Easton , PA garage owner, Harold Cope, fielded some of the cleanest and fastest modified stock cars on the east coast during the 1950's and 1960's. Cope's cars competed at Pitman, NJ, Middletown , NY , and Allentown , Hatfield, Langhorne, and Reading in Pennsylvania , but became legendary at the half mile at Nazareth , PA.
Cope won the Nazareth title in 1953 with Freddie Fehr at the wheel of his #29.
In 1955 Cope switched to his famous #1 as a tribute to his friend, Wally Campbell, who was killed in a sprint car crash on July 17, 1954 on the paved high-banks at Salem , IN while practicing for an upcoming AAA event. Prior to graduating to sprint cars, Campbell won many stock car races on the east coast piloting a #1 owned by Wally Marks
Modified legend, Otto Harwi, drove Cope cars to five straight titles at Nazareth in 1955, '56, '57, '58, and '59.
Bob Malzahn poses with the Harold Cope #1 at Nazareth in 1961.
Miami , Florida racer, Bob Malzahn became the third driver to win a Nazareth title in a Cope modified in 1960. Unfortunately he lost the 1961 title to Al Tasnady in a rough and tumble final lap of the last race of the season. Malzahn also won the Langhorne Race of Champions in 1961, the inaugural modified show at Reading in 1963, and features at Nazareth and Middletown , NY during his successful association with Harold Cope.
Alan "Rags" Carter, another transplanted Floridian, won the final Nazareth titles for Cope in 1965 and 1966 in cut-down versions of the famed #1. Lehighton , PA 's Bobby Bottcher took over the #1 in 1967 with success at both Nazareth and Middletown . Cope retired as an owner in 1968.
Cope used both coupes and flatback sedans, always 1937 models and always Fords. Power came from a 312 cu. in. Y-block Ford Thunderbird engine (a 427 cu. in. Ford engine was installed in 1964).
The 1937 Ford coupe on display with EARHS recreates the modified Harold Cope and Bob Malzahn campaigned during the 1961-1963 seasons. .
Chassis refinements were few, although a Model "A" buggy spring was installed to accommodate a Halibrand quick change rear end. The stock Ford driveline and transmission remained intact and a stock Ford front end with Buick brakes made for easily available replacement parts.
A big red #1, the simple commercial for "Harold's Garage, Easton, PA", and the prominent Pennzoil decals reflected Cope's straightforward approach to racing……...always Ford, always Pennzoil, and always field a modified capable of being #1.
Chassis Fabrication & Welding Paul Weisel, Jr.
Mechanical Reconstruction Ron Dunstan
Body Restoration / Paint Don Biegley
312 Ford Y-Block Superior Automotive
Headers Cliff Quinn
Carburetor Art Keiser
Lettering Denny Smith
Body and chassis parts courtesy Valley Antique Ford