Ronnie Marvin, Joe Fontana, Jim Moffat Added To NEAR Hall of Fame

(Press Release from New England Antique Racers)

NEAR Hall of FameThe late Ronnie Marvin, Joe Fontana, and the late Jim Moffat are this year’s veterans committee picks for inclusion into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

The trio, along with drivers Sam Posey, Joey Laquerre, Stan Greger, Greg Sacks, the late Jim McCallum, car owner the late Paul Dunigan, former racer & current publisher Lew Boyd, and Lee Raceway promoter Red MacDonald will be enshrined at the NEAR Hall of Fame 18th induction banquet Sunday, Nov. 8 at Maneeley’s in South Windsor, CT.

The veterans committee deals with accomplishments prior to 1960. Still to be announced is the winner of the Ratta/Mitchell Award which goes to a member of the media.

A crowd favorite nicknamed the “Bethlehem Bombshell” for his thrilling driving style, the late Ronnie Marvin was a triumphant force on the short tracks of the North Country for a multitude of seasons. His early days spent winning on the region’s smaller venues such as Vermont’s Concord and Northeastern Speedways, he eventually established himself at that state’s famous Thunder Road as one of the flathead-era’s winningest drivers. Following a hiatus of several seasons, he returned to the sport enjoying a productive tenure in the late model classes.

Following a start in the early-50s at Plainville Stadium with Moon Burgess as his driver, Hamden, Connecticut native Joe Fontana’s list of accomplishments spanned over six-decades of auto racing involvement, encompassing participation throughout New England, California, Utah, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. As both a car owner and engine builder, Fontana’s engines won 122 features, and multiple track titles at West Haven, Bridgeport and Cherry Park, 3 Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) Championships, and he also enjoyed a winning reign in drag racing. He founded the highly-regarded Fontana Automotive, designing and building multiple generations of his signature midget racing engines.

The late Jim Moffat’s pioneering “Cavalcade of Auto Racing” monthly covered a myriad of tracks and series during its heyday as one of the nation’s premier auto racing publications. With an emphasis on action in the Northeast, it chronicled the exploits of drivers from both the dirt and asphalt circuits featuring work by some of auto racing’s most-talented photographers. Also on the agenda was coverage of celebrated national events and frequent early-era articles dating back to New England’s “Big Car” era. Today, Cavalcade of Auto Racing remains a valuable resource to those dedicated to preserving the history of the sport.


  1. I’m so glad to see Joe Fantana got picked for the hall of fame. Joe has been with this club since day one. He was a big part of racing not in the head lines but behind the fence where his car that Moon raced took many races. Joe all way gave to the club. If I could vote I would pick Joe racing is not only about drivers but the men behind them.

  2. Andy Boright says

    Glad to see the late Jim Moffat recognized for his contributions to New England motorsports. He really was a pioneer for motorsports trade journals/papers in New England.

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