Night Train comes to the museum.
In the early 1990s, Daytona 500 winner Geoff Bodine watched the Olympic Bobsled competition in dismay. The American team was using a hand-me-down sled built in a foreign country and it was badly outclassed. Bodine decided to provide the American team with a new and better sled. An American-built sled.
He gathered a group of stock car racers including race-car builder and owner of Chassis Dynamics Bob Cuneo and Phil Kurze of Whelen Engineering. Bodine contributed $250,000 of his own money and his group of racers began building better bobsleds.
The US team had not won a bobsled medal of any kind since 1956 but with a bunch of stock car racers on the job that was about to change in a big way.
The most famous of their sleds was called “Night Train,” a glittering black piece of engineering design and race car craftsmanship. “We applied the way we do things in auto racing to the bobsled,” said Cuneo. “That changed everything.” Cuneo said that the German team they beat had 50 full time technicians and millions in funding. “We kicked their a…”
As he did when racing cars, every year Cuneo designed and built a new sled. In 2002, they won three medals. In 2010, Night Train won the gold, the first American gold in bobsled since 1948.
Night Train is now on display at the North East Motor Sports Museum (922NH Route 106, Loudon, NH). It’s the first New England public showing of this marvelous piece of American ingenuity and construction talent. Also on display at the museum is the stock car Bodine co-built and drove to 55 feature wins in 1978.