Mose Nowland - Ford interview 2010-10-28

This Thursday, Ford Racing Engine Engineer Mose Nowland will celebrate 55 years of working at Ford Motor Company. Over the years, Nowland has been a part of many great Ford Racing moments including the Ford victories at the 1966 and 1967 24 Hours...

This Thursday, Ford Racing Engine Engineer Mose Nowland will celebrate 55 years of working at Ford Motor Company. Over the years, Nowland has been a part of many great Ford Racing moments including the Ford victories at the 1966 and 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans. Nowland talks about the changes he's seen in racing over the years and where he thinks the sport is headed.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE IT HAS BEEN 55 YEARS? "No it really doesn't. Time has gone by so fast and the work has been so interesting, that you really lose all concept of time. That's the way it is in the office or trackside. It flashes by and before you know it the event is over and you have to stop and look at your results."

HOW HAS RACING CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED UNTIL NOW? "Racing has changed immensely. The sanctioning bodies are stricter with rules and so on. Right now it's almost a technology race. Years ago it used to be, if I could refer to it as the good ole boys, used to get out there and run what they brung and it was a better representation of the vehicle than we see today because they were the cars that they used to bring to work, or like the cars they drove to work and so on. It wasn't the high tech vehicle like we have today."

WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHANGES IN RACING? IS IT IN TECHNOLOGY, BUDGETS, TELEVISION? "My interest in following the changes is mainly technology. The materials that we use today are far superior to the stresses of racing than what we had years ago. It allows you to make a part lighter, smaller and still be even stronger than it was in yester years."

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST INNOVATIVE CHANGE THAT YOU'VE SEEN? "I think the most interesting and beneficial change in working in racing and with race engines is the fact that we have computers now, that we can do simulations. You can get by with building fewer prototype components because you can do a lot of simulations before you even manufacturer a component. This one feature that we have that can scan parts and start out with a usable model is just a tremendous leap forward in speed and economy in turning out a new part."

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT IN THE PAST 55 YEARS? "I've had several favorite moments, it's almost too numerous to mention, but let me just pick on two of them. One would be the 1966 and '67 24 Hours of Le Mans, the victories of the GT40s and the presence of the Ford family and how satisfied they appeared to be with our efforts. The second most interesting experience was probably Indianapolis in 1963, '64 and '65 when we had the Ford-powered Lotus with Jim Clark and Dan Gurney. That was a very rewarding program because of the outcome, of course. We actually changed the style of racing and the style of the Indianapolis 500 race car."

SINCE THE 1960S, WITH THE GT40 ENGINES UNTIL NOW, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SPECIFIC CHANGES WITH ENGINES AND PARTS THAT YOU HAVE WORKED ON OVER THE YEARS? "Over the years I have basically specialized in the particular castings and that would include the silver blockheads and intake manifolds. What has changed is the materials and the casting process that have made these components lighter and stronger and quicker to produce."

WHO HAS BEEN THE GREATEST INFLUENCE IN YOUR CAREER? "Mr. [Don] Sullivan for one thing, and along with that has been a steady affiliation with managers that trusted your approaches to resolving the challenges and things like that."

WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH DON SULLIVAN? "Mr. Sullivan, we had a very good time both at work and away from work. He and his wife were boaters so when Don and I weren't working projects here at work I was over at his place building boat engines. It was a long-time relationship and Don was a big contributor to Ford Racing since he was the lead designer when NASCAR came to us and wanted us to start racing a V6. Mr. Sullivan, myself and one other draftsman turned out a truly dedicated V6 engine in about 13 months. We spent a lot of time together and I had a lot of good times both at work and away from work."

WHAT DO YOU SEE IS THE FUTURE OF RACING? "Well, the future of racing for me, the way I look at it, is that the speeds will increase incrementally due to horsepower increments. Another factor that creeps into the formula of the race car today is aerodynamics and the use of the wind tunnel. That is going to take racing forward but we're not going to see big chunks of gain. The changes are going to be very incremental, hard to find and hard to reproduce from weekend to weekend."

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT ALTERNATE FUELS COMING INTO RACING AND THAT BEING USED MORE IN THE FUTURE? "I'm all for it because that's another area where we can learn about the fuel management and fuel performance and pass that on to our everyday passenger cars. I feel that it's a fine contribution by us in racing to be able to use it at the extreme and be able to pass it on to the public."

WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE TO WORK WITH ALL OF THE DIFFERENT DRIVERS, TEAM OWNERS AND PEOPLE THAT YOU'VE COME IN CONTACT OVER THE YEARS IN RACING? WHAT HAS THAT MEANT TO YOU? "It's meant a lot. I've made a lot of friends and we're still in contact today. Some of my favorites have been Bud Moore, Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett, and so on. It's just great to think that we've worked with them from the early days up until where they've become acquainted with new technology. I value that. It's quite a reward."

LOOKING BACK AT WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED, DID YOU EVER THINK YOU WOULD BE WORKING AT FORD MOTOR COMPANY FOR 55 YEARS? "No, and you know even to this day I don't have any goals. It's a simple thing. You get up, dress up, and show up. That's just it. There's a challenge always waiting for you and the challenge grabs my interest and it's what I like to do."

-source: ford racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series General
Drivers Dan Gurney , Ned Jarrett , Jim Clark , Junior Johnson