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Visiting the Wood Brothers Museum

Wood Brothers Racing

Wood Brothers Racing was formed in 1950 in Stuart, Va., by Hall of Famer Glen Wood. Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team and one of the winningest teams in NASCAR history. Since its founding, the team won 98 races (including at least one race in every decade for the last seven decades) and 117 poles in NASCAR’s top-tier series. Fielding only Ford products for its entire history, the Wood Brothers own the longest association of any motorsports team with a single manufacturer. Glen’s brother, Leonard, is known for inventing the modern pit stop. The team currently runs the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion driven by Trevor Bayne in the famous number 21 racecar.

Entrance to the Wood Brothers' Museum in Stuart VA.
Entrance to the Wood Brothers’ Museum in Stuart VA.

 

I have met the Wood Brothers along with their sons at different events over the years but have never had the pleasure of actually visiting their Museum in Stuart VA. It was always on the must do list but just never seemed to be in the the right spot at the right time. That all changed recently when my wife and I took off for a long weekend and managed to take in the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Wood Brothers Museum on the same trip. I will tell you about the Hall of Fame at another time but today, the best part of the trip; the Wood Brothers Museum.

Glen Wood NASCAR Hall of Fame Member.
Leonard Wood NASCAR Hall of Fame Member
Glen Wood built lawn mower!
Glen Wood built lawn mower!

It is not an extremely large building but it is crammed full of really neat stuff. We spent over two hours there but that is only because we had to get back home the same day. If you want to really look in detail at all that is there give yourself an entire day! We will be back for sure. Oh, and don’t worry about having the price of admission; it’s FREE! However, if you want to purchase a T-shirt or other memorabilia make sure you have cash or a check book, they do not take credit cards.

Here are some highlights of our visit.

Glen Wood built lawn mower.
Glen Wood built lawn mower.

 

Look closely at the detail and build quality…it’s a lawn mower!

One of the first things you seen when you enter the Museum is a Lawn Mower built by Glen Wood. Inside is this second grass cutter that has the quality of any NASCAR race car and is adorned with Ford Blue Ovals! It is four wheel drive and was afraid to ask what top speed might be. It is a work of art.

Small part of treasures to be found on the walls of the Museum.
Small part of treasures to be found on the walls of the Museum.

 

Current Wood Brothers' #21 race car for Trevor Bayne.
Current Wood Brothers’ #21 race car for Trevor Bayne.

This is not the Daytona 500 winning car. It can be found on display at the Henry Ford Museum.

Old Ford Flathead.
Daytona 500 Trophy
Daytona 500 Trophy

Ever seen a Daytona 500 winning trophy in person? Here is your chance. Many other major trophies are also on display everywhere you look.

This is a Tiny Lund Trophy.
This is a Tiny Lund Trophy.

 

More memorabilia on the Museum walls.
More memorabilia on the Museum walls.
Historical #21 door panels with autographs. These are truly priceless to any NASCAR fan!
Historical #21 door panels with autographs. These are truly priceless to any NASCAR fan!

Once you are done in the show room part of the Museum you can move on back the the shop area. This used to be the old Wood Brothers’ race shop.

Nothing like the new shops but it got the job done and done well back in the day.

 

Glen’s first race car as a driver. Note the use of two n’s in Glen’s name at that time.

 

Early Pit Boards, we wanted the "Pit 21" board very badly, luckily it was too high to reach.
Early Pit Boards, we wanted the “Pit 21” board very badly, luckily it was too high to reach.
Do you remember Bill Elliott driving for the Wood Brother;?

 

Bill Elliott car.

 

Neil Bonnett, enough said.
Neil Bonnett, enough said.
One of my all time favorite drivers on the NASCAR circuit was Neil Bonnett, this is his Wood Brothers' car.
One of my all time favorite drivers on the NASCAR circuit was Neil Bonnett, this is his Wood Brothers’ car.

I had the opportunity to meet and shake hands with Neil at Riverside Raceway in CA back in the mid 1980s and it was one of the thrills of my life. I also have an autographed hat he gave me that is one of my most prized possessions.

A real Cale Yarborough Spoiler/Spoiler II trunk lid from his race car.
A real Cale Yarborough Spoiler/Spoiler II trunk lid from his race car.

 

No cheating, don’t look at the writing in the photo, who are the two people in the picture above the #21 trunk lid? The answer is at the bottom of this page.

This is the famous (recreation) car that Tiny Lund drove to his 500 win. Note the duct tape with his name on it. Marvin Panch was the scheduled driver and his name was still on the passenger door.
This is the famous (recreation) car that Tiny Lund drove to his 500 win. Note the duct tape with his name on it. Marvin Panch was the scheduled driver and his name was still on the passenger door.

Prior to the running of the 1963 Daytona 500 Marvin Panch was asked to set a speed record driving a specially built high powered sports car. On February 14, 1963, Marvin Panch flipped this Ford powered Maserati and it caught fire. He was trapped under the car. Tiny Lund and 4 others beat the rescue crew to the burning car and turned it upright and got Marvin Panch out. Burned but alive, Panch wanted to thank is rescuers. He was to drive the Wood Brothers #21 Ford in the 500. Since he was unable to drive, he asked the Wood Brothers to let Tiny Lund drive his car. They agreed and Tiny won the 500!

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Marvin Panch, Tiny saved his life and was rewarded with a ride in Marvin's Wood Brothers car and a Daytona 500 win.
Marvin Panch, Tiny saved his life and was rewarded with a ride in Marvin’s Wood Brothers car and a Daytona 500 win.

 

How many of these drivers can you recognize?
How many of these drivers can you recognize?

 

Cars are still built and restored in the shop but no race cars are built here any more.

ANSWER to the question of the photo above the trunk lid: Dan Gurney and Leonard Wood at Riverside Raceway. Dan drove the #121 at Riverside numerous times and always won. It is the only NASCAR races he ever ran.

 

 

 

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Richard

I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check our our www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com page) As long as it has four wheels on it I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife Katriana is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out with our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.

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