1972 Grand National Bud Moore Torino - Bobby Isaac

Bud 'The Wizard' Moore developed and perfected the small block Ford power plant with great success during his involvement with the Trans-Am series from 1969 to 1971. As a result, Parnelli Jones won the 1970 Trans-Am Championship in a Bud Moore-prepared Boss 302 Mustang, widely considered the most competitive race series ever.

During the early part of 1972, Bud Moore went on to introduce the Ford 351 Cleveland small block motor to the Grand National (now NASCAR) series as he entered his Ford Torino in 9 races, the best finish being 4th at Atlanta with David Pearson driving. The 1972 season was Moore's effort to put some research and development out on track with plans of putting on a full assault during 1973.

In 1973, Bud Moore Engineering picked up Sta-Power (a high performance fuel additive manufacturer) as a major sponsor and hired 1970 Grand National World Champion Bobby Isaac to drive for the team on a full-time basis. Isaac’s first race was at Riverside but engine trouble ended his day after 61 laps. Next up was the Daytona 500, where Isaac finished 2nd behind Richard Petty. Bobby would go on to add 5 top-5 and 6 top-10 finishes in 1973.

In the 1973 Talladega 500, Ramo Stott’s engine blew on the backstretch spewing oil and a cloud of thick smoke across the entire track. A tremendous 21-car accident resulted which took the life of driver Larry Smith. A few laps later, Isaac pulled into the pit and informed Bud that he was retiring from racing and left the track. It was later reported that Bobby told Bud that he heard “voices in the car telling him to stop.” An upstart talent named Darrell Waltrip was hired to drive the remainder of the 1973 season, with his best finish being 8th at Darlington. Isaac eventually returned to racing in 1974 but with limited success. Bobby retired from NASCAR in 1976. In 1977, while competing in a late model race at Hickory Speedway where he grew up, Bobby had a heart attack and passed away. He was 45 years old.

This car is the original Superspeedway car used in 1972 and 1973, authenticated by Bud Moore and his son Greg. It is believed to be the only remaining Bud Moore Engineering Torino. After the 1973 season, Bud Moore sold this car to D & M Engineering in Florida, who then sold it to Ron Spohn of Monroe NC. Ron used the car in a couple local ARCA races then put it away in his shop. Bill Bradford of Huntsville, NC bought it in 1986 with the help of his friend and former Bud Moore Engineering engine builder Jerry Mason who kept an eye on the car over the years. Bill commissioned Kim Haynes of RACEtorations in Gastonia, NC for a complete restoration.

In 1990, #15 was put on display in the North Carolina Motorsports Museum until purchased in 2008 by John Linfesty of Santa Monica, CA with the intent of racing it in the growing Historic Grand National Group. In 2011 it was sold to Jeffrey Stout of Manhattan Beach, CA who also intends to race it in the Historic Grand National Group. Since 2008, the #15 Bud Moore/Bobby Isaac Ford Torino has been shown at "The Quail" and has raced in the Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the Sonoma Historics and has been used in pre-race festivities for selected NASCAR races. The #15 Bud Moore/Bobby Isaac Ford Torino is considered to be one of the most historic and well-documented historic Grand National cars in existence, which was driven by one of the most enigmatic drivers in NASCAR history.