McDONOUGH, GA. — When you’re the son of a NASCAR Grand National racing great—like Brett Moore is—you’re bound to end up with a passion for the industry and a nostalgic appreciation for the vehicles that define the sport.
Especially if your dad is Bob Moore and those vehicles include a 1959 Plymouth and a 1956 Ford.
After a racing career that lasted from the early 1960s to the mid 1980s, Bob Moore and longtime friend and team racecar builder, Stewart Seymore, purchased and rebuilt several of Moore’s Grand National and short track dirt cars.
“He and Stewart Seymore located them and rebuilt them from the ground up,” Brett Moore said. “They were in terrible shape. Today, you can eat your dinner from the hood.”
The “Big Plymouth” with its 383 c.i.d. big block was also apparently a favorite of racing legend Richard Petty, who called it “one of the fastest racecars in the South in its time,” and later penned his signature on the driver’s side roof in honor of the owners and drivers that built it.
“At the Byron-Middle Georgia Raceway Reunion a few years back, Mr. Petty attended and spoke with us about the Plymouth and how it was to race,” Brett Moore said. “He spoke highly of the car that dad had rebuilt, was sorry to hear of dad’s passing, and autographed it on the spot. Nice man.”
Petty was one of many big-name competitors that raced against Bob Moore in his 20-plus year career that included 10th-place finishes in the 1968 Dixie 500 and the 1968 Augusta Speedway 250. Moore also raced with motorsports icons Bobby and Donnie Allison, Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker, David Pearson, and Wendell Scott.
The 1956 Ford, or as Brett Moore jokingly refers to it, the 55.5, was originally owned by Buddy Green and Hughie Hammock, and rebuilt in a style that makes determining an exact model year a topic of endless debate.
“The front end (from the firewall forward) is actually the front end of a 1955 Ford. From the firewall back, it’s actually a 1956 Ford body,” Brett Moore said. “As I understand it, the only difference in the two years of Ford producing this car was some extra chrome on the ’56. Since racecars of the day removed all the ‘extras,’ it is my understanding that many racecars in the late ’50s and ’60s were built something like this.”
The rebuild also included installing a replica 289 c.i.d. Ford V8 motor and painstakingly exact hand-painted lettering and numbers.
Brett Moore continues to honor the legacy of his father as a member of the National Vintage Racing association—an organization founded by Bob Moore and Stewart Seymore in the mid 1990s.
“Really a bunch of fine people that love to share stories of cars, tracks, and friends. They also like to go really fast, sitting in a roll cage and turning left,” Brett Moore said. “I’m not very good, but it’s great fun getting out there with many of his racing friends and letting people remember his cars.”
After all, whether you’re a professional or novice, in the words of Bob Moore you just “pull the harness tight and the gas is on the right.”
Then, hang on and go.
Here are a few more photos of the vintage racecars currently on display at the Summit Racing retail store in McDonough, GA.