Frank Maratta's 1930 Ford
1930 Ford Model A coupe owned and built by Frank Maratta of Hartford, Connecticut. Frank's coupe became known as "The Rake," and it was instrumental in Frank's quest to establish the Connecticut Dragway in 1961.
Frank built the coupe early in 1958. He bought it for $35, and spent $4000 and six months rebuilding it. It was called "Maratta's Rake" due to it's steeply inclined stance. In an effort to help the cause of getting a dragstrip, Frank's car had to be the best in safety, performance, and style which he succeeded in. Once completed, the car was painted Gold Metallic with white scallops. Frank also built a matching 1954 Ford pickup hauler. Both cars ran Moon discs. According to later owner Dean Schimetschek, the truck belonged to Carl Debien of Deb's Automotive. Frank borrowed the truck, painted it to match the Rake, and used it for a few seasons before returning it to Carl.
The Rake won 1st place show trophies throughout New England and was very competitive on the strip. The engine was a full house 283 Chevrolet stroked and bored to 352 cubic inches. It ran 6 Stromberg carburetors. The output was around 360 horespower, and it's best time was 12.6 at 114mph. It was two time A/Gas New England regional champion, and it competed in the 1958 NHRA Nationals in Oklahoma, where it just nearly won A/Gas.
The Rake became one of the most well known hot rods of New England. It appeared in several magazines, and it even landed a featured story in Hot Rod Magazine October 1960. By the time Connecticut Dragway opened, Frank had added a chrome straight axle, mags, moon tank, and drilled the visor.
Around 1962/1963 Frank skillfully narrowed the fenders on the coupe 6" front to back before he Frank repainted it Blue Metalflake. He also swapped the carbs for an Hilborn injection, and re-named it "Maratta's Missile". The car raced at the Connecticut, Sanford, Orange, Charlestown, Dover, and Roanoke Dragstrips among others. While attempting to break the A/Gas record at Connecticut the engine blew and the car was set aside.
Back on the Road Again
Short on funds, the old hot rod was advertised for sale at a car show in Massachusetts in 2015. In 2017 Dean Schimetschek of East Haddam, Connecticut told Kustomrama that he came across the ad: "It was advertised only with a few pictures on a board. I called the gentleman up and told him to hang onto the car until I could see it in person. The next morning we drove out and bought it. I put it back on the road this past spring."
Magazine Features and Appearances
Rods Illustrated February 1959
Custom Rodder March 1959
Rodding and Re-Styling March 1959
Rodding and Re-Styling June 1959
Rodding and Re-Styling November 1959
Rodding and Re-Styling December 1959
Hot Rod Magazine October 1960
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