Remembering Ed Terry

During the busy 2013 summer, word reached us that acute respiratory problems had claimed another drag racing pioneer, Ford Racing super star Ed Terry! We had, it seemed, just talked to Ed at the 2012 CHRR in Bakersfield. There, Ed was a fixture lately with his long time friend, Butch Leal. We had made plans to obtain the material presented here for ‘Then & Now’.

If the West Coast has an under-stated hero, Ed Terry and his Ford armada would have to be it. Perhaps this is due to the large Nitro population of the west, but certainly it was not due to Ed Terry’s lack of effort or presentation.

In preparation for this article, Ed sent his friend of many years, Butch Leal, a list of 31 Ford powered cars he raced in the western U.S. from 1960 through 1972 (the year Ford stopped racing). WOW, that is a lot of iron. Starting with a ’60 Ford Starliner powered by a 390 cubic inch motor and a 3 speed transmission; to the ’71 Maverick powered by Ford’s mighty overhead cam (cammer) all out race engine of the late ‘60s, Ed Terry and the Ford Drag Team had them all.

Terry’s first big win came at the NHRA Winternationals in 1963 with a ’62 Ford Galaxie using a four speed transmission to win B/Stock.

Oakland, California, 1963: A dapper Ed Terry poses with his ’63 Ford Galaxy which started his rise to National fame. (Photo from the Terry collection)