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General News

Arthur Bentas Passes Away at 97

LOWELL, MA – Arthur S. Bentas, 97, passed away peacefully at his home.

Arthur was born on April 30, 1923 in Lowell, Massachusetts, a son of the late Stephen A. and Helen (Gidas) Bentas.

Arthur moved with his family at an early age to Chelmsford where he made his home for the past 80 years. He graduated from Chelmsford High School, Class of 1942. He pursued his education in California, at the Curtiss Wright Institute of Aeronautics. He worked for Lockheed Aeronautics testing engines for a few years.

He returned to Chelmsford and worked on the Bentas family farm which was a major distributor of eggs and chicken throughout the East coast. In 1950 the Bentas family established the Wishbone restaurant specializing in chicken and continued for seventeen years.

Arthur in 1950 decided he wanted to build his own car. The car was called The Raven and was built over nine years in the chicken house on the family farm. It was the only car he would build. The Raven was called ‘perfection on wheels’ with chrome rocker panels, artfully flared fenders and a double deep black lacquer finish. In 1959, Arthur brought The Raven to the National Hot Rod Association Nationals in Detroit and won the most prestigious award, best custom-built car and many other awards followed.

Arthur was involved in many endeavors, which included the family farm and the Wishbone restaurant and he opened a Honda motorcycle dealership, so The Raven sat in the barn for many years. Fifty years later the car was restored, with the help of longtime friend Joe Germon and was once again in Detroit to win a prestigious award for best radical custom convertible. The car was displayed for a year at the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles. The highlight for Arthur and his award-winning car was being invited to display The Raven at the distinguished 2012 Pebble Beach Concourse d'Elegance Auto Event at Pebble Beach in CA.

In the 1960's Arthur and his brother Constantine built and manufactured the Kavala Karts which were small racing carts and also built small racing hydroplane boats. Both were known for their performance, durability and likability. He and his brother operated the Honda motorcycle dealership in Lowell until closing it in 1978.

In 1978, he and his brother Constantine went on to develop a small strip mall consisting of eight stores in South Chelmsford.

Arthur was a man of vision, a true entrepreneur that was fascinated with the beauty of aeronautics, technology, engineering and superiority.

He is survived by the love of his life for forty years, Agnes S. Cronin of Chelmsford, a nephew, Stephen Bentas of Chelmsford and many cousins in Greece and the United States.

His funeral service took take place the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Interment followed in Westlawn Cemetery. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Arthur's name to the Holy Trinity Church.

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