Holman Moody

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 1972
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. 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. 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 Holman Moody was one of the first to sell "purpose-built" stock car chassis for racing. 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. 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.


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


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:

Notable crew chiefs

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


External links

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