Harry Gant '57 Chevy Sportsman Car
Jerry Sims
Monday March 23 2009, 5:19 PM
My brother came to see me yesteray and he couldn't wait until Christmas to bring this one over. I love it! And it was built just like the real cars back in the day, before you could just buy the pieces and stick'em together.He was browsing the model "junk yard" up at Earl's Speed & Custom in Gaffney, just like we used to do the real ones, when a new tool '57 Be Air caught his eye. Just like the old school racers, he loaded up the body and hauled it back home, stripped and gutted it and started on a cage.One of the much maligned ERTL Winston Cup kits, some paint, a little imagination along with some serious "back yard engineering" and this masterpiece was ready for the lettering brush.Just like the real one, it even carries an "orphan" front bumpver from a '57 Ford. I like to think it made it run faster. LOLTo paraphrase the credit card commercial-Salvage yard body-$4.......ERTL stock car kit-$4..........Fantastic $8 one of a kind late model sportsman car-PRICELESS!Everybody should have a kid brother as wonderful as I do. Here he is with his latest creation. Photobucket
Dargan Watts
@dargan-watts   13 years ago
Here is Harry Gant picking up the win at Columbia Speedway in April, 1971, which was the first race after the famed oval was converted from dirt to asphalt. This was the 12th and final year the '57 Chevy could be run as a Late Model Sportsman. Prior to that, it ran 3 years as a Grand National. Gant was such an unknown at Columbia, if I remember correctly, his name was mis-spelled in The State newspaper the next day.What a beautiful that was back then and it is even more beautiful today. Any chance we might see it at Columbia for the "Reunion" in April?
Jerry Sims
@jerry-sims   13 years ago
I have a friend who is organinizine the car show and if he can work out the details I hope to bring around 100 Grand National and Sportsman models to the Reunion. They've been shown at places like the Speedwau Club at CMS, the 25th Anniversary at Rockingham and the Joe Weatherly Museum. Everything from Fireball's '56 Ford convertible to Neil Castles' Daytona and all kinds of stuff in between..
Dargan Watts
@dargan-watts   13 years ago
It is amazing what you brothers can do to bring the cars, trucks & haulers to "real life". Hope you can get things worked out so you can share your talents with others at Columbia.
Jerry Sims
@jerry-sims   13 years ago
Talkin' about "real life" wait'll you see this thing in action with Tiny Lund. Check out the "changing of the guard" post.
Mike Sykes
@mike-sykes   13 years ago
Jerry I hope you do bring some of your cars to the show. Folks Jerry brought some of his collection to the first banquet for the Old Timers Racing Club in 1991 and he has the best detailed cars that I have ever seen. Some of the people still talk about his awesome collection still today.
Jerry Sims
@jerry-sims   13 years ago
Mike, you are intirely too kind. I was going through a major life crisis during that time and when B.D. told me that I should take my stuff up there, that it would be good for me, I decided to go. He said that it was just up the road a piece from his museum at CMS so I loaded up and two and a half hours later I got there!!!!!! But it was so worth the long ride.I was just getting started with RCCA at the time and the crooked brother and his cronie was there talking to all the legends about how they were gonna do the new diecast '63 Fords and then some more old cars after that. I'll never forget the look on his face when he told Ralph Moody about it. Moody pointed in the direction of my showcase with all the HM cars in it and said, "That's the guy you need to talk to. His cars are dead on. They've got the right numbers, colors, they even "set" right." The look on his face when Ralph said that was priceless but having one of, if not the best, chassis men in the sport say that about my builds just gave me chills. I've got several of the little gold "birds" but the one I cherish most is the one Ralph gave me personally when he was looking at my cars that day. I hope to be able to work it out so both me and my son can get down there for the show and I'm looking forward to seeing you again. Reckon you would autograph my Old Timer's Racing Club license plate for me to go with my HM box that I "ruined" at the Holman Moody Reunion by having all those guys (Moody, Lorenzen, Larry Wallace, Tommy Turner, etc) write all over it? LOL