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.
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.
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.
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.
This is not the Daytona 500 winning car. It can be found on display at the Henry Ford Museum.
Ever seen a Daytona 500 winning trophy in person? Here is your chance. Many other major trophies are also on display everywhere you look.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.