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A tale of two Harveys


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#1 dc-65x

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 07:36 PM

I absolutely love the 1963 Harvey Aluminum Specials, Mickey Thompson’s "Wild Indy Chevy". I also love Bill Thomas Cheetahs so go figure taste :D . Anywho I won these two sorry-looking bodies on eBay. On the left is the scale Lancer version and on the right is the Dynamic Low and Wide Handling Body:

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They are covered in a thick layer of dirt and the 40 year old masking tape that has turned to stone is a nice touch, too :shok: . The bodies are the most scratched up I've ever seen and yet there isn't a single crack or fold in them... amazing :blink: . Looky what can be done with them if your REALLY CAREFUL and a bit lucky, too ;) .

The following will be "before" and "after" shots of them. First the Dynamic Low and Wide Handling Body washed with dish soap and water and ready for polishing:

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Finished!

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Check out these before and after close-ups of the scratches:

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This is the polish I used to work this miracle:

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Next up the scale Lancer Harvey is washed with dish soap and water. I tried a modern glue remover on the old tape but it wouldn't touch it. I soaked the body in warm water and dish soap and scraped what tape I could off with my fingernail:

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Finished:

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Before and after shots of the pair:

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Look how much bigger the Handling Body is:

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Next up reference magazine articles and photos from the period...
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Rick Thigpen
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#2 Tex

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 10:23 PM

Wow! You certainly worked some magic with that polish! I'm sure you'll turn out a couple of marvels when all is said and done.
Richard L. Hofer

Remember, two wrongs don't make a right... but three lefts do! Only you're a block over and a block behind.

#3 dc-65x

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 10:40 PM

Hi Tex,

I was so amazed at the transformation I just had to share it. Also, I think the Novus 2 polish is all one really needs.

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You just have to be careful when polishing not to let your cloth catch and snag on the body which can cause it to CRACK!

I learned this the hard way. I was simply washing and drying a couple of bodies that I was to send to LASCM. My terrycloth towel caught a rough edge and there was an instant CRACK! :shok: Now I use a cotton TEE shirt which is less likely to snag than a terry cloth towel.

Novus 2, cotton tee shirt and work slowly and carefully :) .

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#4 TSR

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 10:49 PM

Rick, nice job!

I use plastic polish to clean up messed-up bodies, too; it works real well. I wash them first to get the dirt and dust out, then there goes the polish, that is in fact a fine grinding powder in a liquid.

Lancer has two versions of the 1963 Harvey, the other has side pipes coming out of the engine cover. I do not know which one is harder to find. Lovely things... :)

Philippe de Lespinay


#5 68Caddy

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 11:00 PM

Rick,

I would not expect less from you because all your work turns into magic. ;) I use that product myself on plastics to clean them up and they sure are good.

Onward, Rick, I cant stand waiting to see your great magic worked on these bodies.

Nesta
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#6 Prof. Fate

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 01:18 PM

Hi,

Lovely. I haven't seen anything but the Lancer Lexan repops in recent years.

In the day, say '66, it was common to use this and the McLaren Mk 2 because you could easily fit the same car under the two bodies. Kept costs down for the average kid racer.

My survivors from then were appropriated by MY kids in the day. These were "Jail Door" period, but used steel wire instead of brass. As teenage kids, they would dice for hours on the local commercial track with the pair! My youngest shared your interest such that he tagged along on a business trip with me to the Midwest about 20 years ago because I would be in Indy. The purpose was to cruise the Indy library for some 8 x10 glossies of his favorite car.

The "kids of today." Harrumph!

Fate
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#7 dc-65x

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 06:01 PM

Lancer has two versions of the 1963 Harvey, the other has side pipes coming out of the engine cover. I do not know which one is harder to find. Lovely things... :)

That explains it, two versions. The Harvey shows up early in Lancer's lineup (1964 or so) and yet the detail of this body is much nicer than their first efforts.

