The Special Flies Through the Air

Your webmaster saw this accident.  Turn 1 at the modified Santa Barbara course was a high-speed left hander.  Harris got sideways, then clipped a trackside culvert.  (Amazing the lack of safety standards in those days!), and was catapulted 30 feet in the air.

A whole grandstand-full of spectators had a perfect view of the incident, as well as two other major crashes that day, one of them fatal.

(1-15-09)   From Bob Harris:

"I was in the modified main event, running second or third.  I went to pass the car in front of me, misjudged and made a momentary four wheel departure into the dirt. After that, the car didn't seem to be handling right. My pit crew noticed something was wrong, and as I went by them they had their hands out as if to ask what's wrong? I shook my head to indicate that I wasn't sure. As I approached Turn 1, I decided to use extra caution as I knew something was wrong. Halfway through the turn, the car just seemed to snap out from under me. Next thing I knew, I was spinning at about 140mph. At that speed I knew I was in big trouble. I clenched the wheel as hard as I could, bent down, and hung on. The next thing I knew I had struck something and was airborne." 

Next:   The Special Slams Back Down

Back to:   Bob Harris and Steve McQueen

Back to:   Bob Harris' Photos -- Homepage