Jim Smart
April 1, 2009
Photos By: Dr. John Craft

Documenting a stock car's history is undoubtedly one of the most challenging efforts imaginable because most of these cars were used up, tossed aside, and long forgotten. What's more, not all were serialized, which has made them even tougher to track. Who knew these old veterans of the super speedway would become collector's items 45 years later? John Craft, a writer and Assistant United States Attorney, is a stock car collector/restorer. He has been following NASCAR since he was a child. John "caught" his love of stock car racing from his late father, who followed this sport closely from its inception in 1949. He has researched these cars and their history with the best of them, closely tracking their whereabouts for many years.

Finding and restoring the actual Daytona-winning '65 Fred Lorenzen No. 28 Galaxie stock car was not a simple task for John, who has also restored a '69 Cyclone Spoiler II vintage stock car and researched countless others. John picks up the story: "My car was the `first of the season' chassis raced by Fred Lorenzen in 1965." When John's No. 28 car was fresh from Holman & Moody's race shop, it went to Riverside, starting Second and finishing 24th. Less than a month later, Lorenzen took it to Daytona for the 500, starting Second in the 100-mile qualifier and finishing Second. Then he started Fourth and finished First in the 500. The car would go on to finish First at Martinsville later that year. It would later succumb to a crash at Bristol, getting back on the track to race at Darlington, finishing 25th due to ignition problems. By the running of the Memorial Day World 600 at Charlotte, Holman & Moody had a fresh Galaxie ready for Fast Freddie to drive. Interestingly, when Lorenzen got out of it at Charlotte, F1 driving star Pedro Rodriquez hopped in and finished that grueling 600-mile race in a very respectable Fifth Place. Lorenzen did drive John's Holman & Moody Galaxie at least one more time, however. And that was in late December at Daytona during testing after it had been rebodied by Holman & Moody as a '66 model and fitted with a 427 SOHC engine. Unfortunately, that test session quickly revealed that even with Cammer power, a race-ready Galaxie was at a competitive disadvantage to a Hemi-powered Chrysler intermediate due to the weight difference. The writing was on the wall for the Galaxie as a racing mount from that day forward.

John's Galaxie stock car was sold by Holman & Moody in 1967 to ARCA team owner Barney Barnhardt of Marysville, Ohio. Barnhardt fielded the car for a number of drivers including Shad Wheeler, Curtis Turner, and Charlie Glotzbach. As was often the case with an old race car past its prime, John's historic Galaxie stock car worked its way down the racing food chain to Saturday night dirt track status in the Cleveland, Ohio area. It eventually wound up in the weeds, forgotten behind a barn.