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Obituary: Roger Harney

By Tim Boyd
Published: January 27, 2014
On Jan. 21, we received word that Roger Harney, a key member of the team at Revell, passed away after a 57-year career.

Roger was an accomplished airplane modeler when he joined Monogram in 1957 as a model maker. He soon graduated to kit designer, with the Long John Dragster and Green Hornet to his credit, followed by the Monogram 1:8 scale Chevy engine. That led to the "Big T" series, which included industry firsts such as wiring and printed instrument gauges.

Roger graduated to management in 1963, where he ran the Model Shop for 10 years. In 1972 he became the head of engineering at the Model Shop and then moved to research and development in 1997, where he took the lead in developing prefinished graphics and Revell's die-cast models.

He then became director of manufacturing, outsourcing and engineering and, most recently, vice president of engineering and manufacturing. Then at age 77, he had tentatively planned to retire in 2014.

Roger was also an accomplished model car builder and a true car guy. He recently sent me pictures of his expert build of the 1948 Ford Chopped Coupe — a kit he had overseen to make sure that the content was all pre-1955 vintage speed and custom equipment.

The 1950 Olds Custom kit was patterned after the first car Roger bought after graduation from high school. He was particularly proud of the Pro Modeler 1940 Ford Convertible, a kit he once told me he'd wanted to do for more than 40 years.

He bought a 1:10-scale 1963 Corvette when they were introduced and recently told me that he had owned at least one 1963 or 1964 'Vette during all the ensuing years. He was a tech judge at the annual Bloomington Corvette meets and also frequently rode his Harley Sportster.

He made it a point to attend the Grand National Roadster show and frequently participated in the Woodward Dream Cruise.

I last spoke with Roger just before the holidays, when he told me he was taking a short leave of absence.

Our condolences to Roger's family and to the team at Revell. The model car world has just lost a true pioneer, innovator and kindred spirit. Godspeed, Roger.

This article was originally published by Kalmbach Publishing Co.'s Scale Auto magazine.