Now I need to figure out about when this later version came out so I can build a "Korrect" car for it :unsure: .

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#8 TSR

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 06:05 PM

Rick, the body is nearly identical except for the pipes. Here is a picture of a used one in the middle of other stuff:

2010_2__220.JPG

Philippe de Lespinay


#9 dc-65x

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 06:23 PM

Hmmmmmmmmmm... maybe I can stick a Pittman in mine...

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#10 TSR

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 06:32 PM

A 6001BB would rock... :)

Philippe de Lespinay


#11 Howmet TX

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 03:40 AM

Though I love the Harvey dearly, this is my current dream machine;

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Repopped from an old GT Models (I think) All States Special, courtesy of John Secchi. Tragic but gorgeous, and a popular runner here back when it was new. I was going to keep it a secret until I'd built one up for Edo - I think it's his kinda thang. But as long as you chaps don't tell him... It's going to need a Dynamic frame with piano wire extensions, methinks, and a hot 26D.

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#12 Edo

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 04:41 AM

WOW, double WOW!

Rick, what a body restoration job!

Where can I get that polish? I seriously think it could work on some old scratched Polaroid SX70 pics I need to scan and blow up for a possible exhibition!

I was going to keep it a secret until I'd built one up for Edo- I think it's his kinda thang. But as long as you chaps don't tell him... It's going to need a Dynamic frame with piano wire extensions, methinks, and a hot 26D.

Hey H.

I think the E. has the Dynamic inline motor mount and that hot 26D you need.

I just have to silently slip into his Royal cupboard and look for them.

But you guys keep mum, OK?
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#13 HarV Wallbanger III

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 04:58 AM

Great job, Rick! You must have had a good time with the stuff! You are truly a master!

I used the Novus product on my Harley windshield and it worked great also.

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#14 dc-65x

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:14 AM

... a Pittman 6001BB... hmmmmmmmm...

HOLY SMOKES, JOHN :shok: , that’s an All States Special... WOW! Is that a Thingie or was it a real car from Indy’s “Age of Innovation” :unsure: ?

Hi Edo. Here’s where I got mine but a Google search shows it available all over the place:

TAP PLASTICS

Yup, Barney, that Novus is great stuff ;) .

I bought a couple of period magazine off eBayvia “Buy It Now” that have period Harvey articles. Here’s the first. Check out the cover!

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Hey, Jairus, can you make my Lancer Harvey look like that :) ? Another WOW! :wub:

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Looks like I forgot the last page... I'll get that scanned and posted soon.

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#15 Howmet TX

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:57 AM

allstate1.jpg

all_state_4.jpg

John Dilworth


#16 Tex

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 11:18 AM

AH! So, the Sears Allstate Special is an evolutionary chapter of the Harvey Aluminum Special! WAY COOL!
Richard L. Hofer

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#17 tonyp

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 12:19 PM

That was a wild car... Mickey always marched to a different drummer... That car originally showed up without the beak on the nose and fully enclosed front tires...

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#18 Larry Mattingly

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 12:29 PM

Dave McDonald triggered the firey front stretch accident in 1964 while driving this thing...

Claimed the life of Eddie Sachs.

Refresh my memory (P or anyone)... was this version the one that was messing around with reer steer? Stories at the time claimed the cars were unstable after USAC outlawed the low profile tires used on the '63 cars.

John... is that body 1/24 scale?

To bad Indy cars aren't legal in IRRA... :rolleyes: :laugh2:

But, they are legal in D3... :blink:

LM

#19 Prof. Fate

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 12:54 PM

Hi,

I always thought it was an interesting point that WE always did the Masten Gregory blue and white car as above, but the red and white 83 car by Dinen (?) was the one that actually qualified and raced!

My youngest is in love with the red and white, I will try to get him to photo and post the car. The chassis is a period survivor he "borrowed".

Fate
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#20 TSR

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 01:20 PM

Peter Bryant tells the story quite well in his book, "Can-Am Contender". Peter was always a straight shooter.

