Of course, the years had taken their toll on the car, which was basically a primered body with an updated roll cage when it came home to the Garden State from a collection in Georgia. However, the super rare, super fragile aluminum 64 nose remained intact, and DeMarco began the work of bringing the machine back to life, which took the better part of a year.
Some things had changed over time and it was decided to leave them be since the car would see some track time. This included a set of wheel tubs that had been installed in the rear, a minor rear axle relocation done in keeping with then-current Super Stock practice (this was after Harrop sold the car), and certain safety upgrades. Once the sheetmetal and aluminum were straightened out, the paint and bodywork was done by Robby English at the Restoration Connection in Egg Harbor, New Jersey, while the lettering was applied by Bill Halfman. The interior was redone by Ron Murry of ABC Upholstery, who restored a front bench seat and installed a set of door panel from SMS in Oregon.
For motivation, Rick turned to none other than NHRA Stock racer Jerry Stein. Stein, also from New Jersey, has run Max Wedge cars for decades, and he put together a engine that would propel the car down into the 10 second range with ease. Behind this is a Dynamic Transmissions-built A727, a narrowed Dana 60 with a 4.56 ring, and a set of big 10.5-inch slicks.
Helping Rick finish the job was nephew John Finelli and good friend Bob Dyer, who serves as crewchief on all the cars in DeMarcos collection. While Dyer has driven the car as well when Rick isnt behind the wheel, its best-known occupant is also its original owner, Bobby Harrop. Since Harrop still lives nearby, outside of Camden, New Jersey, Rick gave him the opportunity to actually debut the car in competition after its completion in 1997.
Harrop acted as if he had never left the drag strip, recording a great 10.60 second time. Now, with nostalgia super stock racing continuing to grow, it remains quite possible that Bobby Harrop will again be in the winners circle, thanks to DeMarcos efforts.