Having successfully convinced Henry Ford II to return Ford Motor Company to motor racing during the early 1960s, Ford vice-president Lee Iacocca was instrumental in the development of the sporty Falcon-based Mustang. While the Mustang was indeed a smash hit and its April 1964 debut remains the most successful automotive launch in history, Henry Ford II was still smarting from the Edsel’s failure and relied heavily on Iacocca to guarantee the new Ford model’s success. For his part, Iacocca and his executives directly led the Mustang’s rapid transformation into a race-worthy car that could compete – and win – anywhere Ford chose to compete. Given Ford’s existing relationship with England’s Alan Mann Racing (AMR), a Mustang team was prepared to contest the September 1964 Tour de France, resulting in a convincing 1-2-3 finish in the face of Europe’s finest.
In America, Carroll Shelby was tapped by Iacocca to develop and campaign the Mustang in SCCA competition, resulting in the iconic GT350 that unseated Chevrolet’s once-dominant Corvette with consecutive 1965/1966/1967 B-Production championships. In 1966, the SCCA added the new Trans-Am Sedan racing series to its calendar. Based around FIA Group 1 and Group 2 rules plus some additional measures mandated by the SCCA, the new Trans Am series would become wildly popular throughout North America and result in some of the fastest and most collectible high-performance cars ever produced. Drivers were a “who’s who” of 1960s motorsports who vied for rides in the series. The businesslike Mustang Notchback coupe was perfect for the rigors of Trans-Am racing, with its lighter weight, simpler body style, and larger trunk opening – perfect for housing long-range, quick-fill fuel tanks. Back-to-back championships for 1966-67 in the over-2.0 liter class guaranteed the Mustang’s growing competition legend.
Other front-line American racing teams developed, built, and successfully campaigned Trans Am-style Mustangs during this exciting period, including Charlotte, North Carolina’s Holman & Moody. Established in 1957 by John Holman and Ralph Moody, Holman & Moody was for many years Ford Motor Company’s official racing contractor, building an enviable record of racing victories throughout the following decades. In addition to its many NASCAR successes, Holman & Moody’s Mustang-based A/FX drag cars ruled the strip and it contested international sports car events with Shelby Cobras and Ford’s brilliant GT40. Trademark “Competition Proven” technical innovations included special heavy-duty racing wheels, quick-refueling systems, special camshaft grinds, wizard-like cylinder-head work, and engine-assembly techniques for long-distance races.
While Holman & Moody’s efforts were primarily directed to Ford’s corporate racing efforts and its own racing team, H&M did build complete cars and supplied components to other racing teams including the Wood Brothers of NASCAR fame and numerous privateers around the world. Latin America was a particular hotbed of racing activity, with a heavy European influence and plenty of financial wealth in select pockets of the population. In recognition of these factors, Ford Motor Company’s foreign assembly plants included Lima, Peru, where the Mustang entered production in 1966. This 1967 Ford Mustang ‘Notchback’ coupe offered here was originally assembled at Ford’s Lima, Peru factory, then extensively raced for its owner, one Mr. Flores, by ace driver Cristóbal Galjuf, whose noted racing career began in 1967 and continued to 1997.
Initially using the “Batman” pseudonym and later known as “Mister X,” Cristobal Galjuf was a popular driver in several disciplines ranging from circuit races to dangerous long-distance mountain rallies. Tomas Alzamora was his usual co-driver with the subject 1967 Mustang in the early 1970s. During the late 1960s, Galjuf’s street/race car was a 1967 Shelby GT350 and his racing cars included the Lotus Cortina and Volvo 122 S. During the 1980s and 1990s, Galjuf appears to have exclusively driven a succession of race-prepared Nissan 4X4 pickup trucks.
According to the many documents accompanying the sale of this Mustang, it was raced while still quite new. Two Boss 302 racing engines were prepared at Holman & Moody’s Charlotte, North Carolina workshops in 1969; a dyno sheet in the Mustang’s historical records confirmed one of the pair of engines was dyno-tested by Holman & Moody’s Lee Terry at 422 peak corrected HP. An interesting telegram dated April 14, 1969 confirms revised shipping arrangements for these engines, including their shipment on a Braniff International airliner. The Mustang was successfully campaigned in many events, with many action photos and period newspaper clippings on file documenting the victories scored by Galjuf and Alzamora, including the numerous speed and time records they set.
