Memory Lane Museum

We recently visited the Memory Lane Museum in Mooresville NC. The web site suggest a little more than it delivers. The museum is large and has a lot of cars and stuff in it but is poorly kept. When we arrived they had to turn the lights on because no one else had yet visited that day. Don’t let that stop you from visiting. There are far better museums but this one does have some interesting cars.

Below are some photos for you. However, do not get too excited about all the Ford/Mercury race cars. Although they are cool to look at do not use them as a guide for how you should restore yours. I am not expert on vintage NASCAR restorations but I can tell you these, for the most part, are poorly and cheaply restored.

There is an interesting funny car Torino dragster, Richard Petty’s first race car (wrecked beyond recognition) and other historical item. Enjoy but don’t accept everything for what it is represented to be.

Filed Under: Car ShowsFeaturednascar race carRace Cars and Drivers

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About the Author: Some of my first and strongest memories from my childhood relate to cars. I still remember when things happened based on what car I was driving at the time. I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I was a Corvette fanatic for years but then re-discovered vintage American Muscle. My wife, Katrina, and I decided we wanted to focus on unique and rare muscle cars. After a lot of research we fell in love with the Ford Blue Oval Aero Cars. These were only built in 1969 and and aerodynamics became an important part of winning races. The only purpose of these limited production cars was to win NASCAR races using the Boss 429 and 427 power plants complimented with a special, wind cheating, aerodynamic body. The Ford Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II are terrific and historic cars. This site is devoted to these car and their owners past and present. We provide an Online Registry for recording the long term history and ownership of every remaining Talladega, Spoiler and Spoiler II.

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  1. Alan Miller says:

    Is the Petty Talladega real ? I have heard the Bobby Allison Cyclone wasn’t .

    • Richard says:

      The Coke Allison car is not but I do not know about the Talladega, I would question it. I did not look at it closely. There are a lot of cars in there and all appear to be presented as the real deal but I highly question a number of them. The Allison car is so bad it is easy to spot.

  2. Rick Ochs says:

    Alan & Richard,
    I had to do a bit of research before I posted this, been a long time…..The Petty Talladega is the real deal. It is or was owned by Mr. Alex Beam. Mr. Beam was the co-founder of the Memory Lane Museum and owns most of the cars in the Museum. Donald Farr did a story in Super Ford stating at the time it was the largest private owned collection of Race cars. Back in late 1990 I talked with Mr. Beam about the Petty Talladega, He stated and sent me paper work as to this Talladega, at the time the Talladega was in the Petty Museum. When Mr. Beam got the car it had been re-bodied as the number 72 Mercury…..as Charles Craig started the restoration he found the Petty Blue paint under the red and the special Race seat made for Richard was still in the car as run in 1969…plus other parts that were fitted for Richard Petty. I did a story in the March/April 1991 Fairlaner about the car. I think we sent pictures to Richard for this web-site and he posted them. The car has the Petty history as well as other well named drivers. Care was taken to restore the car to it’s 1969 Race trim …with Richard Petty himself getting the Petty Blue paint for the restoration and the decals were done by John McKenize who did them back in 69 and at time I did story was still doing them for the Petty’s…The car was built by Holman/Moody Ford’s leading race car builder’s and than given to Richard Petty to drive. Interesting note are the car’s Petty drove for Ford from Holman/Moody never carried the Holman/Moody fender decals…nor Richards name above the door. As to the Allison car I have some of the history on it from back in the 90’s…..just need to find the folder I have on it.

