.
Throughout his career, Jack had made many friends at the track and was quoted as saying “We race each other hard and then we would party hard after the races and have a great time!” As kids, my sisters and I remember him getting speeding tickets on the way home after the races!
After Jack retired he raced a couple of ‘Old Timer’ races, one in Delaware where he drove a Hobby Car and the other in the mid 1980’s at Paris Fairgrounds where he met up with some of his old rivals. It was a great experience for him.
Jack was inducted into the Flamboro Speedway Hall of Fame in 2015. His family accompanied him to receive this honour. It was a great night of reminiscing.
Jack was respected in both the racing world and his community. He worked as a mechanic at McCutcheon Motors in Brussels for his older brother George for many years, then he bought the business and it became J.L. McCutcheon Motors, a very successful GM Chev Olds car dealership until he retired.
Jack was well known in Brussels as he was Reeve of the town for many years and then Warden of Huron County. His wife Esther, still resides on McCutcheon Drive named after Jack and his brother. Jack was born into a family of 11 children, many were mechanics and all were born to drive. Jack’s father was in the auto business in the early 1900’s and this in turn lead to Casey and Jack’s love for speed and racing. The brothers practiced in the hay field at the family farm.
Including his family, One of his most memorable legacies was his racing career and he would be very honoured to be nominated by his good friend Rick Castle and to be inducted into the Yesterday’s Speedways Hall Of Fame!