When he arrived at Indy with the task of engineering these three new cars, derived from the previous year's "rollerskate" chassis, the cars had a fully-enveloping body that caused massive lift and terminal understeer that ended in snap oversteer. By the time race day came, the cars had been slowly and step by step made not only drivable but actually competitive, their top speed being in the three highest recorded, and their cornering speed as good as anyone's. Transition straight to corner was still not the best, but once pushed, the cars were now stable.

Legends flew about the car being a "fuel tank bomb", "dangerous", etc. Truth is, Dave MacDonald simply wanted to lead the opening lap and pushed the car too hard in his dirt-car driving style, losing control and causing the dreadful accident. The car was no more at fault that any other such assembly of hot rod bits at the time, especially the front-engine roadsters that offered their drivers absolutely zero control once askew.

Fairness to all is necessary here, and especially fairness to mickey Thompson, John Crosthwaite, and Peter Bryant.

To bad Indy cars aren't legal in IRRA... :rolleyes: :laugh2:

But, they are legal in D3... :blink:

I do not see them in the D3 listing at this time, the only Indy car I see there being the Lotus 56. :)

Larry, as far as four-wheel steering, my memory is a blank but if there was such a thing, it probably was not voluntary... :)

The Thompson cars were derived from the design of the 1961 Cooper-Climax, that really opened the eyes of Indy specialist engineers. The late Quincy Epperly told me, while repairing and welding the engine block from that very car for me, that when he saw the car for the fist time in the Indy garage, he said to himself that that damn Briton was going to put them all (Trevis, Watson, etc.) out of business...

John Crosthwaite was a former Cooper designer who was hired by Jim Kimberly and Mickey to design the 1962 Indy cars, and stayed on until the 1964 drama. If you look at the cars, they are basically "squashed" Coopers... not a bad thing really, but with a clear lack of understanding of aero and downforce. That will come later.

Philippe de Lespinay


#21 Steve Deiters

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 01:33 PM

PdL,

Since you live on the West coast and have socialized with lots of vintage car people over the years, have you every heard what happened to the surviving Harvey Aluminum cars? I know that Thompson's son has some of the dragsters and land speed cars, but I don't know about the Indy cars. I always wondered what happened to them. I seem to have read somewhere that the son was planning to open a museum, but that was a while ago.

Any ideas?

#22 TSR

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 01:45 PM

Steve,

At least one survived in a restored condition, unfortunately far from accurate, at the IMS museum if I recall correctly. There were a total of seven chassis built, four in 1962, three in 1963 with the smaller tires, and these became the 1964 cars. Two of the 1962 cars were retained by Jim Kimberly and never raced again, while the other two (including the one driven by Dan Gurney) raced again in 1963, with Al Miller being the best of the Thompson drivers. The surviving car I am aware of is a 1962/63 car made into a semi-1964 contraption and fitted with a Ford four-cam.

I will research what happened to the other cars, but last I heard, they had turned into bits and pieces all over Thompson's shop. And of course the MacDonald car was cut in pieces and binned.

Philippe de Lespinay


#23 Howmet TX

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 01:45 PM

Sorry to hijack your thread, DC.

That All States bod is 1/24 - at least nominally. 3" wide, 3-7/8" wheelbase, 1-1/2" front axle-to-nose.

Somewhere I saw a picture of the remains of one of these under a tarp in Micky Thompson's scrapyard, but I may be suffering from false memory syndrome.

John Dilworth


#24 Larry Mattingly

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 01:46 PM

P,

Thanks for refreshing my memory about those cars...

My D3 'legal' comment was in reference to the fact that 1960s era Indy car bodies are permitted in D3. I realize that bodies have to be submitted for approval...

LM

#25 Larry Mattingly

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 01:49 PM

That All States bod is 1/24- at least nominally. 3" wide, 3 7/8" wheelbase, 1 1/2" front axle-to-nose.

John,

Are they available from you?

LM





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