  3. John Craft says:

    The Petty car is a replica. And a very poorly done one at that. H&M records document that RP was issued three chassis from H&M in 1969. The first was received just before the Riverside race in January 1969. He got the second car in time for the Daytona 500. The first car won Riverside and then served as RP’s short track car. It was ultimately destroyed at Asheville/Weaverville in what RP still says was the hardest hit he ever took as a driver. H&M then issued a third chassis to RP. All three chassis received unique weld in headrests by the PE crew that makes them easy to distinguish in period photos. At season’s end the two surviving cars were returned to H&M (per Fomoco contracts back in the day the cars belonged to Ford not the drivers). There they rejoined the wrecked chassis that had been stripped and left behind the shop. Ford’s NASCAR director, Charlie Gray, recalls that both of the surviving cars were then taken to Dearborn for crash testing. One period document in my collection suggests, however, that one of the two chassis might have been given to Junior Johnson when Ford got out of all racing activities in 1971. At least that was the stated intention in the document. Recently, two replica Petty Fords have been built by fabulists. One is in California and is configured as the Riverside car and the other is in the Mooresville tourist attraction that RF recently visited. The welded/permanent roll cage configuration of the supposed Petty Talladega does not match that of any of the known Petty 1969 chassis. The chassis is also lacking other characteristic H&M features and there is no evidence of the unique welded in Petty style headrest that each of the real cars had. So, the erroneous claims of certain magazine writers and the car’s creator notwitstanding, the Mooresville car is a replica. Worse the luck, the Mooresville car is so wrong in its reconstruction (both cosmetically and mechanically), it would take days to document its myriad deficiencies. As RF notes, (and not surprisingly) there are also other poorly done and equally misrepresented supposed H&M chassis that are also on display at the tourist attraction. More’s the pity.

    • Richard says:

      Thanks for your expertise and clarification. For us novices we can get in trouble real fast without someone like you who actually knows the correct details.

  4. Rick Ochs says:

    LMAO, John is back at it again. John you also”followed” the Fairlaner story with a penned story about this very same Petty Talladega in Super Ford and Muscle Car review. At that time you sent me a letter (on File) about how you had ” No interest in the big Boxy Galaxies ” What you sounding off about now, but a 64 Gal, which is re-bodied, non as raced motor heck whole drive train….yes John I have been told over the years you were upset by stories of old NASCAR, race car not being told the way you see it. John look at the cars, they were raced, wrecked (look @ your own now under-build Torino) they were offed to other teams -re-body-ed and parts were changed. Very few as you know came right off the track and put in team show rooms like today. Even Stock Car Magazine called your Cyclone a Clone !!! John why would Richard Petty get the paint for the Petty Talladega for Mr. Beam if it was a clone ? and John we do not even want to get into the story you penned for Muscle Car about detailing the underside of a Tallladega which had so much WRONG info that Muscle Car did not run it in Super Ford..With that kind of info ” Novices” as Richard states sure can get in trouble. John the story got put out in print before your story did…stop cry-ing about it and picking other peoples work to bits to make your self look good. After all we all learn something new in the world of old race cars, muscle cars and in general each day.
    And John hope I have improved a bit on me basic English…. we is try-in!

