Ford Racing Legend Bud Moore Passes Away At 92

Legendary race car owner Bud Moore passed away at age 92 on November 28, 2017. He owned cars driven by some of the most famous race car drivers in history, including names like Earnhardt, Pearson and Allison in the NASCAR world as well Parnelli Jones and Dan Gurney in the SCCA Trans Am Series — all in Ford and Mercury race cars. Collecting 62 wins at the top level in NASCAR and 13 SCCA Trans Am series wins, Bud was a member of the Stock Car Racing Hall Of Fame, The International Motorsports Hall Of Fame, and The NASCAR Hall Of Fame.

Beyond racing, Bud Moore was also a World War II veteran, fighting on the beaches of Normandy and in France under General George S. Patton. He was the recipient of five Purple Hearts for being wounded in battle — four times for shrapnel and once for taking machine gun fire to his hip. Simply put, he was an American hero.

From the world of NASCAR to SCCA Trans Am Racing, Bud Moore Engineering Ford and Mercury #15 race cars were synonymous with winning. Taking home over 70 major race wins and multiple championships over a 30-plus-year history.

On the racetrack, Moore was a leader in innovation including introducing the over-the-shoulder belts that we know today as racing harnesses into NASCAR in 1965 after the traditional lap belt contributed to the death of Bud’s driver, Billy Wade after an accident at Daytona. Bud was also the first to run a small-block engine in NASCAR and the first to introduce the use of the two-way radio. He also played a huge part in the testing of the modern Goodyear race tire.

Bud Moore enjoyed a 32-year relationship with Ford Motor Company that included many years of primary sponsorship for his NASCAR program as well as factory support in the Trans Am series. Pictured above are some of his Ford-branded NASCAR Cup cars.

At Bud’s 2011 NASCAR Hall Of Fame induction, he said he wanted to be remembered as “One whose firm handshake was as good as any contract, who always gave a straight answer, and most of all a man who loves his family, his country and the sport of racing.”

Bud definitely polished the oval for many years and he will be missed by the Ford racing community and remembered for his many contributions to racing and this country.

After switching from Pontiac in 1963, Bud was Blue Oval through and through, whether it was his race cars or the big rigs that hauled them to the track each week.

Arguably Bud’s most famous driver, Dale Earnhardt Sr., spent two years not only in the Bud Moore Engineering #15 but also in a Ford Thunderbird during the 1983 and 1984 NASCAR seasons.

Bud Moore's Ford legacy still lives on today. In 2007, Saleen recreated one of Bud's most famous race cars, the orange 1970 Boss 302 Mustang #15 driven by Parnelli Jones in the SCCA Trans Am Series with the Parnelli Jones Edition S302 Mustang, which are pictured above with the original championship-winning 1970 version.

About the author

Jeff Southard

Growing up with a dad who loved Corvettes, I was destined to be a gearhead from day one. Beyond that, my dad owned an auto parts business for over 25 years. There, I learned the automotive basics as a child, then began my professional career working there after high school. From Corvettes and Superbirds to Hemis and Cobra Jets, my dad has owned a little of everything over the years, so I've had my chance to get some quality seat time behind the wheel of some rare, unique, and sometimes, just odd automobiles. I have owned my share of toys, including over 20 Mustangs. I guess to make a long story short, if you look up "car crazy" you will probably find my photo listed pretty close to it!
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