Kent Ingves, NEAR Member

The Freddie Beaber #716 '38 Ford vintage race car is currently owned and driven by Kent Ingves, who continues the race car's legacy appearing at New England race tracks participating in NEAR events.

Kent Ingves first got into racing in 1958 and has told us his favorite race tracks were Norwood Arena Speedway, Waterford Speedbowl, Stafford Speedway and Thompson Speedway. In fact he introduced Martha, his wife, to racing when they started dating and they could be found at one of the race tracks at least one night a week. Martha's favorite track was Stafford when it was a dirt track.

Like Ingves, if you visited Norwood Arena Speedway “back in the day” - which was known as the fastest 1/4 mile NASCAR stock car race track in the '60s, located in Massachusetts, operated from 1948 through 1972; or visited Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT (still in operation as New London-Waterford Speedbowl) you would have watched the checkerboard #716 owned by Freddie Beaber competing with the best.

As reported in Dave Dyke's Racing Though Time:

Freddie Beaber’s checkerboard #716 creations remained a winning mainstay on our regions modified trail for decades, particularly at Connecticut’s Waterford Speedbowl. His drivers over the years reads like a “Who’s-Who” of some of the absolute-best including several members of the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame. Names like Bob Potter, Dick Watson, Billy Harman, Charlie Webster, Jerry Glaude and Johnny Thompson rank among the more notable. On a more-local level, there was John Brouwer Jr., Rick Donnelly, Ed Reed Sr. and countless other talents. All were exceptional shoreline oval chauffeurs. From his shop in the Connecticut River Valley, he helped make stars of many of those that wheeled his finely-crafted machines. Certainly one of the sports most well-liked individuals, it’s been few teams that weren’t affected by Fred’s pleasant & easy-going demeanor and a willingness to share his knowledge.

In addition to the #716 rich and successful history, Ingves also shares some of his most memorable moments which includes Stafford as a dirt track, watching Bill Slater in the #11 & V8 at Waterford, helping Johnny Thompson and Leo Hill build their race cars, and racing mini midgets at Stafford Speedway.

Things have come full circle - the Johnny Thompson #122 '38 Ford, which raced at Seekonk and Thompson, now shares a garage with the #716 and is close to being ready to be debuted, again, at New England race tracks.

When Ingves is not racing he continues to preserve racing history by creating model replicas and watercolors of old race cars.

Owning his own business, sheetmetal and HVAC, for 20 years, Kent and Martha continue to enjoy reminiscing about racing in the "old days".

By Judy Poirier