  5. John Craft says:

    Rick, I have no idea what you are rambling on about. I have stated facts about the Petty replica based on my personal examination of the car; comparison of that car to known historic photos of the real Petty cars; with Ford and H&M documents in my collection, and upon interviews that I have conducted in person with Fomoco racing personages (for example, as mentioned, Charlie Gray). Based on those facts, I conclude that the car is a replica. It is also very poorly configured (we can begin with the risible 1964 426 Chrysler Hemi air cleaner (Rick, do you even know what a Holman Moody cowl induction air cleaner looks like I wonder?) and work down or forward and backwards in detailing the many other errors in the car’s “restoration” as you like). My opinion is also based on the other Holman Moody cars (those in existence) that I have personally examined and those that I have worked on. This includes my own 1969 Spoiler II *replica* built from a sportsman car that was originally built by Bill Funderburk while he was at Pistone’s. As I suspect you do not recognize Bill’s name, let me say that he was the H&M fabricator who developed the jigs for all of the half chassis cars while he was working at the airport. Contrary to your suggestion, I never identified my SII as anything other than a *replica* and made sure that it was so represented in each and every article that was written about it by other scribblers. Since completing that car, I have been fortunate enough to find three real H&M chassis of my own and have restored two. The first was Fred Lorenzen’s Daytona 500 winning H&M 1965 Galaxie. Chassis C5HM-10047. The second was H&M 1964 Galaxie chassis number C4HM-10041. I am currently working on a 1968 H&M Torino chassis number HM8-033S. From what I can tell in your very hard to follow, meandering post, your opinion is based on magazine articles written by people who have done none of the above who relied exclusively on self interested information provided by the fellow ho created the replica. Not exactly what one would call “credible” evidence. *Your* opinion is also *not* based on your own work (as I am unaware of any; if in error please list in chronological order) restoring H&M stock cars;or interviews *you* have conducted with Ford racing folks from that period; or photos *you* have that document that Beam’s replica is what he claims it is or upon internal Ford documents in *your* collection about Ford’s racing program in the 1960s that contradict those in mine and support you contention that the car is real (please post those you have). Simply put, it appears that you believe the car is genuine solely because of what *you* have *read*. Have you even see it in the flesh one wonders? I will leave for others to decide whose opinion is more credible. You are welcome to your opinion. You are not welcome to hurl personal insults or projections of what I am or am not “upset about”. Respectfully, you’d do better to stick to facts, as I have. Rick, If you choose to respond, please try to compose that response (grammar and punctuation) in a way that makes understanding it easier. Trying to guess at meaning from a rambling screed is not the best way to communicate. And guessing is what your post forced me to do in many areas. Not good. *NOTE to RICHARD FLEENER*: You know, it might be fun for to post shots of the Beam *replica* for discussion, Richard, if you are listening, I can send along some shots and can then follow up with notes on the errors in that car’s configuration and also point out the things that indicate it was not a Petty car…things that would not have changed or been altered as a result of racing action btw. Things like the central cage, the dash etc…. Let me know. What we will do is post those photos and let Rick offer his observations how he recognizes the car to be real…*first*. I will then follow up…how about that? Or,plan B might be for me to start a thread on the Petty replica on a FB site (Grand National History before 1972 would work. I think you are a member there, Richard?)…where it will be easier to post photos. Same procedure. I will post photos and then Rick can offer his *expert* opinions first. I will follow up with my own after he is done explicating the things that mark the car as the genuine item in his view. Fair warning Rick, I think I will ask you to take a little H&M quiz before we begin the photo play. I have in mind posting some shots of significant H&M pieces for your correct identification. Maybe some shots of the major players in the 60s Ford stock car world too. The idea is economy. If you can correctly identify the things and people posted (like a real H&M air cleaner and like Charlie Gray) then you will have proven that you actually know what you are talking about. If you can’t there won’t be any reason to carry the conversation further. What do you say Rick, are you in?

  6. John Craft says:

    Richard, Having just retired from a job that required me to make credibility assessments on a regular basis, I can tell you that the credibility of a source of information is critical…both inside a courtroom and out.

    In that vein, let me note that once upon a time I was a too credulous magazine scribbler…who too often believed…and regurgitated..everything a car owner told me. Garbage in/garbage out is the IT term IIRC. That happened with some of the (now known to be replica) stock cars a certain ethics challenged fellow in Gastonia, NC built and later sold to some too credulous buyers (for BIG bucks).

    Later in time I became aware of the lies I had been spoon fed by the Flash…and began to feel responsible for helping to dupe (inadvertently) the skinned buyers the Gastonia Flash had fleeced…based on the stamp of imprimatur I had mistakenly given the cars in print. Hence my continuing crusade to set the record straight about the fake cars that live among us. The day will come when the Memory Lane tourist attraction cars will inevitably come up for sale. That is when the potential for fraud will exist. That fraud…if it happens…will be no skin off of the scribblers’ noses who have repeated the tales told to them about the cars’ bonafides. Nor will it impact folks who…without portfolio…pose as “experts” on the cars …based solely on hearsay (like Rick). It will impact the buyer who winds up paying far more than a misrepresented cars is worth however. That is one reason that I took pains to make sure the racer who bought my replica Wood Brothers SII knew from the jump what it was…and what it wasn’t. Likely cost me lost of money I could have pocketed had I lied about the car. But I sleep better having sold the car for what it was. The car still brought respectable money..restored as it was with all the correct period H&M pieces to include a race spec Boss 429 (@605 HP) that I built myself.

