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Welcome to the New England Antique Racers and New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame

 

 


 

 

Slide Show of Vintage Race Cars

The New England Antique Racers Club is a non-profit organization that supports the history of New England auto racing. NEAR has been in existence since 1981 and has a growing membership, approx. 350 - 400 members, and 80 antique race cars. Members live throughout New England and are available, on a no charge basis, for exhibition events at  local race tracks in New England and several tracks in the New York area, with both original and historical replica race cars.

Since 1998, we have inducted 196 individuals into the New England Auto Racers Hall Of Fame, which is administered by the New England Antique Racers. Some very notable inductees include Richie Evans, Ron Bouchard, Bugs Stevens, Rene Charland, Pete Hamilton, Fred DeSarro, Ed Flemke, Sr. and Billy Greco.

Next NEAR Meeting
Triple-A-Restaurant
1209 Main St
East Hartford, CT 06108
February 17, 2015 at 7:15pm
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We lose another Pioneer...
Multi-time United Stock Car Racing
Club Champion, Tommy Sutcliffe Passes
January 31, 2015
Shany Lorenzent Photo

We received the unfortunate news today that multi-time United Stock Car Racing Club champion Tommy Sutcliffe has passed-away in Florida. Arrangements are incomplete at this time. Our sincere condolences are offered to Tommy’s family and many friends on this sad occasion.

The following short glimpse of Tommy’s career is from the Wednesday, July 18, 2012 edition of Dave Dykes’ Racing Through Time at www.davedykesracingthroughtime.com “One of the real chargers when Harvey Tattersall’s once influential UNITED ruled the New England Modified roost rather than NASCAR, Tommy Sutcliffe enjoyed a long-reign at the front of the pack. Twice a champion at Connecticut’s late West Haven Speedway, he was a top competitor all over our region for decades winning a boatload of features. This one captures the guy affectionately nicknamed “Suitcase Sutcliffe” when he was a part of the weekly starting field at Connecticut’s “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl of the early 1960s.”

By Dave Dykes

NEAR Member Profile this week is for Joe Fontana
January 26, 2015
Joe Fontana
Photo Courtesy of Rich Belmonte

Joe Fontana joined NEAR in 1981 as a lifetime member. His list of accomplishments spans 64 years of racing, encompassing participation throughout New England, California, Utah, Germany, New Zealand and Australia; representing a truly global career.

Life for Joe began in Hamden, Connecticut. He served our country from 1943-1945 retiring as a Lieutenant JG from the Navy. Following his graduation from Columbia University in 1948 with two BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Naval Science, he got hooked on stock car racing after attending numerous races as a spectator at Plainville Stadium in the early '50s. Joe went on to continue his formal education at the University of Michigan receiving an Associates Degree in Jet Engine Propulsion in '53. He also accepted the challenge of building an in-line six cylinder engine and installing it in a 1934, 4 spring Chevy coupe.

Joe's history in racing includes being a car owner, engine builder, mechanic, driver, sponsor and skipper in yacht racing. Successful Cup drivers, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, started their career with Fontana built 4 cylinder engines; NEAR Hall of Famers that drove for Fontana include Moe Gherzi, Moon Burgess, Hully Bunn, Dave Humphrey, Ed Flemke and Sparky Belmont; as well as Phil Mitchell, another outstanding driver - who won the Plainville Stadium Championship in 1956. Click here for full story

AWARDS PRESENTED AT 2015 NEAR ANNUAL MEETING
January 13, 2015

(Click here for photos)

(WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA) On Sunday afternoon January 11th, the New England Antique Racers (NEAR) conducted its 2015 annual meeting at the Dante Club in West Springfield, Massachusetts. 

President, Paul Masse

Recently-elected club President Paul Masse presided over the event, which included the presentation of a number of awards.

Several teams were honored for their exceptional 2014 event participation. NEAR members reside throughout New England and are available, on a no charge basis, for exhibition events at local race tracks in New England and several tracks in the New York area, with both original and historical replica race cars.

Presented to an individual displaying a record of dedication & hard work to NEAR is the decades-running Charlie Stebbins Award named in-honor of one of the original organizers of the club. For her continued & timely efforts in updating and maintaining the NEAR website, club member Judy Poirier was this year’s recipient of that coveted award.

Also announced were a number of 2015 NEAR events with additional dates still in the preliminary stages. Several car shows and raceway reunions round-out a busy schedule. Hall of Famer & New England Modified racing Great Billy Greco will also host a movie party on Saturday, March 28th, with additional details on that event to be conveyed in the near future.

Retiring officers Al Fini, Bill Henry, Rhonda Blanchette, and Mare Harlow were recognized in-honor of their dedication and outstanding service to NEAR.

The New England Antique Racers (NEAR) club is a non-profit organization that supports the history of New England auto racing. NEAR has been in existence since 1981 and has a growing membership of approx. 350-400 members and over 80 antique race cars. 

The New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame is administered by the New England Antique Racers. Some very notable inductees include Richie Evans, Ron Bouchard, “Wild Bill” Slater, Bugs Stevens, Rene Charland, Pete Hamilton, Fred DeSarro, Ed Flemke, Sr. and Billy Greco.

By Dave Dykes

NEW ENGLAND AUTO RACING HALL OF FAME
MEMBER FRANK FERRARA PASSES

January 9, 2015
Photo From The Val LeSieur Archives

2010 New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame Inductee Frank Ferrara, passed away on January 5, 2015.

He was born in Springfield the son of the late Louis and Marie (Piscitelli) Ferrara. He was a 1950 graduate of Springfield Trade School where he excelled at the top of his class. Frank proudly served his country in the U. S. Army during the Korean War as a mechanic who worked on airplanes.

He was the owner of Frank L. Ferrara Spring Works, Inc. in Springfield, and was a successful businessman who carried on the tradition of the family business which was established by his grandfather, Frank P. Ferrara in 1912. Frank worked in the company for more than 60 years before retiring in 2012.

He was well known and respected in auto racing and spent a lifetime enjoying all aspects of the sport. He was a car owner (Riverside Park in the early 1950’s), a flagman (with NEMA and at Stafford), a race sponsor (the Ferrara 100s at Stafford), a successful Mini Sprint driver and a track owner (Whip City Speedway). In 2010, Frank was honored by being inducted in to the NEAR Hall of Fame.

For many years, Frank and Ann wintered in Florida and had countless great memories of times spent there with family and friends. Frank will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

In addition to his parents he was predeceased by his devoted wife of 49 years, Ann E. (Foster) Ferrara; and his sister, Dorothy Gasperini. He leaves his loving children, Mark L. Ferrara of Laguna Niguel, CA, Diane M. Valentino and her husband, Steven of West Springfield, and Irene F. Camerota and her husband, Anthony of Wilbraham; his 6 cherished grandchildren, Vanessa, Scott and his wife Kristina, Eric, Joseph, Audrey and Anthony; and his dear friend, Eleanor Fortini.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Forastiere Smith Funeral Home. A private memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241-7005.

By David Dykes