This is the first of a multi-part series on the history and reconstruction of an important Holman-Moody stock car. John Craft, the restoration magician on this 1964 Ford Galaxie, is the restorer of this car and source of all information for this series. If you don’t know John he has been in the Ford race car camp for many years and even did a fabulous recreation of the Wood Brothers’ Cale Yarborugh race car. Although his most recent project is not one of the Aero Cars it is part of the heritage that eventually brought NASCAR into the new era. The following multi-part article was provided by John and we thank him enthusiastically not only for the information up but also for the restoration of this piece of Ford and Holman-Moody race history. As a footnote, the 1964 Ford Galaxie covered in this article was a total loss from damages suffered in Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
Part 1: Our Feature Car
HM 1964 Ford as found. Make special note of the tree growing in the engine compartment that will be very important to the future of this car.
In 1957 Ford racing employees John Holman and Ralph Moody were negatively impacted when Ford was ousted from competing directly as a manufacturer in stock car racing. As a result, the Holman-Moody race team was established in mid-1957. They managed to put together the required funds to buy out Ford’s Charlotte based operation. It was a run down WWII air-base barracks near the airport.
Here is another photo of what John had to start with.
During most of the 1960s, Holman-Moody, like the like most NASCAR teams competing in the Grand National series, did not choose to compete in all the races in an attempt to win the series championship. At that time there were approximately 60 races held on various short tracks, speedways, super speedways, dirt ovals, and road courses. Instead, these teams were after wins at the high profile events with the biggest purses. These events typically provided the greatest bragging rights, and received the most media attention. TV and the printed media paid little attention to stock car racing in those days. The professional race teams stayed away from the samall time events to steer clear of the gritty little bullrings that offered miserly prize money. It was better to win the Daytona 500 than it was to win the Grand National championship.
Holman-Moody would build approximately 24 cars (the exact figure is unknown) in 1964. Some of these were for themselves, and the other Ford teams. Their plan was to run a Wimbledon White #28 Galaxie for Fred Lorenzen, and a Honey Gold colored Galaxie for the other H&M team driver, Nelson Stacy (When Stacy was injured in a practice crash, a ‘Wisteria’ colored #22 was added to the stable for the newly added 1962 Daytona 500 winner Edward ‘Fireball’ Roberts.
Depending on the event, the team would enter a third, and sometimes a fourth car. These cars would feature a variety of special, whose strengths were best suited to the particular track.
John Craft’s 1964 Galaxie is referred to in our article by its Holman-Moody VIN number (C4HM-10041), it is interesting to know that this assigned number until late in 1964 after Holman-Moody had finished racing it. As the demands of stock car racing changed throughout the 1960s, Ford had to adjust its supply of base vehicles to its various factory teams. In 1963, Ford supplied complete turn-key Q Code 4V 427 powered cars that drove off their Norfolk, Virginia, assembly line under their own steam. That changed in 1964. Ford began to supply cars without an engine or transmission. For 1965, they supplied ‘bodies in white’, ie, incomplete cars pulled from the assembly line prior to being fitted with unnecessary race car items, such as interiors, and factory body tags. It was for the 1965 cars that Hollman-Moody began applying their own identity tags, and it was at this time that our feature car was fitted with its H-M VIN.