    More to the point…I also used to believe the things Alex Beam (upon whom Rick apparently relies without reservation) told me about HIS creations. As a result, I printed what I now know to be incorrect information about some of those cars when I was still scribbling. I regret that to this day.

    I believed Alex in part because…like Rick, I (then) had zip, zero, nada first hand experience with or knowledge of what H&M Grand National stock cars were actually like (that has changed since). I believed him right up until I looked at a sportsman 1968 Mercury in north Florida that is. I was then looking for my first stock car to buy. I had not found my own sportsman Mercury yet. Got directed to Don Hewitt’s alignment shop in Middleburg Florida. Drove to visit Don and he showed me the 1968 Cyclone that he had built (from an H&M kit) in his own shop for his son to run in ARCA. I asked him about selling it and he asked to think about it.

    I called back two weeks later only to find that Don had sold the car to a fellow named Beam from Davidson, NC.

    I had begun to have my suspicions about Alex’s veracity by then, so I called him to congratulate him on his new find…and to ask him what exactly he had found?

    To my surprise, Alex advised that he had gotten lucky and found David Pearson’s blue #17 H&M Cyclone from the 1971 season.

    Really!

    That’s when I told Alex about my visit with Don Hewitt…and the phone went silent. He rallied by saying that “…You can just never tell what these old cars were”. I responded that was true in some cases…but not this one since…. Don built the car with his own two hands in his home shop and his last name was neither Holman nor Moody.

    Alex later painted the car as the fake “LeeRoy Yarbrough” Cyclone you have seen it dressed as (and as pictured in your OP). And he tells folks it is the real deal. Incredible.

    I relate this story as a further basis for the conclusion I have reached that Alex’s “Petty” car is a replica. His supposed Bobby Allison Cyclone is another fake…that he misrepresents as real. So too the supposed Foyt Torino, the execrable fake 1962 Lorenzen Galaxie and a number of other of the older cars in his tourist attraction. That Messrs. Johnson,Petty and Allison have allowed their good names to be associated with Beam’s replicas is troubling. My conclusion is 1) they were lied to and can’t nay say since…to them, the cars they raced 40 years ago were just tools that passed through their hands (and they just can’t identify them today…could anyone of us identify a car that was represented as our first car from 40 years ago…with certainty..if there was no VIN?) and/or 2)after being presented with a car built as their own…they just see no percentage in outting the fabulists who have created them. After all the cars are rolling tributes to the drivers who drove them. What good could come from calling them out as fakes?

    I ran into this same phenomenon when I was writing Bud Moore’s biography (have you seen it I wonder?)Bud was a master mechanic and car builder…but without period photos and documents to clear his often foggy 50+ year old memory…he often got cars and parts mixed up. Sadly, another fabulist came along recently (before Bud passed) and fooled him into thinking a restored car was the original 1966 Comet he built (it wasn’t having been built from just one real front fender of that car). That same fake has recently been advertised for sale as..wait for it…the real deal as “authenticated” by Bud. Sic Semper.

    There is a legal principle in Latin that goes Falsus in uno; falsus in omnibus.

    That mean false in one thing; false in all things.

    Unfortunately, that principle has meaning for *me* in the context of the replica Petty car. And it serves as the partial basis for my conclusion about it. Along with the other factors set out in my first post. And that’s the point of this second response to Rick’s unproductive (and very confusing) post.

    Rick’s mileage may vary.

  7. Rick Ochs says:

    Wow John, You really did go from a Dr. of words to a Lawyer. I have Holman / Moody parts in my shop so your “Well I was lead to believe by…….” B S does not stand ground with me. You know the stories you wrote about the Petty Talladega and the detail story that you wrote. It saddens me when I and others have worked to put out truth full information to the Talladega word and some one who was told or lead to think this or that marks their work.
    How about this John….I post the detail story you wrote and you tell me how you were lead to thinking this or that was correct???
    You in John????? See John if you know more than the God of AERO cars if their is one? You would have pointed out the wrong back when you wrote the stories. Oh and John I still have to posed picture of the # 27 at the pumps you sent me…I look at that and just laugh……Have a nice Christmas John……….

