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t’s always interesting to look be-

hind the scenes to see the rela-

tionship between people in our

small universe and well-known com-

ponents. It’s like word association: if

you said American or Shelby Cragar

wheels, the answer would probably be

Craig Conley. Weber carburetors: Jim

Inglese. And for Mustang Independent

Rear Suspension, the name is Duane


Ford built several IRS set-ups. It’s

not clear exactly how many, but one

was installed in a Falcon which was

tested by Richie Ginther at Riverside.

An early Mustang notchback with an

IRS was also tested against another

Mustang with a live rear end by

Shelby American at Willow Springs.

This was before GT350 production

began. Ken Miles and Richie Ginther

drove the cars and determined that

there was not much difference be-

tween the two cars. Certainly not

enough to justify making an IRS unit

standard, or even optional.

Chuck Cantwell recalls that, at

some point, an IRS unit was installed

on an unsold competition model. The

serial number isn’t known. Bernie

Kretzschmar remembers taking the

finished car out to LAX’s freight area

and it was air-freighted to Ford in

Dearborn. Neither Cantwell or Kret-

zschmar can recall ever getting the car

back from Ford. That doesn’t mean it

was never returned; just that they

can’t recall if it was. If the car stayed

in Dearborn, after testing it could have

suffered the same fate as any other

prototype that Ford did not want to

fall into the hands of the public, where

an accident could result in a lawsuit

because a non-legal specification car

was allowed to be used on the street.

In other words, it went to the crusher.

Ford got out of racing at the begin-

ning of 1971 and ceased support of al-

most all of racing activities. Ford’s

budget for Holman-Moody was drasti-

cally cut back and Shelby American’s

was zeroed-out completely. Ralph

Moody was asked to clear out Shelby’s

facility in Torrance and he was a noto-

rious pack rat. He didn’t leave much

behind. One of the things he found

were the parts for a Mustang IRS set-

up under someone’s workbench. It was





trailer along with everything else that

wasn’t bolted down. There was never

any interest in the IRS unit at Hol-


Ralph Moody sold his portion of

the business after Ford quit racing.

The name remained and the company

limped along until John Holman died

of a heart attack in 1975. His will spec-

ified that the bank take over the busi-

ness and liquidate the assets to pay off

the debts. Lee Holman, John’s son,

took over the business and worked to

put it in the black. By 1982, in need of

a cash injection, the famous Holman-

Moody garage sale was held, selling off

treasures no one knew the company

still had. One of the items was the IRS

unit Moody had picked up at Shelby

American in 1971.

SAAC member Duane Carling

took an interest in the IRS unit and

found it intriguing because it had

never been used on the Mustang. After

it had been purchased by an enthusi-


Summer 2016 62

And that doesn’t mean Internal Revenue Service

– Duane Carling


IRS Falcon being tested at Riverside prior to Shelby American

receiving any Mustangs. What happened to it is not known.

IRS Mustang being tested at Willow Springs in February, 1964.

Two Mustangs were compared, one with a stock rear end.