That oil pan better be bulletproof, since it looks like it will be the first thing to take a hit if the ground clearance goes away. Maybe not the best choice for a rally car. Still a super cool story about a one-off race car.
That was the first thing that occurred to me when I saw that picture of it coming off of the flatbed. That oil pan just screams, "punch me in the face". The story keeps saying it was completely disassembled, does that mean they actually cut a unibody car into pieces or just that they stripped lots of stuff off the car?
H-M was not only known for Ford stock cars, they were the "other" Ford factory team that raced the GT-40's in the '60's, so were well versed in road racing. If you saw the movie Ford vs Ferrari, they were barely referred to, but Shelby wasn't the only team racing the GT-40 for Ford at the time.
I remember the car well. Back then Ford assembled CKD Mustangs in their plant south of Lima. The president was Royal Kelly and I dated one of his daughters.
Cristobal Galliuf raced once a stock, black, 69 GT 500. The car was so sleek that if was called the Batmobile, thus his racing alias. It was a road race, about 600 miles each way and he won it easily. There were very few good cars in Perú back then. The tale was he raced with the windows shut and the A/C on!
He sold this car to my best friend right after the race, before he ordered the H&M special.
Back then importing cars was almost impossible, so I imagine shipping the car out and bringing it back, same VIN but different engine number, was complicated. The car raced again in road races many times, and was sold later to another well known race car driver, whose name I forget.
It does not surprise me that the car ended up in Jorge Nicolini’s collection. He owns about 120 cars.
Now, exporting cars has not been difficult in Perú for at least 10 or 15 years. I have easily shipped two of my fathers cars, both now in Michigan in the hands of my two children. So that is the only part of the story that seems to be somewhat off.
Interesting, as most old race cars - and the people around them - tend to be. That oil pan does seem a poor choice for anything but a drag car; more applicable road-racing pans were available in the era. I suspect the front wheel/tire setup was as much for (relative) ease of campaigning as anything else. I would imagine a suitable replacement car was provided for the wife to ensure a smooth home life ?
I knew a guy who inherited a Holman-Moody built '68 Mustang 428 CJ GT Fastback from his dad. What a brute that car was. Totally unstreetable, it had to be towed to car shows where firing up the big CJ was a show of its own. The car had been built for a Ford dealer for the muscle car wars at the local drag strips but proved to be excess to their needs prior to delivery, having purchased a similar car from another local dealer that they were then campaigning. My friend's father was a dedicated drag racer and the Ford dealer gave him the opportunity to buy it, which he did. When my friends mom passed, he found the '68 sitting under tarps in the barn at the family ranch. With a little effort he was even able to bring back the original Highland Green paint job and the black GT striping. Very low mileage since it had been acquired mostly 1/4 mile at a time.
What a truly fantastic story. “Batman” sounds like someone fun to have a beer (or three) with. Can’t imagine how much money was put into getting this wonderful machine into the States (not to mention buying/restoring it). Passion makes you do crazy/irrational/fantastic things! Excellent!
The photo indicates an FE big block resembling a 427 high rise and dual quads. The story does not mention the replacement engine after the demise of the 289, just that it was a "tall deck". Replacing a 289 with an FE requires major frame and suspension alterations because of size and weight issues. I believe Jerry Titus raced a 427 67 notch back at that time very successfully with a single 4bbl. My point being this car is a very different animal with the current power train modification, it's not the same car.