  8. Rick Ochs says:

    Richard,
    My paper work contains a copy of the “Authorization, Consent, Waiver and Release” paper signed by Mr. Beam and sent to John Craft for the story on the Petty Talladega…….penned in magazines owned by Dobbs Publications by John Craft.
    Rick Ochs

  9. John Craft says:

    Rick,
    Your responses continue to be puerile and unproductive. And, sorry to say, linear thought does not appear to be your strong suit.

    So, again it’s more than a little difficult to actually figure out what…if any… point you are trying to make. Beyond personal insults that is.

    You also seem to have some issue with reading comprehension. There is really not much I can do to remedy those issues as they are all on your end.

    Please re-read my posts carefully. And perhaps more slowly. I think I have made my conclusions about the Petty replica quite clear.

    As noted, my conclusion after careful review of all currently available extant evidence is that the Petty car is a replica.

    I am far from being alone in this view.

    Your mileage may vary.

    I have set out the bases for my conclusion.

    I have invited you to post or share pictures and or documents that support your contention that the car (which I conclude you have never even see in person).

    You have responded with invective and essentially gibberish.

    As I have also noted, people and things evolve. So does knowledge. What I knew and what was known about Beam’s replicas has changed with the passage of years. Almost 30 years in fact. I now have more knowledge of the H&M cars than I did when I was actively scribbling. A LOT more knowledge. If I had that same level of understanding then, the articles written would have been framed differently. I certainly would not have been as gullible as I was. Sorry to repeat myself, but you just don’t seem to be tracking what I wrote, and repetition is the only tool I have at my disposal to snap you to that fact…which, seems an impossible task at this juncture.

    The *documents* you reference do nothing to contradict my conclusions about the replica Petty Talladega. They are all apparently circa the 1980s (back in my scribbler days). So, they serve no purpose other than to be …at least in your view…some sort of platform for personal attack.

    I confessed the errors I made and why they were made in my earlier posts (Perhaps you will pick that up when you re-read them?). Would that they could be undone. In a way, they are via this post.

    As you do not seem to have any real evidence (or knowledge it seems) to contradict my conclusions about the Petty replica, this conversation grows increasingly pointless.

    But, before closing I must make a further observation about things that change. Having lived long, I have observed that most people also change over time. Particularity as it pertains to maturity. Rick, sad to say you apparently have not. Not at all. I have never met you. And know little of you other than what I have been told by folks whose opinions I value. Like my buddy Mark Moses, for example. Rick, you are today *exactly* as Mark described you to me more than three decades ago. There is no real need to detail that description as you, yourself, have done so with your own posts in this thread. More’s the pity.

    There is really nothing more to say to you Rick, other than that.

    I know what I know. I believe what I believe. I have set out the bases for both in this thread. It will be for others to decide if my knowledge is valuable to them and if my beliefs, based upon that knowledge, are valid in their view.

    Your opinions in this regard are a matter of utmost indifference to me. As are the serial insults contained in your responses.

    From my spot here in the cheap seats your posts…and, sadly, the tedious response I expect you to make…serve only to make you a figure of fun in this public forum.

    *NOTE TO RICHARD*: If you or any other Registry members have serious questions about this topic (or any other that is related), I will be more than happy to help or respond in any way that is desired. There is nothing I love more than talking about old stock cars. Especially Holman Moody stock cars. I hang out a lot (I think as you know) at the “Grand National Stock Car History, before 1972” Facebook site. LOTS of interesting NASCAR history posted there. I recommend it to all. So that would be an alternative venue for such discussions. There have already been many threads posted there about Beam’s replicas and those created by others there. I am far from being a vox clamantis in deserto there in this regard. It’s a lot easier to post pictures and document scans there, too. And, as an added bonus, the moderators don’t truck with childish name calling there.

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