Designer, official, safety advocate
Halibrand was a pioneer in open wheel racing safety and lightweight performance parts. His Halibrand magnesium racing wheels were on every Indy 500 winner from 1951 through 1967, as well as on Shelby Cobras and Ford GT-40s. Halibrand held patents for disc brake systems and was the originator of the pin-drive wheel retention system that continues in use today. Halibrand first became involved in racing as the owner of an Offy midget. He began making parts for his own cars, then made them available to others. Halibrand was a two-time recipient of the Continental Casualty Safety Award (now the Jack O’Neal Safety Award) for his work on disc brake systems and cast magnesium wheels for IndyCars. He also received USAC’s Ross Hadley Award for dedication to the sport. In 1963, Halibrand commissioned Norman Timbs to design a rear-engine car featuring an aircraft-style monocoque. At just under 1200 pounds, the Halibrand Shrike was one of the lightest to race at Indianapolis. Halibrand was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1996.