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Holman and Moody sell Talladega to Bill France; Part 2

So, did anyone figure it out?

In 1969 the first NASCAR race at the new Talladega Super Speedway didn’t quite go the way everyone planned. The new Ford Talladega, Mercury Spoiler II and Dodge Daytona were finally going to fight it out on a the big track. At about this same time the NASCAR race car drivers were trying to establish a driver’s union to deal with NASCAR as a single voice. The new high speed track, new cars and not so perfect tires from Good Year created the perfect storm.

The drivers were afraid that the Good Year tires could not hold up to the new cars and higher speeds. As a result most of them loaded up their cars and went home. Bill France wanted to show everyone the drivers were being overly cautious and that they should race on his new track regardless of the tires; they should just run a little slower!

To demonstrate how save the track and tires were Bill France got into a Talladega race car and drove himself around the track at race speeds! Who on earth would let Bill France take their race car out on the track? No one, that is no one but Holman and Moody!

I contacted Ralph Moody regarding the paperwork previously published and he was confident that these documents were for the Talladega Bill France used for his demonstration. Below is a paper clipping provided by Ralph.

Does anyone know what happened to this historical race car?

 

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Richard

Some of my first and strongest memories from my childhood relate to cars. I still remember when things happened based on what car I was driving at the time. I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I was a Corvette fanatic for years but then re-discovered vintage American Muscle. My wife, Katrina, and I decided we wanted to focus on unique and rare muscle cars. After a lot of research we fell in love with the Ford Blue Oval Aero Cars. These were only built in 1969 and and aerodynamics became an important part of winning races. The only purpose of these limited production cars was to win NASCAR races using the Boss 429 and 427 power plants complimented with a special, wind cheating, aerodynamic body. The Ford Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II are terrific and historic cars. This site is devoted to these car and their owners past and present. We provide an Online Registry for recording the long term history and ownership of every remaining Talladega, Spoiler and Spoiler II.

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6 Comments

  1. France’s car (later driven by Tiny Lund in the first Talladega race) was NOT a Talladega. Rather, it was a regular beaked Torino. I think the misconmception the car was a Talladega got started with a 1/64 die cast car that was sold way, way back. In any event, that notion is incorrect. JAC

  2. John,

    Do you happen to know if any of the drivers at that first race in Talladega were actually driving a Talladega, and who they were?

    That has actually been a question of mine for several years.

    Thanks,

    Carl.

    1. Carl, Pretty sure the only “Big T” in the first Talladega race (loosely applied term with all the official cautions and Camaros & Mustangs in the field) was the #4 L.G. Dewitt car driven by Jim Hurtubise (started 3rd/finished 23rd due to an engine failure).The race was a contrived, scripted, carnival. In that sense, it shares much in common with a modern NASCAR event. I really never could understand why the Mopar guys make such a big deal over Brickhouse’s “win” in this event, btw. Hope this helps.

  3. Here is a lead for you….Bobby Unser… I was doing research on this very same subject when I came across your work. What I found was info from 1969 that says that Bill got the former Bobby Unser USAC dirt car. This is a quote from CAR and Driver Dec 1969 that discusses the PDA boycott and the race: “…Bill France’s own car, which would run with the leaders for 152 laps before expiring, was not only not representiative but wildly illegal. France had bought the car (formerly used by Bobby Unser for the USAC dirt races)….he tooled around the track late Saturday afternoon at 159mph(40mph off the pace)…the car had never been inspected or weighed. It was a 1969 Torino with a Talladega grille; the engine was set back a quarter of an inch too far; the pedals were illegal; the bumper had been flattened to keep the car from lifting; the fenders had been cut to reduce frontal area; and there was an additional water pump to clear mud off the front of the car. Tiny lund would drive it in the race…” He lead 23 laps before loosing the clutch. After reading this I researched Bobby Unsers car and found out that his winning Pikes Peak Hill Climb car was serial number HM9021S (the “S” stands for kit). And until I read your article about HM9023S I thought it was the same car. But Bobby drove a total of seven races in USAC with different owners and numbers. Bobbys hill climb car #HM9023S was owned by Ford President Bunkie Knudsen with #92. I think this car was never raced agian and went on display at Ford Autoramas around the USA. The rest of his races were run under the #15 and the owner was Holman Moody. Four of Bobbys races that year were at the Milwaukee Mile including his last race on Sept 7, 1969. This was just days before France got his car on loan from Holman Moody. Now if we can just find the serial number to that car or at least a picture of it. Oh and one last think….I FOUND a pic of France’s car racing on a dirt track around 1970-72 at what appears to be Tri-County speedway in Ohio . Thats just miles from my house. How can I submit that photo to help the research?

  4. The same form you provided between Holman and Moody and Bill France, I have a similar one between Richard Petty and Holman Moody. His serial number was HM9-009-S. The S means his car left Holman Moody in kit form. Since he signed with Holman Moody on Jan 10th, it makes you wonder who the other 8 cars before him went too. Not sure how to submit my pics and other info.

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