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North Carolina Newspapers

The Carolina journal. volume (Charlotte, N.C.) 1965-19??, October 18, 1967, Image 4

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B PAGE 4 Annual Staffers See Holmon-Moody Two photographers from the Rogues ‘n Rascals embarked last Thursday on a venture undertaken by very few. One in which Richard Petty or Bobby Isaic would have given their eyeteeth to go on. The story began at the Pan Am races of 1952. Lincoln Mercury ran away with first place, leading to the doubling of next year’s Mercury sales. After seeing this development, Ford Motor Company decided to invest a little money and get a race car program of their own in full swing. The re sult of their efforts has led them to be the first Americans to win at Le Mans. The trip taken by the two pho tographers was not psychadelic, but they described itas “well worth the class time they cut.” Gary Sanford and Richard Al- sop got the opportunity to visit •Holman-Moody, Inc. when Mr. John Gager of that company gave them permission to view the cars that they are building for the National 500. The two cars being built will be driven by Dave Pierson, No. 17, and Mario Andretti, No. 11. Mr. Ed Black met the photo graphers at the gate and accom panied them on the tour. First they saw the engine test room where a specially tuned 427 cu. in. engine was being run on the performance block. A regular production engine will turn 4800 R.P.M. if its really pushed. The engine on the block was turning 5000 R.P.M., and has a capacity of 7800 R.P.M. As witnessed by the photograph ers, no special engine is used in the competition stock car. An ordinary 427 directly off the assembly line, with rebalanced rods, pistons, and a repolished block. Next on the tour was the torque conversion equipment. A car is backed up on this platform and the engine drive shaft is connected to the unit. There the engine torque is gauged. Torque may be des cribed as the force that produces the rotation of the engine. It also causes the engine to twist, or in versely, for one side of the car to raise. When the engines are throttled up, the noise can be heard inside the airport terminal, which is about a half mile cross country, as though they were right outside the door. Mr. Black said that “This is the only place in the world where the airport complains about residential noise.” The next step was the area where engine blocks are reworked. A standard production engine has most of its parts balanced within 3 or 4 oz. of each other. The eight rods are rebalanced here within 1/2 gram of each other. This complete operation boosts horsepower by as much as 40%. Such work requires very high spe cialization. It may take five years of work in order to perfect the art of polishing and rebalancing engine parts for a 427 engine. As Mr. Black, stated about these special ists “they can’t put a car together, but they can build the best damn engines.” Holmon Moody has quite a supply of reworked engines on hand. In fact there are racks some 50 feet high and almost twice as long, stacked with nothing but reworked 427’s. Holmon Moody hasquitea si^jply of reworked 427’s. HolmonMoody This is the Ford-built GT that won at Le Mans France in 1967. It now resides in the Holmon Moody Junk Yard here in Charlotte. has the world’s si^jply of single overhead cam 427’s at their plant now. These engines can’t be used in race cars because they were not sanctioned by NASCAR for stock car racing. They wiii pro bably be used for drag races to be built in the spring. Presently most of these engines are being employed as boat engines after being slightiy modified. The Grand finale of the tour was a look at two cars being built at the Holmon Moody Plant for the National 500 which was run on October 15. Dave Pierson’s #17 was having new manifolds in stalled, and brake linings mounted. Mario Andretti’s #19 was having work done on the electrical system. What is really surprising is the fact that each drive has four cars and not just one. The Brown #17 the fans saw in the World 600, is not the same car as that run in the National 500. The engines used in these cars are scraped entirely after a race, no part is ever used again. For a car requiring an engine costing $2800, the expenses involved can be quite fantastical. The “junk yard” was quite a surprise to the two photographers. Instead of the pile of used i>arts they expected, the yard contained the Mark IV Ford GT that won at Le Mans in 1967, and five other GT’s—Mark IV’s & IPs that had also run in previous years at Le Mans. The engines had been re moved, but otherwise the cars were unchanged. Each of these GT’s is about 45 inches high and between 8 and 10 feet long. In order for a car of this type to qualify to run in a race it must be able to seat 2 people, and carry one suitbase. (Continued on page 8) Founding Patrons Honored By Elegant Plaque in Union 1 am. 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