There rages a daily debate in garages across this great land on whether new cars are safer than the good ole’ American iron of the ’50s. Racer Kelly Harvey, who was driving a 1955 Chevy at Pikes Peak International Raceway on Saturday, will side with the vintage iron on that argument. With good reason too. Harvey was competing in the Colorado Street Outlaws at the Fountain, Colorado racetrack when he lost control of this car.
Lined up against another vintage Chevy Camaro, the two bowties launched from the line simultaneously. Almost immediately the Camaro started drifting towards the right lane and Harvey’s ’55. The two cars both began the fishtail dance down the track in a series of correct and overcorrect steering inputs as they tried to keep from hitting each other.
Harvey’s ’55 seemed to have it under control at the end of the run when one last steering correction caused the car to enter a barrel-roll. Four complete revolutions later, the Chevy ended up on it’s wheels, facing the wrong direction with Harvey’s legs sticking out the hole where the front windshield used to be.
The racer managed to pull his legs back into the car, pull off his helmet and get out of the driver’s door. Walking a little wobbly, Harvey gingerly stepped over to the side of the track as the track rescue workers pulled up to check on his condition.
Harvey was quoted as saying, “My seat belts were not mounted properly and pulled through the floor of the car. I’m grateful to the staff and safety crew at PPIR for such a rapid response to my situation.”
Harvey only suffered minor injuries in the crash. The car however, will need extensive work. As it turns out, the car belong’s to Harvey’s wife.
It was probably pretty quiet at dinner that night.