“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.

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.