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Chicken Hawk destroyed in racing mishap

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jessie J., May 10, 2009.

  1. Jessie J.
    Joined: Oct 28, 2004
    Posts: 397

    Jessie J.

    The famous "Chicken Hawk" '51 Studebaker raced by long-time Studebaker racer Ted Harbit was destroyed in racing a mishap at the Muncie Ind dragstrip, yesterday May 9th.
    Running the 1/8 th mile, at around 110mph a catastopic engine faliure caused the car to cross the lanes and roll ten times, and be impaled by by the 'win' light at the end of the quarter.
    Ted, who just last week celebrated his 74th birthday, is in the hospital being treated for various broken bones and injuries.
    He has owned and raced the the "Chicken Hawk" Studebaker for 47 years!
    More details and updates available at
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  2. Rolled ten times and impaled, AND lived to see another day? That's one tough old bird! Hope Mr. Harbit does well...not easy to recuop from things at that age.
  3. spoons
    Joined: Jan 1, 2004
    Posts: 1,738

    from ohio

    Lost my car there as well...same type of accident, but didn't roll 10 times..about 5 and ended up on ther other side of the guard-rail
  4. fridaynitedrags
    Joined: Apr 17, 2009
    Posts: 402


    In the link, it was reported that a rod was sticking through the pan. All the more reason to use a ballistic bag or at the least, a lower engine oil retention device with absorbent material. Sportsman bags are around $130 on ebay or a guy could cobble up an 0.032" aluminum tray with 2" high sides on it for cheap. Build it as wide as you can and at least from the damper to the bellhousing. Lay in some pig mat with expanded aluminum over it and pop rivet or sheet metal screw the expanded into place to keep the mat from blowing out.

    NHRA requires a bag at 7.49 in brackets and at 9.99 for Super Gas and Super Comp. Personally, I'd like to see the rule extended to any car or truck with a roll bar. That would take the rule to 11.49. There's just no reason for catastrophies like Ted Harbit has encountered when you have inexpensive means to prevent them.

  5. spoons
    Joined: Jan 1, 2004
    Posts: 1,738

    from ohio

    They didn't have ballistic bags back in the 80's when I rolled...They didn't have them on fuelers either..(I think)
  6. oh man i liked that car! pics after?
  7. jkperformance
    Joined: Oct 9, 2008
    Posts: 84


    you will find some pics on the Junior Staock thread
  8. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755


    Man, that's really is too bad, but glad he is ok. No worries on the car. Plenty of Stude stuff around to build as many as anyone would want. Just hope he pulls through ok.
  9. studematt
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 432



    Man I hope he is ok. I remember reading about that car as a kid in my dads turing wheels magazines and being inspired as my first car when I was 14 was a 51 champ coupe.
  10. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage


    prayers for Ted Harbit

    hard age to go thru something like that...hell at any age

    Hope he comes thru this ok..
    keep us posted
  11. found's a sad day when a legendary car get's wrecked :(

    Attached Files:

  12. Omega
    Joined: Jul 11, 2006
    Posts: 876

    from Mass

    So sad, hope hes ok.

    As far as the chicken hawk.. No one wants to see it wreck, but at the very least Im glad it did it on the drag strip, doing what it was built to do, ..and not on a trailer..or by some knucklehead out on the road..
  13. death trap man
    Joined: Apr 20, 2009
    Posts: 145

    death trap man
    from Atco NJ

    Man thats a bad wreck! Glad hes OK. Hope I'm still ablle to hit the track at 74!
  14. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,406

    from Wa.St.

    Wow, hope the old guy pulls threw to race another day! He needs to send his Stude to Jim Sibley, maybe it could be ready for next season!
  15. resqd37Zep
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,217

    from Nor Cal

    Wasn't he building a twin turbo Avanti some years ago? Whatever happened to that car?
  16. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch

    He's lucky to have survived that one!
  17. Holeee Shit!! Thats a bad one. I hope he comes out of it OK.
  18. 35ratbstr
    Joined: Feb 18, 2006
    Posts: 490

    from Colorado

    Well from the look at the pictures of the car, thank God he's live! Its sad the car was destroyed but they made plenty.
    Lets wish him well in his recovery
  19. I'll always remember that car as a very successful Jr Stocker

  20. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    Wow, a legendary end to a legendary car. Ted, I'm raising my beer and toasting everything you and the Hawk did, here's to a speedy and complete recovery.
  21. jagfxr1949
    Joined: Jun 27, 2008
    Posts: 277


    A sad day - great car. Best wishes to Ted for a full recovery.
  22. Stude-sled
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 678


    The Avanti is still under construction, but I am sure that once Ted is better he will be working on it a LOT more. He said the Chicken Hawk was on what could have been it's fastest pass ever.
  23. What a bad wreck,that car is mangled, hope he pulls through just fine.
  24. DirtyThirty
    Joined: Mar 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,396

    from nowhere...

    That looks BAD!
    Wow...heres hoping he mends quickly...Damn...sad.
  25. Xdrag48
    Joined: Mar 1, 2009
    Posts: 470


    WOW! That was a nasty one...
  26. gassedbaker
    Joined: Jul 4, 2007
    Posts: 328


    the chicken hawk and mr. harbit are a staple in my memories of goin to the track as a lil kid...its deffinatley a sad day to see the pictures...the chicken hawk gave its life to the man that gave it its life....the stude gods were shinin down on ol ted yesterday....

    i am thankfull that my ol stude was once owned and raced by mr. harbit. hopefully someday soon after the recovery i can take him for a ride in her once again......
  27. what a shame, great looking car. Prayers to the driver.
  28. gassedbaker
    Joined: Jul 4, 2007
    Posts: 328


  29. RadioFlyer
    Joined: Jan 13, 2007
    Posts: 162


    Man, glad Ted survived that one!

    Loooong time lurker at
  30. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    Any word on how Ted is doing?

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