Ford Motor Company got serious about stock car racing in 1955. Ford retained Indy 500 ace Peter Depaolo to head up their racing program. DePaolo signed up four of NASCAR's brightest stars to drive: Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly, Ralph Moody, and Marvin Panch. The new Ford team was painted a bright purple and white for Schwam Motor Co. of Charlotte, NC, so they were nicknamed the Purple Hogs. The Ford team won 19 out of 56 events in 1956. Curtis Turner won the Southern 500 of Darlington. This car is owned by Jerry Lawrence of Hunter, New York and is on loan to the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
Early in 1955, Ford cars had just one NASCAR victory since the series began in 1949. Meanwhile, Chevrolet was advertising its wins and attracting customers. As a countermeasure, Ford formed its first NASCAR factory team and built two cars. They were powered by the new overhead-valve 'Y block' V8 engine. In stock trim, with a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, it produced 182 horsepower. The cars were painted a vivid purple, which caricatures of snorting wild boars on the front fenders.
The first race for Ford drivers Curtis Turner and Joe Weatherly was the 1955 Southern 500 - then the biggest NASCAR race of the year. Weatherly started ninth and Turner 15th, but they charged to the front and Turner led laps 110 to 123 before his front suspension broke.
Weatherly took over and led a total of 138 laps until he suffered the same fate on lap 317.
Even though both cars dropped out, they had shown Ford's potential. The next year, Turner came back and won the Southern 500 in his 1956 version of the Ford 'Purple Hog.'
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 1, 2014) – Multiple race-team owner Chip Ganassi on Thursday will receive the inaugural Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for his outstanding contributions to motorsports.
The award will be given by the International Motor Racing Research Center at the 2014 IMRRC Award Dinner honoring Chip Ganassi presented by NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and Watkins Glen International.
Some of racing's top figures, including NASCAR President Mike Helton, will be ho...[Read more...]
ATLANTA, Ga. - Tanner Foust earned another top Global Rallycross Championship result this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, landing on the podium for the third time in two weeks in the Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta ST.
Foust lined up on the outside of the front row for the main event on Saturday, a tough starting position on the mixed-surface track. At the drop of the green flag, Foust opted for an aggressive outside move that brought him within striking distance of the lead thro...[Read more...]
◾Ford Motor Company has won 1,000 NASCAR races in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series combined.
◾Jim Roper won the very first NASCAR-sanctioned stock car race in a Lincoln when he was deemed the winner at Charlotte on June 19, 1949.
◾Ford Motor Company has won 20 manufacturer titles and 13 driver championships in NASCAR's top three series.
DEARBORN, MI, (June 16, 2013) – Henry Ford's win over Alexander Winton on Oct. 10, 1901 in what proved to be his only race a...[Read more...]
The 18th Annual Keels & Wheels Concours d'Elegance, benefiting The Boys & Girls Harbor, announced that two-time Indy winner Al Unser, Jr. will serve as the 2013 Grand Marshal. Unser will be on the grounds throughout the weekend of May 4-5, 2013 at the Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, TX meeting participants and visitors, signing autographs, and participating in the awards programs.
Unser has accumulated a tremendous record of success as a race car driver throughout the last 30 years. Continu...[Read more...]
- Legendary North Carolina-based motorsports organization featured in special display, lifetime achievement award to Lee Holman -
Just saying the name of Charlotte, NC-based Holman & Moody conjures up some of the most exciting motorsports moments in history – in NASCAR, Le Mans, Drag Racing and Rallying. To put an exclamation point on their accomplishments, the inaugural Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance will honor Lee Holman with the first-ever 'Pinehurst Concours Lifetime Achievement A...[Read more...]