Marty Harty
Car Owner/Builder
Class of 2010

If one character best symbolizes race car construction in New England in the fifties and sixties, he may well be Marty Harty.  The 90-year-old resident of Barrington, NH, was to the early Ford chassis what Bill Welch was to the Ford flathead.

Harty first began building coupes with his brothers for hired gun driver Leo Richards.  His approach was not hammer and torch; instead, he relied on textbooks and tape measures.  It worked.  He was soon on the road, garage to garage, piecing together cars for other owners.  An early Fred Rosner.

In the 1960s, Harty hooked up with one sharp youngster named Vic Kangas.  It was a killer combo.  The two produced straight axle and A-framed rocket ships for the likes of Tinker Progin, Clayton Thompson, and Reino Tulonen.  Perhaps their most notable – and accelerated – achievement was building a modified for Ernie Gahan in a couple of days.  Literally.  And Gahan wheeled it to the NASCAR National Modified crown in 1966.

Today Harty maintains his racing connections in his beloved role as “the Old Irish Peddler.”  He visits garages throughout Northern New England in on a regular circuit, supplying all manner of tools, sundries, stories, and good cheer.

He is extraordinarily intelligent, active, and well-informed.  Just a year ago he ran for New Hampshire state office.


Photo From The Val LeSieur Archives