Holman Moody

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Holman-Moody
Owner(s) Name John Holman, Ralph Moody
Racing Series NASCAR Grand National / Winston Cup
Number of Championships 2 NASCAR (1968 and 1969)
Number of Wins 96 (NASCAR)
Notable Sponsor(s) Lafayette
Manufacturer Ford
Shop Location Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Year Opened 1957
Year Closed Still open

Holman-Moody was an auto racing team, racecar manufacturer, and marine engine manufacturer. The team built virtually all of the factory Ford racecars of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.[1] It owned racecars that competed in NASCAR, drag racing, ocean boat racing, rallys, and sports car racing. The team won NASCAR championships in 1968 and 1969 with driver David Pearson and also the 1967 Daytona 500 with Mario Andretti.[2] Their trademark was "Competition Proven."

Holman and Moody form Holman-Moody[edit]

John Holman was hired in 1952 by Clay Smith and Bill Stroppe to drive their parts truck to each leg of the 1952 Mexican Road Race and to stay ahead of the racing team. The team won the race, and they hired Holman as a full-time mechanic and parts man after the race to work in their Long Beach, California shop. Holman worked for the team until 1956, when Ford Motor Company hired him to run their factory team shop at Charlotte, North Carolina. Ralph Moody won four NASCAR races in 1956. He raced the first third of 1957, until Ford and the other American automobile manufacturers pulled out of racing.

They formed a partnership after the American Manufacturers' Association banned Ford's factory participation in stockcar racing in June 1957. The move unemployed both men. They decided to pool their resources, and formed Holman-Moody. Moody immediately took out a loan against an airplane that he owned, and with Holman paid $12,000 to buy the shop and equipment that had been Ford's Charlotte-based racing operation [3] Holman-Moody was one of the first to sell "purpose-built" stock car chassis for racing.[4] Holman-Moody Fords won their first two races in 1957.

Holman-Moody entered two cars in the final two races at the Daytona Beach Road Course in 1958. The cars were raced by Curtis Turner and Joe Weatherly. The cars finished first and third in one race, and second and fourth in the second. The team became more focused on building cars for other teams as the season went on. Ford slowly began increasing support for racing as the season went on. Ford stopped the assembly line to allow Holman-Moody to buy bare bodies and parts for construction of 1959 Thunderbirds. The cars came without needed parts. Turner won races at Champion Speedway, Lakewood Speedway, and the Southern States Fairgrounds.

Holman-Moody's car driven by Johnny Beauchamp finished in a dead heat with Lee Petty at the first race at the new Daytona International Speedway. The 1959 Daytona 500 win was awarded to Petty after three days.

Holman-Moody enters the "World's fastest Falcon" in the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1962. The car was driven by Marvin Panch and Jocko Maggiacomo. Holman-Moody also prepared a small-block AC Cobra, driven by Augie Pabst.

1965 Ford Galaxy or replica

Ironically, Holman-Moody bought out Bill Stroppe in 1965 and the Long Beach facility at 2190 Temple Ave. became Holman-Moody-Stroppe. They built around 50 race cars a year until Moody sold his portion of the company after the 1972 season.[5] They had won 96 NASCAR Grand National races. Holman died in 1975 after suffering a heart attack while testing an intercooler. The team was owned by a trust for several years, until Lee Holman took over the operations in 1978.

Holman-Moody operated for a number of years in a former NC Air National Guard Hangar near the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. This hangar had been constructed during WWII at Charlotte's Morris Field Army Air Field, and in 1964 the Ford Motor Company paid Larry Jenkins to move it from the NC Air Guard base to an off-runway plot of land on the other side of the airport. This is where Holman-Moody used the hangar.

The Charlotte airport gave notice that it intended to condemn the Holman-Moody building in 1982 so they could construct an additional runway. The company sold off all of its equipment, and Lee Holman bought most of it. Holman Automotive continued the building of racecars, engine building for the #21 Wood Brothers NASCAR team, and grinding cams for several NASCAR teams.

On March 25, 2009, the hangar was torn down to make way for Charlotte's third parallel runway. The company moved from its original 75,000 sq ft shop next to the airport to another location in Charlotte.

They continue to build and restore collector race cars and engines with the majority of the employees having worked for Holman-Moody since the 1960s.

In the 1990s, Holman-Moody, in partnership with Holman Automotive, began manufacturing GT 40 MkIIs again. They made them originally back in the 1960s and these cars all raced with Holman-Moody serial number tags. Holman-Moody has the original Ford blue prints for these cars and the result is that they are vintage legal. They are built with exactly the same specifications as they were in the 1960s.

They have also made 3 reproductions of the 1964 Fairlanes that raced against the Cobras and GT-40s. The first of these Fairlanes continues to win races in Europe. Search for "Ford Fairlane 500 (1964) at Nordschleife" on YouTube to see video of this car racing at the Nurburgring in Germany

Team highlights[edit]

Holman-Moody-built Fords won 48 of 55 NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) Races in 1965, a record that has never been broken.[1] Mario Andretti won the 1967 Daytona 500 whilst David Pearson won the 1968 and 1969 NASCAR championships. Dan Gurney won five races at Riverside International Raceway. Pearson drove a Wood Brothers Ford to victory in the 1976 Daytona 500. In 1966 Holman-Moody's Ford GT40 Mark II's finished 1–2–3 at the 24 Hours of Daytona and at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Their 1–2–3 finish at 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most famous victories of all-time.[1] Fred Lorenzen was one of the nation's highest paid athletes at $122,558 while driving a Holman-Moody car in 1963.[1]

Awards[edit]

Holman-Moody was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2005 in the "at-large" category.[1]

Innovations[edit]

Holman-Moody had a lasting effect on all forms of auto racing. Their innovations include fuel cells, full-floater rear axle, on-board fire systems, quick change disk brakes, square tube frames, tube shocks. The 1966 Holman-Moody Ford Fairlane was the basis for NASCAR racecars until NASCAR redesigned their car as the Car of Tomorrow.[1]

Notable drivers[edit]

Holman-Moody had many notable drivers, including:

Notable crew chiefs[edit]

Holman-Moody had numerous crew members who became notable crew chiefs, including:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Biography at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, written by Marshall Gardner, Retrieved March 8, 2007.
  2. ^ Owner's statistics at racing-reference.info, Retrieved March 8, 2007.
  3. ^ Poole, David (2004-06-09). "Legendary racer-builder Ralph Moody dies". ThatsRacin.com. Archived from the original on 2005-09-21. Retrieved 2006-05-29. 
  4. ^ Fleischman, Bill; Pearce, Al (1999). The Unauthorized NASCAR Fan Guide 1998–99. Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA: Visible Ink Press. ISBN 1-57859-111-2. , page 195
  5. ^ Ralph Moody's Biography at New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame, Retrieved March 8, 2007.

External links[edit]