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.'
A pair ofthe Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance's popular seminars will offer 'backstage passes' to the history and the business of American motorsport.
On Friday March 7, 2014 the celebration of Offenhauser-powered vehicles will begin in the Talbot Ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island at 3:00 PM with the Great Offy Drivers and David Hobbs Seminar.
Amelia's seminars are famous for their star power. On Friday Indy 500 winners Johnny Rutherford, Parnelli Jones and Al and Bo...[Read more...]
MONTEREY, CA, Make no mistake about it. After three days of competition at the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion, there were awards to be won, but they were not necessarily bestowed upon the actual winners in 16 different classes that took to the straights, curves, hairpin turns and challenging drops of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. In fact, Rolex Awards of Excellence were awarded in each race category to individual drivers who were determined by an independent panel to be 'most deserving,' ...[Read more...]
Colorado Springs – June 25, 2013 – In 2010, Jeff Zwart, from Corona del Mar, Calif., made Pikes Peak history and shook up the sports car establishment by running a road racing car – the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup - at the world's most famous hill climb, smashing the Time Attack class record and winning his seventh championship.
In 2011, Zwart drove his Porsche 911 GT2 RS turbo street car – not only up the Mountain, but on the Interstate from L.A. to Colorado Springs - and sliced 24-seconds o...[Read more...]
-This weekend's Honda Grand Prix of Alabama will be the fourth IZOD IndyCar Series event at the scenic, 2-3-mile Barber Motorsports Park circuit, and marks the third year American Honda has served as title sponsor of the event.
-American Honda also sponsored last month's season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg; and will again be the title sponsor of the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August. In addition to these three events, Honda Canada entitles the Honda Indy T...[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...]