By: Don Rositch
'66 NASCAR SHOPTRUCK RACER
Long before the days of the current style of NASCAR Supertruck many of the race shops engaged in some competitive racing with their shop trucks.
This typically took place after a race when everyone was still excited from all of the track action that day. These trucks were used to tow the race cars to and from the track and to run any needed errands from the home base of the team. Some of the teams went as far as to paint the trucks to resemble the actual race cars and even installed used racing engines to give themselves an advantage over their rival teams. This particular truck was found still in use at Charlotte Airport as a shop truck for the Holman Moody race shop in 1994 and it has seen a very lot of action over the past three decades. I discovered through a friend that they were about to get rid of the old truck since they were clearing out most of the old equipment and getting new vehicles. After some negotiating, the truck was on its way to Northern California to serve as my own shop truck. Soon I began hearing stories of how this truck was used to defend the honor of the Holman Moody team by outrunning the similar trucks of teams such as: Junior Johnsons' 427 Ford powered #26, Richard Pettys' Hemi powered #43, and the 427 SOHC powered#16 of Bud Moore. The engine in this truck was taken from the #28 Galaxie of Fred Lorenzen (it was a very early '63 427 "Splash Oiler”, forerunner of the famous center and side oiler 427s) pulled from the car after the '63 season. The truck started out as a gift from Ford racing boss Jaques Passino in 1963 and was updated in '64, '65, and again in '66 (including the switch to the new "twin I beam front suspension” in '65). The truck was upgraded to Boss 429 power some time during the winter of '69 and was clocked at over 175 mph at Charlotte Motor Speedway during a test day for the Ford teams (curiously, no one seems to know what happened to that engine). Today the truck looks just as it did (except for a scratch or two) when it was defending the honor of the Holman Moody team members back in the summer of‘66 (with the old 427 now rebuilt and back in the engine bay). At this point you should know that I'm just pulling your leg.