According to records on file, the Mustang was shipped after the 1971 racing season to Holman & Moody in Charlotte and comprehensively re-engineered to full 1971 Trans Am racing specifications. According to Holman & Moody invoices, the work was completed to “FIA specs,” which would have meant FIA Appendix J specifications plus SCCA Trans Am-compliant additions. By some accounts, the Mustang’s body was acid-dipped for lightness during the process. Copies of detailed invoices issued by Holman & Moody in 1972 document the work performed to the car, which included a November 1972 test session in Atlanta – likely Road Atlanta – and transportation by Holman & Moody truck to Miami, Florida prior to shipment back to Peru. In addition to several Holman & Moody work orders, electrical schematics and suspension tuning specifications were sent to Galjuf with the rebuilt Mustang. Interestingly, following the rebuild, the Mustang was partially dismantled before shipment via an associate of Galjuf in Caracas, Venezuela, in order to avoid the heavy import duties and restrictions then applicable under Peru’s military regime.
Following its return to Lima, the revitalized Mustang created a sensation during the 1973 and 1974 racing seasons, with “Batman” and Alzamora cutting a swath in their class through tough, well-heeled, and very fast competitors in a succession of South American racing events. More records fell to the team during this particularly fruitful era, with the Mustang hailed “…the fastest in South America” in one newspaper article. Among the team’s many victories with the Mustang were the 1,000-kilomteter Grand Prix of Lima-Arequipa, the Hizo 500 Kms in Pasamayo, and the “Frontera a Frontera” (Border Trial) rally, which Galjuf won at a scorching 175 kph (109 mph) average speed. Likely one of South America’s best-known racing drivers, Galjuf was dubbed “El Magnifico Volante Capitalino,” “The Magnificent Capital Flyer,” by one enthused news writer.
Subsequent history is unknown at the present time; however, the car remained with Flores. In 1993, he ordered a new engine for the car, again from Holman & Moody. Built with no expense spared from a Ford Racing 302 CI cylinder block containing special high-Nickel alloy content, this engine was equipped with all new internal parts including 10.5:1 compression pistons and topped with a Roush intake, big Holley carburetor, and special high-dollar NASCAR-type aluminum cylinder heads. In all, Holman & Moody billed car owner Flores just under $ 30,000 for the engine work, confirming the Mustang’s important and coveted status in Peru.
Subsequently in 1993, the famous Holman & Moody-prepped Mustang was acquired by Jorge Nicolini, a highly successful businessman who had built his country’s premier auto collection, The Museo de Autos Antiguos Colección Nicolini, celebrating Peru’s history through the cars kept on display there. The car has been featured in the Nicolini Museum from 1993 to the latter 2000s in a climate-controlled environment, consistent with the favorably dry Peruvian weather conditions provided by the forbidding Andes mountains. Due to political concerns, the venerable Mustang was shipped from the Nicolini Museum to the United States with the assistance of Jorge Nicolini’s nephew.
While complete and retaining its wide array of period racing upgrades, the Mustang had not been run since its Holman & Moody-built engine was installed in 1993. During the late 2010s, a sympathetic restoration was completed by Cameron Bishop, with the effort aided by detailed conversations with Mr. Flores ensuring the car was properly finished and detailed to its most successful 1973-74 Holman & Moody appearance and specification. Among its many fascinating features, the Mustang is equipped with a Ford Toploader 4-speed transmission with scatter shield, exquisite hand-fabricated equal-length competition exhaust headers, a rear-facing air scoop, and Holman & Moody-trademark NASCAR-type heavy-duty steel racing wheels. Other highlights include a racing roll cage, competition bucket seats, period instrumentation, custom Holman & Moody electrical bus, a rear spare wheel/tire, and “407” racing number with “Competition Proven” Holman & Moody fender graphics. History is confirmed by a rich document album that accompanies this awesome veteran racer, including correspondence, dyno sheets, chassis set-up specifications, electrical schematics, newspaper clippings, period snapshots, and Holman & Moody invoices. Confirmed by a 2009-dated letter from Lee Holman, the Mustang has been identified by him “…as a real Holman & Moody built car,” assigned the identification number C7HM-10118-GT.
Undoubtedly one of the most interesting racing Mustangs to come to market in recent memory, this example will cause a sensation wherever it is shown or campaigned in vintage racing events. Carrying extensive and successful racing history with one of the most skilled and charismatic drivers in the Americas, it is already immensely desirable and collectible. Factor in its period rebuild to Trans Am specifications by Holman & Moody and rich, very well-documented history, this Mustang is perfectly suited for inclusion in the finest collections of 1960s-70s racing cars anywhere.