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|Holman Moody Honker II ex Mario Andretti / Paul Newman|
Morris & Welford
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| *** FROM THE TOM MITTLER COLLECTION *** The great Holman Moody Can-Am Honker II driven by Mario Andretti with Paul Newman sponsorship. This cool piece of Can-Am racing legend was designed by Len Bailey of FAV (also behind the Ford GT40 Le Mans project) and built by Alan Mann Racing on behalf of Ford who wanted to emulate their Le Mans success in Europe by winning the domestic series of Can-Am races. They chose Holman Moody to campaign the car and Mario Andretti was their team driver. The engine they used was a Holman Moody 351ci variant of the lightweight 260/289 Ford engine built in Dan Gurney’s shop. |
Success was very limited during the short (eleven weeks / 6 race) 1967 season, the results being:
Elkhart Lake: Practice only
Bridgehampton: Started 23rd, Finished 8th.
Mosport: DNS engine
Laguna Seca: did not enter, engine
Riverside: Qualified 5th, running 4th in race when gearbox caused DNF
Las Vegas: Qualified 9th but engine failure so DNS
Ford did not persevere with the project after the end of the season although the Honker II did famously star in the movie “Winning” driven by Paul Newman released in 1969.
Tom Mittler acquired the Honker II in 1994 from Peter Dyson. During his ownership over the years he spent a large sum in restoration and race-preparation. Following a low speed off (broken hub) at one event and finding the handling quite demanding (maybe not unlike its original Andretti ‘67 race season) the decision was taken to have the car entirely rebuilt and this included improving the monocoque structure and making it stiffer, this work undertaken by Alex Greaves an ex McLaren team technician. Another modification included dry sump lubrication and improved cooling. Between 1996 and 2003 the Honker was campaigned quite extensively in vintage racing events.
Within the past few years it has had a further major refresh and race prep which included an engine rebuild, work on all four corners, brakes and new fuel bladders. It has not been used since and is ready for final dialing in and race set up.
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