About the time Harry started on his T, he and a few other guys founded one of the region's most notable car clubs, the Pharaohs. "It was one of the first NHRA-chartered clubs this side of the Mississippi," John Cassaubon proclaimed. "We had a Barris car and two Clarkaiser (Ron Clark and Bob Kaiser) cars." Then there was Harry's. And it ruled."
"We went to the Nationals in Oklahoma City simply because Hot Rod magazine was going to be there," John noted.
"Barris wanted to hire Harry," Jerry remembered. "He was looking at his workmanship and his abilities."
Barris' magazine connections are likely what took Harry's car national. We've already noted the December '61 Hot Rod, but the car appeared in another Car Craft story that same month. According to the May '62 Rodding & Restyling, Harry and his Trojan acquired 18 trophies-six best of show-in seven shows.
"That was quite an accomplishment in those days," John revealed. "If you lived east of the Mississippi you were really lucky to get any recognition; the big west coast magazine guys hardly ever came out this far."
Barbara guessed that Harry sold the Trojan prior to 1965, the year they moved into their new house. Nobody remembers to whom he sold the car. Later photos of the car show a Jimmy blower, a horizontal tube grille, chromed wheels with reversed rims and false knockoffs. Color snapshots indicate candy-apple red paint without flames. From there the car seemingly fell off the planet.
Fast-forward 30 years and meet Mike Guffey (the racecar trader) and Mark Moriarty (the show-car collector). "Mark and I go to Auburn every year for the Kruse auction," Mike began. "I walked up on this T-bucket in the corral. Candy red, Nailhead Buick with a 4-71 and chrome-plated everything. I'm looking at it thinkin', 'This ain't your average bear.'"
As the story went, the seller bought the car that day. "He told me that the body was polyester (fiberglass)," Mike added. "Somehow-I can't remember what it was that I saw that made me come to the conclusion that it was a steel car." He called Mark to ask if he'd seen it. "'Yeah, I didn't even look at it,' he told me.
"About six or seven years later, Moriarity calls me up and tells me that the car's on eBay," Mike added.
Mark explained, "The card that was in front of the car when it was in Auburn said that it had an ultra-rare early Poli-Form plastic body, so I didn't think anything of it. It said that in the auction too but Mike kept saying it was a steel car."
"I bet Mark $100 that the car was steel," Mike said. "There was a Ford swap meet on in Columbus, so I told him to get an appointment and we'll drive by Cincinnati and take a look at that car. By this point we're going to see this car to win a bet, not whether or not I should buy it."
"Yeah, I lost a $100 on that one," Mark lamented. "He stuck a fridge magnet on it as soon as we got there. He starts saying 'This is something good; we don't know what it is yet, but it's good!' Mike put a deposit on it and they drove home. Once there, they went straight for the ISCA Showtime book. "There it was on page four. The Trojan," Mike declared, still giddy with the find.
Enter Ralph Whitworth. Among other things, Ralph owns the Flying A Garage in Winnemucca, Nevada. The Flying A, specifically Dave Bengochea, mechanic Ken Lutzow, and painter Parker Arrien, restores and maintains Ralph's cars-mostly early hot rods and drag racers. "In late 2005, we went to look at some old A/FX cars over at Mike Guffey's place in Indiana," Dave noted.
"The T was off in the corner, so I started digging around looking at it," Ralph added. "I dreamed myself to sleep about dragging Main in a T-bucket, and it would've looked like that." A deal was struck and the Trojan had a new caretaker once again.
Meet Harry Markiecki. This...
Meet Harry Markiecki. This early photograph shows unidentified hubcaps that look eerily like prehistoric '70s Valiant caps. It's not entirely clear if they appeared first, last, or whenever Harry needed to change things up.