- Written by webmin
This is a legitimate NASCAR race car, with a very strong history, that will rumble in front of the crowd at the Russo and Steele auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, come January. It’s also more than that, because this 1972 Ford Torino represents a state of transition for NASCAR, the formula of its top class and a couple of superstar drivers, all at once.
In 1972, no NASCAR team owner had more experience with building killer small-block engines than Bud Moore, who’d contested the Trans-Am series successfully with George Follmer and Parnelli Jones. Creeping emissions laws were forcing Detroit, and thus NASCAR, to turn away from its time-honored big-block engines. This Torino was the first then-Winston Cup car to successfully use a 351 Cleveland V-8, forerunner of today’s still-standard 358. Moore got David Pearson to drive the car in several 1972 races with a best of fourth at Atlanta. For 1973, Pearson move on to Hall of Fame glory with the Wood Brothers. Moore, himself a Hall of Famer, put Bobby Isaac in the Torino’s seat, and kept him there until the second 1973 Talladega race, in which Isaac parked the car after hearing voices telling him to quit. Isaac dropped dead three years later after a Late Model race. Moore’s car, however, has been fully restored by Kim Haynes at RACEstorations in Gastonia, North Carolina. Isaac’s helmet will be auctioned with the car. The auction is set for Jan. 19-23; more info is at www.russoandsteele.com.