Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is pleased to host a new exhibit celebrating the history of one of American motorsports most iconic brands--Mooneyes. Mooneyes is one of the world's most recognized logos right up there with the Nike Swish and Apple's apple.
Dean Moon, the founder of Mooneyes, got his start right after WWII working on the oil rigs surrounding Pop Moon's Café in Norwalk, Calif. There he, older brother Buzz and members of the "Hutters" car club built numerous primitive hot rods. Like his contemporaries he started racing a hot rod Deuce at the dry lakes and the Santa Ana drags.
Unfortunately, his fledgling business was put on hold when he was drafted into the Korean War, however, the Air Force taught him photography which would prove an invaluable skill in his post-war business-Moon Automotive. The iconic logo came about while at collage Dean saying, "When I typed my name, I'd hold the carriage off-center and put two periods in the OOs."
It was further developed when Dean sponsored Creighton Hunter's drag car which was numbered 00-pupils were an obvious addition. In 1957, Dean had a Disney artists draw the eyes as we know them today.
Ever creative, Dean invented a string of automotive products starting with a fuel block which he crafted from billet aluminum in high school shop before sand casting the production version. There soon followed a steady stream of products including the ubiquitous Moon fuel tanks and, of course, his most iconic offering the Moon disc-all of which he photographed and marketed like a pro. Spun from aluminum, the discs found their way onto everything from lakes, drag and Indy cars to, well, the NASA Moon buggy. Back in the fifties, Dean was selling 10,000 a month and they can still be found on almost every land speed race car there is.
In 1962, Dean's shop was used by good friend Carroll Shelby to assemble the very first Cobra-arguably America's most famous sports car. In 1964, Dean became the second president of SEMA (then the Speed Equipment Manufacturer's Association) and like so many back then helped build an international business along with an industry that now boasts sales of more than $37 billion, all without so much as an MBA.
A member of the SEMA Hall of Fame, Dean Moon was a self-taught automotive pioneer and his achievements will be honored with a new exhibit at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. The exhibit will open on Friday, Jan 27 in conjunction with the Grand National Roadster Show and will feature some of the famous Mooneyes race cars as well as artifacts, memorabilia and photography. For more information about this and other events at the Parks Museum visit the web site at http://museum.nhra.com or call 909.622.2133. To learn more about Mooneyes visit www.mooneyes.com.