The Galaxie's firewall and cowl remained intact along with the Holman & Moody identification tag throughout this car's racing life. Vincent raced the car throughout Iowa with a variety of Holman & Moody 427 Medium Riser, Low Riser, and Tunnel Port engines. The car was retired in 1975 with a 427 Tunnel Port engine. The engine was pulled and installed in a Fairlane until 1978 when it was dropped into a pulling truck. In 1982, it was placed on an engine stand where it would sit for a long time. Jeff bought it all in June 2003.
Tom Dumbaugh, a coworker, turned Jeff on to this Fast Freddie treasure. Tom was a Chevy guy and also a neighbor of Jason Vincent--Jack Vincent Jr.'s son. Tom was building an Enduro car and needed a rollcage. He asked Jason if he could trot out to the backyard and cut the rollcage out of one of the race cars he had. Jason was glad to help out and invited him to help himself. Tom made one cut in the rollcage when the C6HM-10073 Holman & Moody identification tag got his attention along with a lot of other interesting items. This wasn't just another old race car. Call it ironic because the car was to be sold to a buyer in California who wasn't able to verify the number, so the deal fell through. Tom invited Jeff to come check out the car. What happened next was not to be believed.
Jason was in quite the giving mood. He gave Jeff the car under the condition he'd be kept in the loop during its restoration. Jeff hauled the car home. Jason and Jeff combed the Vincent's shop and found all kinds of Holman & Moody pieces, including five 427 engines. Jeff bought one of the engines, which was complete from intake to oil pan. Turns out this 427 was a qualifying engine built by Waddell Wilson for Darrell Waltrip. Everything necessary to an authentic restoration was there.
Restoration efforts began in the fall of 2003 when Jeff and good friend, Kelly Milligan, got to work in Kelly's shop. What made the project straightforward was the existence of most of the original components Jeff needed to perform an authentic restoration. However, one key element was missing--the body. Jeff had to unearth a '66 Galaxie fastback body--a donor car. He also needed specific information about these cars that would help him pull off a world-class restoration. That's when he found John Craft, who owns the other No. 28 Lorenzen car in this feature, via the Carlisle website. John has been very helpful, Jeff tells us, providing photographs, specifications, and other valuable information.
Help long distance from John Craft enabled Jeff to restore the chassis to 1966 specifications. What he couldn't get, he fabricated because that's what Jeff does. Jeff is a CAD (computer-aided design) drafter. Jeff was able to design and produce pieces that would have otherwise been elusive. He was able to get a 9-inch Grand National rear end from one of Kelly's coworkers, Dale Willis, who was getting out of racing. When he disassembled the rear end, he learned it was a Holman & Moody piece acquired by the Vincent family ages ago.
As luck would have it, Jeff managed to find a body, and went to work on it in Kelly's shop. Jeff and Kelly stripped the body to bare steel, applying primer and prepping surfaces for the Wimbledon White finish, which was applied by Kevin Zimmerline of Adair, Iowa. Jeff did a home garage-style body drop, suspending the body from his rafters and carefully lowering it onto the frame.
Although Jeff has no intention of vintage racing a museum piece like this, he took great pains to ensure it would be constructed in "as raced" condition, including its 427 mill. He turned it over to John Hauf from Stuart, Iowa who built it to 1966 "as-raced" specifications to achieve exactly the same demeanor as you might expect from 43 years ago. Once the car was close to being complete, Jeff had it transported to Arizona, where he lives today. After the car arrived in Phoenix, Jeff had Bill Ryver do all of the graphics. A long and involved project was finally complete.
You might wonder what inspired Jeff Ray to build a classic stock car. It dates back to his wanting a '69 428 CJ Mustang Mach 1 to go with his small-block Mach 1 coupled with his wife, Kimberly, wanting him to build a racecar. The rest, as they often say, is history. A race-bred 427 doesn't just fire up when you spin the starter. It explodes to life with the clatter of mechanical tappets and roar of straight 3-inch pipes right off of long-tube competition headers. And thanks to committed enthusiasts like Jeff Ray and John Craft, two out of five Holman & Moody Ford Galaxie stock cars have survived to see the light of day again.