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A Southern Boy’s Dream: 2011 Wood Brothers Ford Fusion

Use your best Bill Murray/Carl Spackler the Groundskeeper voice to read this one out loud to yourself: “What an incredible Cinderella story.  This unknown, comes out of nowhere to lead the pack at Daytona.  He’s on his final lap.  He’s about 455 yards away from the finish line.  The crowd is standing on its feet at Daytona!”  OK.  You get the picture.  Trevor Bayne, in his first Sprint Cup Series race for the fabled Wood Brothers, won the Daytona 500 in 2011.  The car he won in is a museum in Michigan, but you can have the back up car for an amazingly low price.  Found on Craigslist in Mooresville, North Carolina, this Wood Brothers 2011 Ford Fusion NASCAR racecar is for sale for just $5250!

Trevor Bayne’s win was huge for the Wood Brothers, Ford, and NASCAR’s publicity machine.  Bayne is the quintessential all American boy, and he was the hit of the talk shows for the week after the Daytona 500.  The Wood Brothers team hadn’t won since 2001, which was with driver Elliot Sadler.  The win marked Ford’s 600th win in the sport as well.  Unfortunately, Bayne has not yet found another win in the cup series, and now drives for Roush-Fenway Racing.

The original car spent a year at the Daytona 500 Experience in Daytona Beach, Florida, then was taken to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.  This car, according to the seller, was the superspeedway car that the Wood Brothers team originally campaigned at Daytona that year.  An accident in practice resulted in Bayne backing this car into the wall, thus forcing a change to their backup car.  Of course, the backup car ended up being the one that won the race, and this car was sent back to the shop for repairs.  Wrecked NASCAR racecars usually end up one of two ways.  The first is repair and return to the racetrack.  The other is repair and life as a display car.  Given that Bayne won the Daytona 500, and there was a lot of positive publicity from that win to be promoted, my guess is that this car ended up being a display car.

Usually, display cars are equipped much like they were when on the track, but outfitted with whatever used or second rate parts the team has laying around.  The fastest these cars go is about 3-5 mph when they are loaded on and off the trailer for events.  At the end of their useful life, they are either sold as a whole, or stripped of parts and chopped up.  This one seems to ended its NASCAR life somewhere in the middle.  It is an intact chassis, with just enough parts on it to keep it moveable.  There are a number of parts being sold with the vehicle, but the most expensive parts, namely the engine and transmission, are missing from the car.

Fortunately, there is a lot to work with here.  A quick glance at the parts stash reveals, among other things, the plexiglass side windows for the car, a partial rear end assembly, a seat, and what looks to be a fuel cell.  The fuel cell doesn’t look very big, leading me to believe it is a small one put in there for the express purpose of fueling the engine for driving on and off the trailer.  While you likely won’t be using any NAPA Know How to put this car back together, there are a number of businesses in the Charlotte area that deal with parts for these cars, and even a few that deal in used parts.  Or, you could contact a few of the smaller race shops to see what it would run you to get this one back together again.

So, what do you do with it when you have it running and driving?  The devil in me wants to ask you if you’ve ever driven with the lights off during a full moon, but that would be wrong.  The angel side would tell you that there are a few racing leagues that still provide opportunities for these cars to run at places such as Road Atlanta and Virginia International Raceway.  A number of tracks will also allow them on track days sponsored by various clubs.  I don’t think you could ever make a full superspeedway run, but there are some closed course events out west that would allow it.  Regardless, it would be a really cool toy to have in the garage, and would draw quite a crowd at a car show.  It may not be the actual car that won the Daytona 500 for Trevor Bayne, but it is the closest you will ever get to owning it.

Comments

  1. michael streuly

    Yeah the good stuff. Out here in so-cal we have willow springs raceway the perfect place to run that car just for fun.

  2. BorisRoberts

    I believe that the aluminum cylinder in the last picture is an oil reservoir for the dry sump engine. Not a fuel cell, assuming that is what you were pointing out.

  3. Jon

    Be fun to make it barely street legal and cruise around.

  4. Rabbit

    Gordon going for the last-lap pass after literally pushing Bayne to the front. Couldn’t quite do it. That was a heckuva finish.

  5. Caleb Bame

    I would cruise around in that

  6. Wayne

    A friend (Rick Houser) from RJ Reynolds used to haul a Winston Cup car around to car shows. He was at the Chicago Auto Show one year. And I took him to the top of the John Hancock Center. The parking lot was on the 3rd or 4th floor. I had my winter/city beater and ran up the spiral ramp as fast as I could. Not caring if the corners of the car scrapped the sides or not. (They never did.) We were at another car show in Rockford Illinois some time later. At the end of the show (late night) he was pulling the car (a full runner with all the goodies still installed) out of the venue and yelled at me to climb in the passenger side. With that he lit the tires and headed out through the light pole infested parking lot at a very good clip. When they killed the lot lights. He got even for the ride I gave him!
    Good Times!
    Sorry for the story. But Jeff’s comment about the moonlit night made me do it!

    • Rx7turboII

      @wayne….shout out from a Rockford ,Il resident! Lol

  7. Wayne

    Rx7turboII
    Thanks for the shout out. But I no longer live in Illinois. (30 years too long)
    Now, happily a Northern Nevada resident. (where the vehicles don’t rot!)
    I soon will have pictures of 2 that I am selling. (Yes I will list them here.) a 1986 Thunderbird. and a 1971 MGB GT that have no rot.

  8. John H

    “The devil in me wants to ask you if you’ve ever driven with the lights off during a full moon …”

    Why, yes, we did! Quite often, in fact. We also killed the lights when someone else was driving by having the front seat passenger distract the driver while the guy in the rear seat reached over his shoulder to kill the lights. How we all survived to become adults is beyond me!

  9. Jay E.

    Sometimes they don’t. The driver and a close friend of ours 23 year old son were both killed yesterday. Its all fun until it hits near home.
    http://www.kdrv.com/story/36491469/oregon-state-police-grants-pass-man-dies-in-crash-on-highway-199

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