Harry Lindsay’s introduction to hot rodding included grand theft auto. No, not by him, his car was stolen by some thug who mercilessly unchained Harry’s Model A and rolled off with it. The car couldn’t be driven because it was a rusted-out hulk that Harry bought while he was in high school, which was also about the time that Dwight D. Eisenhower was winding down his second term in the White House. “I paid $15 for it,” Harry says, “and some guy stole it from me!”
The king of the small-blocks, the 327 Chevy runs a COMP Cams ’stick while an Edelbrock int
The Denver PD failed to send out an APB on the missing car, so Harry cut his losses and moved on, eventually buying a fully operable ’32 Ford three-window during the winter of 1960. “It was powered by a 283 Chevy V-8 with a ’39 Ford transmission and a stock rearend,” Harry recalls.
The three-window became Harry’s daily driver “for about a year, at which time a Corvette four-speed transmission and ’56 Chevy rearend were installed for reliability, and because it was the thing to do in the ’60s.”
Drag racing your street-driven hot rod also was the thing to do in the ’60s, approaching 20 years, he set a path to the staging lane at his local dragstrip, Continental Divide Raceway in Castle Park, Colorado. “But we also ventured to Cheyenne, Julesburg, Colorado Springs, and one trip to Amarillo, Texas,” he adds. By “we,” he means himself and two buddies, Nick Morstad and Phil Arendell who crewed for him. “We were just kids,” Harry says of those formative and somewhat halcyon years in hot rodding, “but we’re still best friends today.”
The stock dash is wood grained and then outfitted with a Bob Marchese insert and fitted wi
Those three kids, Harry, Nick and Phil, won most of their races, too, competing mostly in B/Gas Supercharged, thanks to a Jimmy 4-71 blower stacked with a pair of AFB four-barrel carbs and Racer Brown roller cam inside the small-block Chevy. Why not use the more popular 6-71 huffer? “Back then everybody’s tendency was to over-supercharge and over-carb,” Harry points out. “The 4-71 was perfect for good acceleration. We didn’t have the mph many of the other cars had, but we had good e.t.’s.” And e.t., not mph, is what wins drag races. Always has and always will.
Harry considers his race at Amarillo one of the team’s more memorable events. “I ended up with only one V-belt at the end of the run,” he recalls. “The other two flew off.” And they won the race. But aligning three blower drivebelts proved to be a handful, which eventually led to the young trio popping for a Cragar notched belt to help power their mini huffer. The car later packed a 327 Chevy engine, and in 1965 Harry installed a 350, thinking bigger is better. “It never did run as good as the 327,” he says.
“By 1966 the car was behind the times for Gas Supercharged cars, and the motor was transferred to a ’40 Chevy owned by myself and Art Ward,” Harry continues. Then something terrible happened in Harry’s life. “Art went on to Funny Car fame with the Assassination Corvair, and I went on to a career.” With the dreaded “C” word in the picture, the three-window, now an ex–drag race car, was unceremoniously rolled into Harry’s garage. And as Harry advanced in his career, got married, raised a family, and so on, the old Ford sat sullenly in its stall where it served as a safe haven for miscellaneous parts and other car-guy items. “I used to go in the garage and sit in the car just to remember the good old days,” Harry confesses.
The stock bench seat is covered in camel-colored leather by Jim Skinner.
“The car remained parked in my garage for about 25 years until the mid-’90s when it was completely rebuilt as the ground-up project as you see it today,” Harry adds. “This car is not only all steel, but it has almost all of the original parts for the car when I bought it in 1960.” That’s saying something as when you consider that many race cars lucky to survive have done so only after serving as parts donors to other projects, be it for street or for strip. By the way, that original parts manifest includes the rumble seat, typically an expendable commodity for a drag car. The running boards, Harry notes, are replacement items, acquired from the V-8 Shop.
Obviously the reincarnated car looks much different than it did as a stripper. Another 327 resides underhood, but it’s a much toned-down small-block, one intended for longer hauls than a quarter of a mile.
Other subtleties (replacement parts) that put the three-window into the new millennium include a Ford 9-inch with long-legged 3.08 gears, Posies parallel leaf springs to lower the back, a dropped Super Bell axle to accomplish the same task up front, and front disc brakes to keep Harry and Connie, his bride of nearly 40 years, safe. Harry still likes to bang the gears, though, so a Richmond five-speed box was spliced into the drivetrain.
The chassis was restored by Jack Presse, who had his shop in Aurora, Colorado, at the time. “He’s now in Stevensville, Montana,” Harry explains, “but he’s still a good guy and cheaper than the rest of them!”
Matt Halverson of Nice Rides Restoration in LaSalle, Colorado, revived the all-steel body and gave it that shiny bright red paintjob that consists of DuPont pigments that Frank Faliano mixed. Jim Skinner of Autoweave in Denver stitched the interior, and Bob Kennedy produced the classy wood grain dash.
Back in the day the three buddies (Harry, Nick, and Phil) campaigned the B/Gas Supercharge
The revived coupe has been on the road for quite a while now, but it’s still in fantastic shape. But you gotta wonder, if given the opportunity would Harry, Nick, and Phil take it to the staging lane for another pass? If they did, my money is on them making a respectable run. See, I’m a firm believer in “once a racer, always a racer.” And these three guys were racers, first and foremost.