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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

"Batman": The '67 Holman-Moody Mustang that was smuggled in boxes, raced, and restored to glory | Hagerty Media

Imagine, if you will, taking your significant other's daily driver from them, smuggling it off to another country to be turned into a race car, smuggling it back disassembled in crates, assembling it, proceeding to race it competitively under a pseudonym (so your father wouldn't find out) ...
https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/batman-the-67-holman-moody-mustang-that-was-smuggled-in-b...
24 REPLIES 24
Swamibob
Instructor

Now that's seriously cool! I'd love to get a chance to drive that car, on a rally, on a street, on a highway, whatever, I'm in!
ModelT
Advanced Driver

I'd be happy driving it across town to the A &W for a rootbeer and a chili dog!
MeJ
Detailer

Wow those front tires are WIDE! The turn in must be fantastic on this thing.
VADanno
Pit Crew

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.
spoom
Technician

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?
chrlsful
Instructor

"road racer" makes me think its for the twisties. I thought H/M was straight track? Like to hear more on the build as a stang in SCCA livery is of interest...
Lightning1
Detailer

A true race car builder can make anything fast . H&M was also known for stockcar racing.
GC
Intermediate Driver

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.
97Cobra
Intermediate Driver

I think Shelby in the movie beat the Ford prepared H&M 427's
sego
Intermediate Driver

Great story! Keep 'em coming.
Willi
New Driver

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.

But it was good to read about it here in the US!

Regards Bill Roedenbeck
mwmyers91
Detailer

Wow, great story and dedication
Jost
Intermediate Driver

Great story! Thanks for bringing this to us. Keep up the great newsletters!
topside
Detailer

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 ?
tahend
Detailer

Cool story.
wildwestpoptop
New Driver

Would like to know more about he kept the secret from his wife, and how he stayed married. May need this advice for furture referance.
Ragtop69
Intermediate Driver

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.
drhino
Instructor

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!
DougL
Intermediate Driver

i am very, very surprised that as late as 1972, H & M fitted 4 wheel drum brakes on a road race car.
OldRoad
Instructor

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.
Mochajohn
New Driver

not sure how "drum brakes" are easy to service?
97Cobra
Intermediate Driver

Thank You for a great story. I thought you were only interested in now ties. Now if you could find a good Pentstar article that would be great for your Chrysler members. Good job 👍
brb
Instructor

Great story and history. I look forward to many more. This one has all the elements for a good movie.
MrX_Official
New Driver

Hey, the guy was overcharged $320.71 in NC sales tax! No sales tax is due when the vehicle is sent outside the state!