At first blush, you’d be forgiven for considering that you’re really a NASCAR racer from again within the day. There, you aren’t precisely incorrect. This seems like a 1973 Ford Torino inventory automobile, that was the purpose. All the things concerning the machine was constructed to Grand Nationwide specs…kind of…and to the usual onlooker, this automobile ought to’ve been chasing round Richard Petty’s Dodge at ovals throughout America. Besides this Torino didn’t. This Ford has an unusual and distinctive story to it, one solely shared with just a few different automobiles of the interval just like the Olympia Charger: it was meant to go to France and to compete on the 24 Hours of LeMans.
Invoice France needed NASCAR to turn into a worldwide icon, not only a racing sequence within the American Southeast, and he made efforts to make that occur, together with approaching IMSA and the FIA a few NASCAR-spec class for the 1976 racing 12 months. Oddly sufficient, each sequence agreed to the thought and a category known as Grand Worldwide was born for LeMans. If you recognize your historical past, you’ll know that two inventory automobiles did make their manner over to France: The Olympia Charger, which was introduced by Herschel McGriff and his son Doug; and Junie Donlavey would pair with Richard Brooks and Dick Hutcherson in a 1975-ish Ford Torino stocker. Each wowed crowds, neither did nicely (the Charger ate engines, the Torino ate transmissions too.)
So…what about this automobile? IMSA’s involvement didn’t simply lengthen to the LeMans effort…the 24 Hours of Daytona was within the playing cards as nicely, and that’s the place this Torino shined. Campaigned by David Pearson, his son Larry, and Jim and Gary Bowsher, the #21 Torino, with a physique that was a bit extra massaged that even NASCAR would have allowed, rolled out onto Daytona’s floor and would find yourself taking the win within the NASCAR class and sixteenth total 24 hours later…and that did contain three hours’ value of downtime because of a lifeless engine. The Torino was imagined to go to LeMans, however when John Holman handed on from a coronary heart assault, that ended the racing profession of the automobile.
The machine itself is 1970s NASCAR badass carried out proper: a Boss 429 with semi-hemi heads labored over by Holman-Moody cranks out the grunt of legends, which is pushed by a four-speed and out to the again. The chassis itself is Grand Nationwide circa 1974-75, with a entrance suspension design based mostly on a Ford Galaxie and a rear suspension that had extra in frequent with a 1968 Chevrolet pickup than the rest. And it’s unrestored…you’re seeing it simply because it left Daytona in 1976.
The Torino is up on the market. If it’s important to ask how a lot, don’t trouble. That’s the great thing about “cash no object” wanting…that someday the Lotto ticket is your pal, you gained’t have to fret about the fee anymore!
Canepa Hyperlink: 1973 Ford Torino-bodied 1975 Holman-Moody IMSA-spec racer
(Due to Scott Liggett for the tip!)
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