Fred Lorenzen’s won his debut event, to see who would be the first to turn over a 1937 Plymouth, in Elmhurst, Illinois aged 15 in 1949.
He graduated to NASCAR by 1956, but it was not until after he had won the 1958 and 1959 USAC Championships in a Talarico Bros. built Chevrolet and run 10 races as an owner driver in the 1960 NASCAR series that he got an offer from Ralph Moody to join the Holman Moody team for the 1961 season.
The new partnership made fifteen starts during the 1961 season and Fred won three of them at Martinsville, Darlington and Atlanta.
Prior to the Darlington win Ralph, a well respected former driver, coached Fred on how to beat one of the favourites Curtis Turner in the event of a showdown between the two of them.
Sure enough as the laps wound down Fred found himself fighting Chris for the lead but could find no way past having forgotten Ralph’s instructions before the start of the race.
During a late pit stop a furious Ralph asked Fred in no uncertain terms “Think Boy ! What The Heck Is The Matter ?” Fred followed Ralph’s instruction’s to the letter going into the last lap and sold Chris a dummy to the outside which allowed his to go low and take the lead for the win in his open Ford Sunliner while Chris was busy acquiring a Darlington Stripe.
During the second year of their partnership Fred crossed the line first twice more from 19 starts to finish a career best 3rd in points.
Fred crossed the line first 6 times from 29 starts in 1963 to become the first driver to win over $100,000 in a single season.
In 1964 the partnership made only 16 starts from a possible 62, but astonishingly won 8 of them.
At the 1965 Daytona 500 Fred started 4th and came through to take the win in a vehicle similar to the one featured today and finished the season with 4 wins from 17 starts.
Fred made a total of 15 more starts for Holman Moody in the 1966 and 1967 seasons winning three more races, he also made one start in Junior Johnson’s famous cut down yellow Galaxie known as the Yellow Banana, but crashed it after leading 24 laps.
Taking a break from the sport during the 1968 and 1969 seasons Fred came back for three more partial seasons with a variety of owners from 1970 to 1972 scoring 11 top five finishes from 29 starts leaving his career record at 28 wins from just 158 starts with 32 pole positions.
Last month Fred was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of fame, the car featured today is believed to be one of several replica’s of Fred’s 1965 Holman Moody Galaxy 500 originally built by Jack Sullivan with fellow wrenches Herb Nab and Freddy McCall.
Thanks for joining me on this “THINK ! W.H.M ? edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !