The April 7th issue of AutoWeek has several must-see articles. Sport Car Digest’s favorite is a profile of Harry Yeaggy’s garage written by Phil Berg, the same Phil Berg that penned the great Ultimate Garage books. SCD cannot get enough of Mr. Berg’s garage profiles. Thanks to AutoWeek for including the article in this issue.
These days, Harry Yeaggy acts like a lottery winner, as if he’s still trying to figure out why he’s the lucky guy who wound up with the best car in the world. He seems embarrassed that fate chose him as the keeper of the last breath of the dying Duesenberg car company, the so-called Mormon Meteor, a 1935 speed-record special that won Best of Show at Pebble Beach last August.
“I never dreamed of this. I’ve been reading AutoWeek since 1970, and now I’m on the cover,” Yeaggy said of our Sept. 3, 2007, issue (“What a Duesey!”).
He’s accepted the challenge of being the preserver of some of the best cars in the world, too. For example, the car that saved the Corvette from death gets maintained on the lift in his spotless 25-car garage. The all-original ’56 Corvette was the first ever to win a race and showed GM that the slow-selling Corvette had promise.
Not many people have seen Yeaggy’s garage, partly because he is admittedly not a social hound. “I know I should have more people in,” he said, “but I just don’t do that sort of thing. “Yeaggy didn’t inherit the car gene. His family couldn’t afford a car when he was a kid, and his first was a ’58 Ford. His classic-car interest began when he bought an old ’37 Packard about 25 years ago, fixed it and traded up to more exclusive versions, eventually moving into Duesenbergs. “To me, that’s the best American car ever made,” he said.
Yeaggy found a Ford GT40, No. 1076, which shared the 1-2-3 GT40 tie at Le Mans in 1966. He also has the only factory Cobra race car made with a 427 big block.
In 1990, he bought a Ferrari F40, and today it sits alongside an Enzo and an F50, two successive models that are so fast they once made him think his immaculate F40 was broken.
“When I buy a car, I get rid of one. So that means whatever I buy I have to like better than what I have. But the problem is, when you have 25 cars, you don’t drive everything as much as you think you do.”