Holman Moody


Holman Moody

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. [http://www.mshf.com/index.htm?/hof/holman_moody.htm Biography] at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, written by Marshall Gardner, Retrieved March 8 2007.] 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. [http://www.racing-reference.info/owner?id=holmamo01 Owner's statistics at racing-reference.info] , Retrieved March 8 2007.] Their trademark was "Competition Proven."

Holman and Moody form Holman Moody

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 [cite web |url=http://www.thatsracin.com/mld/thatsracin/archives/8881437.htm |title=Legendary racer-builder Ralph Moody dies |accessdate=2006-05-29 |last=Poole |first=David |date=2004-06-09 |publisher=ThatsRacin.com |archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20050921153947/http://www.thatsracin.com/mld/thatsracin/archives/8881437.htm |archivedate= 2005-09-21] Holman Moody was one of the first to sell "purpose-built" stock car chassis for racing. [cite book |last=Fleischman |first=Bill |coauthors=Pearce, Al |title=The Unauthorized NASCAR Fan Guide 1998-99 |year=1999 |publisher=Visible Ink Press |location=Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA |isbn=1-57859-111-2, page 195] 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 unneeded parts. Turner won races at Champion Speedway, Lakewood Speedway, and the Southern States Fairgrounds.

Holman Moody's car driven by John 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.

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. [ [http://www.near1.com/HALL-OF-FAME/2000/Moody_Ralph.htm Ralph Moody's Biography] at New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame, Retrieved March 8 2007.] 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.

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.

Team highlights

Holman Moody-built Fords won 48 of 55 NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) Races in 1965, a record that has never been broken. 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. Fred Lorenzen was one of the nation's highest paid athletes at $122,558 while driving a Holman Moody car in 1963.

Awards

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

Innovations

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.

Notable drivers

Holman Moody had many notable drivers, including:
*Bobby Allison
*Donnie Allison
*Mario Andretti
*John Beauchamp
*Ronnie Bucknum
*Jim Clark
*Mark Donohue
*A. J. Foyt
*Dan Gurney
*Walt Hansgen
*Dick Hutcherson
*Ned Jarrett
*Bobby Johns
*Junior Johnson
*Parnelli Jones
*Bo Ljungfeldt
*Fred Lorenzen
*Tiny Lund
*Augie Pabst
*Benny Parsons
*Marvin Panch
*David Pearson
*Richard Petty
*Peter Revson
*Fireball Roberts
*Wendell Scott
*Nelson Stacy
*Curtis Turner
*Al Unser
*Bobby Unser
*Joe Weatherly
*Cale Yarborough

Notable crew chiefs

Holman Moody had numerous crew members who became notable crew chiefs, including:
*Keith Dorton
*Jake Elder
*Junior Johnson
*Bondi Long
*Bud Moore
*Dick Russell
*Waddell Wilson
*the Wood Brothers
*Robert Yates
*Smokey Yunick

References

External links

* [http://www.holmanmoody.com/ Official website]


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