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427 Holman-Moody 1964 Ford Econolines - Lost?


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There is an interesting article in today's "Hemming's Daily" blog discussing Ford's assault on the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally.   The article quotes George F. Merwin,  Ford's "Rallye Competition Manager" as mentioning that seven 427-powered Econolines were built as support vehicles for the Rally, but, over the years, there doesn't seem to have been any further mention of the vehicles.  I suspect that Ford may have had the vehicles destroyed after the Rally, due to liability concerns ... but hopefully I'm wrong.

Anyway, the link to the article:




There are some impressive sleuths of automotive history on this site, and I'm wondering if anyone has any further information on the elusive 427 Econolines?




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I can't imagine they would have paid to have had one of those shipped back over. Remember that whole story about Carrol Shelby telling the team to just throw the Daytona coupes in the ocean because paying to ship them back was at the time considered to be foolhardy?

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33 minutes ago, West Peterson said:

That's odd, because the cost of shipping back then was very inexpensive.


I was always taught that durable goods shipping, aside from a few blips here and there, has gotten less and less expensive since the Suez Crisis in 1956 (figure 3 shows bulk shipping rates in 2004 at levels half of what they were in 1960) but I guess shipping a car is a something different all together. It would be interesting to some stats on that specifically but I can't find anything. Anyhow, the interesting part of the Shelby story is that the team mates didn't obey their orders to Junk the Daytona coupes. I guess one of the mechanics/team members used his own money to ship them back to the states thankfully.


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12 minutes ago, TexRiv_63 said:

That much horsepower and front end weight in something as crude as an Econoline would be like driving a straight axle gasser on the street. What was the purpose of a "support vehicle" like that?

A 427 would instantly take the "Econo" and "line" out 'Econoline'.   It would pass everything but a gas station, and with such a short wheelbase the rear end would end up at the front every time one tromped on the accelerator.


But for some reason, I vaguely remember an AMT Econoline scale model 3-in-1 kit with a 427 and riser kit.



Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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I don't remember ever hearing about what happened to the Falcon Econolines, but I sure would be proud to have one to take care of ! ..... OR, for that matter, even one of the little Sprint Falcons they raced . Ford and "friends" sure did some marvelous things in the 60s and early 70s... I had one of the 306 horse 289 Shelby hipo engines that I put in 4 of my own cars over a several years period after my buddy took it out of his car in 65. Wonderful engines !   

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Hey capn, the comments at the end of your  article link seem to shed a little light on this subject.

More than one of the replies seems to believe there were a fleet of Econolines however all were equipped with 289's but one, which had the 427. A further link from your article says the 427 van ended up at Alan Mann Racing and stayed in England. This is reported to be a picture of that very van pushing Big Daddy's rail at a show in England.


"Don "Big Daddy" Garlits came to England. He popped the clutch on this car that weighed only 1320 lbs -- nowadays NHRA fuelers must weigh a minimum of 2300 lbs -- they're carrying 1000 lbs of weight penalty! "Sneaky Pete" Robinson in the 1960's built a fueler that weighed only 980 lbs [ and which was NOT the car that killed Pete, as I'd earlier claimed: thanks to Robert Harmon for pointing out that the fatal crash was in his larger 427 Ford "cammer" slingshot ]. See the push-van? It had a Thunderbird V-8 motor, and remained in the UK after Garlits left. It was famous round North London, still in 1968, when a workmate of mine was scorching its clutch and tires --- people would lean over at the traffic lights and offer big cash on the spot for it. Visible in the van are Don Garlits's two little daughters."

There was a caption previously that said it was loaned by Alan Mann Racing.


Edited by GregLaR (see edit history)
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