Frank Maratta

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An early photo of Frank working on Hank Murphy’s 1940 Mercury four-door convertible. This was the car that would eventually jumpstart, and maybe even end Frank’s career as a custom body man. Photo from The Ray Soff Collection.
Frank filing lead on his 1940 Mercury.
Rene Loranger’s 1950 Ford featured early custom bodywork by Frank Maratta. Fitted with a removable hardtop roof and an integrated continental spare tire, the car was awarded as the Best Custom at the 1952 National Auto Racing Exposition in Hartford. Later on, Maratta claimed that Ford got the idea for their retractable Thunderbird roofs from this car. Photo courtesy of Ray Soff.
Two Maratta customs at the 1956 Hartford Autorama. George Remington's 1949 Mercury can be seen on the right.

Frank Maratta of Hartford, Connecticut.

New England Auto Body

Frank ran and operated New England Auto Body, and he was known for building radical customs in the 1950s.[1]

Maratta's Rake

Frank was the tech advisor for the Hartford Hot Rod Council and the Nutmeg State Timing Association. As drag racing caught on, Frank became the leading advocate for a drag strip in Connecticut, with the help of local car clubs and the Nutmeg State Timing Association. Plans for the strip were laid in 1958 but it wouldn't be until 1961 that the Connecticut Dragway finally opened. Early in 1958 Frank began building a 1930 Ford Model A drag coupe. The car became known as "The Rake," and it was instrumental in Frank's quest to establish the Connecticut Dragway. It competed in the 1958 NHRA Nationals, where it was the A/Gas runner up. The Rake became one of the most well known hot rods in the area. It landed a featured story in Hot Rod Magazine October 1960, took over 30 first place show and drag trophies, and was two-time New England regional A/Gas champion.[1]

National Rod & Custom Show

In 1961 Frank promoted the first National Rod & Custom Show at the State Armory in Hartford, Connecticut. The first show was held October 18-22, 1961. When Frank started the show, he partnered with John Hychko of Valley Auto Body.[2]

Frank Maratta's Cars

Frank Maratta's 1930 Ford Model A Coupe - Maratta's Rake
Frank Maratta's 1940 Mercury
Frank Maratta's 1956 Ford Pickup



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