Going back in Time – volume 3

 with Jim DiMarco



Jim DiMarco – one of racing’s “GREAT  LITTLE  GUYS".


A short story followed by some photos of Jim, his cars, where his one car ended up, and with whom.


By Tom Avenengo – with information furnished by Joe DeMarco





Jim DiMarco was born in 1920, and left us in the year 2000.  He started racing after WWII like so many other drivers back in that day.  He served inn the U.S. Army Air Force – in Africa and Europe.  He was a crew chief on P-47’s and P-51’s.  Later on he became a flight instructor and was instrument certified in twin engine aircraft.


He built his first midget, which was powered by a Ford V-8 engine.  He struggled with that, and a second car, before he ended up with a Kurtis Kraft Midget – powered by an Offy engine.


During his racing career, he ran with the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) and in NASCAR’s Midget division, too – racing midgets for over twenty years.


Some of those that he ran against were:

Bill Schindler, Ted Tappett, Johnny Ritter, Mike Nazaruk, Al Keller, Jeep Colkitt, Art Cross, Tony Bonadies,( Tony CLEANED HOUSE at Danbury,Conn. in Jim's # 98), Ed “Dutch” Schaefer, Len Duncan, Joe Barzda and Nick Fornoro, Sr.


He raced at Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, N.J., Danbury, Thompson, Freeport, Deer Park, Islip, Wall Stadium, Middletown, Hatfield, Langhorne, Williams Grove, Morristown, Allentown, Buffalo, the board track in the Polo Grounds and Roosevelt Stadium in New Jersey.


Jim won races at Veterans Stadium, Bayonne,NJ, he was Champion of the year at  Menands Race way, in Albany,NY, he won at Freeport, NY, Morristown, NJ, Yellow Jacket Stadium in Philadelphia and Islip,NY.  He finished 8th in NASCAR points in 1954 and 9th in ARDC points in 1952.



When not racing, he kept his car in “Gasoline Alley” in Paterson, where so many other racecars were kept.


His racing career ended when he was in his 60’s, when he was involved in an accident and suffered a neck injury that injured his brain stem.  As a result, he was in a coma for 9 weeks.  He was partially paralyzed, and suffered with slurred speech, something which he never fully recovered.  Besides being a race driver, he was also an excellent mechanic.  He passed away due to a heart attack at the age of 80.


Now maybe you too notice that the last names are different – DiMarco and DeMarco.  Joe explains it like this:

As far as the difference in our names: when my brother Nick and I were born, the Registrar made an error on our birth certificates printing an E instead of an I, my parents were not literate enough to see the difference and never had it changed therefore my brother Frank and Jim are Di and Nick and I were De.

I am the only DeMarco left, my brothers are all gone.”

When you get into the photos in this article, you will notice that Ray Evernham is in some of them.  The black # 98 Kurtis Kraft Offy is now in Ray Evernham’s Museum.  Sad to say, but as of now, the Museum is not open to the public.  Joe had this to say about how Ray got the midget - a type of car that he wanted in his museum to go along with his collection, with this:

“From what Ray told me, he was looking for a Midget for his museum and finally located Jimmy's midget in Arizona !. He said that it was in poor condition and had it restored by Joe Fiore form Connecticut.” 

Enjoy the photos that follow.  Somehow, I always remembered the # 98 Offy as it appears in the photos – always very neat and always exceptionally clean – something that Jim DiMarco surely must have been proud of.

Again, special thanks to Joe DeMarco for the information and the following photos!

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