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Scott Harvey

Scott Harvey was born in New Mexico on December 29, 1929 and served in the United States Navy during the Korean War. He began competing in road rallies and sports car racing 1953 with his MG-TD while studying engineering at UCLA. He also drove a Porsche Speedster in SCCA road racing on the West Coast. By 1956, Harvey had been hired as a Chrysler engineer in Detroit, Michigan, where he convinced Chrysler to loan him a 300D for the purpose of continuing his road racing and rallying in Michigan. This was the first of a long string of Chrysler products he would go on to race. Harvey’s competition experience was not limited to road racing; he also drove in a multitude of hill climbs and rallies, competing with the Detroit Region of the SCCA. By the early 1960’s, Harvey was heading a team of 19 people at Chrysler and had performed R&D which resulted in the production of high-performance suspension parts including the fast ratio steering box (1965), the bolt through idler arm (1966), and the staggered-leaf springs that appeared on late 60's B-bodies. He also helped to form what became “direct connection.” Through the 1960s, Harvey continued development of the Valiant and the Barracuda for both racing and rally. Disc brakes and a V8 engine all became part of the evolution for competition use. In 1961, Scott Harvey teamed with Gene Henderson to run the 24-hour Canadian Winter Rally. Later that year, they brought the 24-hour format to Michigan’s Press on Regardless Rally, ushering in a new era of rally in the United States that would eventually see the Press on Regardless Rally become one of the premier rallies in North America. Harvey was national SCCA rally champion in 1963 and 1964 and was featured in Chrysler ads that appeared in TIME, LIFE, and LOOK Magazines. Also in 1964, Scott joined Henderson again to take a team of Chrysler-backed Plymouth Valiants to the Monte Carlo Rally in France. Henderson and Harvey finished fifth in class, proving that Americans could compete in rally on the world stage. It would be five years until another American driver appeared at the Monte Carlo Rally. For the 1966 season, Harvey formed Team Starfish to compete in the new SCCA Trans-Am racing series. The Barracudas did quite well and were able to capture second place in the national championship. Harvey himself drove at Sebring, Road America and Riverside. At Virginia International Raceway, Team Starfish fielded a Barracuda for one of NASCAR star Richard Petty’s early forays into sports car racing. In 1968, Harvey won the FIA Shell 4000 Trans-Canada Rally, with Ralph Beckman navigating. A 4,000 mile-long adventure across the whole of Canada, the Shell 4000 was unanimously described as the toughest and most demanding rally in North America. Also in 1968, Harvey again served as chairman of the Press on Regardless Rally, which is still the longest running rally event in SCCA history. In 1968, the event presented the first closed-course stage on an SCCA rally, the "Connors Flat" stage. Under Harvey’s leadership, the Press on Regardless was awarded the prestigious Arthur Gervais Rally of the Year award by the SCCA, the first time a "Performance" rally had been selected for this honor. Harvey again served as chairman in 1972, the POR’s first year as a part of the International Championship for Manufacturers. He was instrumental in PORs return as a part of the FIA World Rally Championship in 1973 and 1974. Harvey would also win the Press on Regardless as a driver a total of four times (1969, 1970, 1971 and 1994).

Harvey was also one of the founders of the MONY (Michigan, Ohio, New York) Rally Series. Most of MONY’s events were SCCA-sanctioned, which eventually led to the SCCA PRO Rally series in 1973. Harvey was the first SCCA Pro Rally champion. 1982, Harvey placed 2nd in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb PRO Rally class. One of Harvey’s final assignments with Chrysler was the engineering manager at the Chrysler Shelby California Development Center, working with Carroll Shelby until the operation closed in late 1987. He also competed in the La Carrera Panamericana historic rally in Mexico from 1999 to 2001. Scott Harvey retired from competition in 2007 and currently resides in Menifee, California. His sons, Scott, Jr. and Doug are also long-time competitors in the Detroit Region SCCA.