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Discussion in 'Historical' started by Beentherebefore, Sep 30, 2013.
You have to ask Meester Beeg what exactly he meant....
Interesting old photo (shared from Pinterest) of an early 50's Nash Ambassador in Nascar. Hard to read but the names of the drivers are Bill France (Sr) and Curtis Turner. I'm not sure if it's a racecar or a pace car but with a race number and a mud-screen, it sure looks like it did some racing. As most of you probably know, Nash was combined with Hudson in 1954 to form AMC. Maybe if Bill France Sr had foreseen that AMC would one day be absorbed by Chrysler, he might have treated Mopar better in the years that he ruled Nascar .
Oct 1, 1972 - Richard Petty winning the Wilkes 400 in a pretty battered up car. Bobby Allison is seen blowing up his "Brand C" race car as he crosses the line in 2nd.
(Photo shared from Twitter)
Trivia question - what was Richard Petty's last Nascar Cup win in a car not numbered 43?
Answer: Augusta Speedway, Nov 14, 1965, in #42.
(Photo shared from Twitter)
Some more Kiekhaefer Chrysler team photos shared from Pinterest;
The 1956 race team in the pits at an unspecified track...........
Kiekhaefer team Dodge D-500 vs Chrysler, 1956. Again, track unspecified.........
Team's engine shop with first generation Hemis ready to race...........
Before he entered his Chryslers and Dodges in USAC and then Nascar, Carl Kiekhaefer first tried racing a Chrysler in the 1951 PanAm Mexicali Road race. Here is a photo of his Hemi-powered Chrysler Saratoga driven by Tony Bettenhausen in action in that race. Bettenhausen finished the race in 3rd place, behind two Ferraris!
With Darlington coming up this weekend, I thought that I would post this photo (shared from Pinterest) of the first Darlington 500 winner in 1950 - Johnny Mantz in a 6 cyl Plymouth. It was a little before my time of following Nascar but IIRC, Mantz drove this car across the country from Long Beach CA and entered it in the race. He qualified near the back of the field which was dominated by Oldsmobiles with V-8s, Ford products with Flathead V-8s, and "Fabulous" Hudson Hornets with their Super 6s. As the heavier and faster cars ground up their tires on Darlington's famously abrasive surface, Mantz kept cruising around the track in his 6 cyl Plymouth lightweight coupe, slowly moving to the front as the other cars had to make pit stop after pit stop to keep replacing their tires, if other misfortunes didn't befall them. If I'm remembering the story correctly, Mantz never changed tires & only had to stop for fuel. I think that the story goes that the $$$ he won more than paid for his Plymouth and he drove it back home.
The story I read many years ago was that Manz was not entered in the race, and that Big Bill France badly wanted him as a draw. Manz didn't have a car, so Bill bought the Plymouth off the dealer's floor and gave it to a local crew to prepare. The stock car was tuned-up, modified with lap belts, the doors tied shut with leather belts, and six-ply truck tires installed. The tires were credited for the tortoise-style win.
Not sure what the facts are, but it certainly was an interesting race no matter how it's told...and most importantly, the little Plymouth won over the big boys of the day.
In 1971, Richard Petty won his 3rd Daytona 500 in his '71 Plymouth. Here is the NSSN article (written by the late, great, Chris Economaki) covering the race. Buddy Baker finished 2nd in a Petty Enterprises Dodge.
Statistically, 1971 was Petty's 2nd best year in Nascar. He won 21 races (compared to 27 in 1967), including a stretch of 5 in a row.
I saw the race on closed circuit TV at the Michigan State Fair Grounds.
Exactly one month after the 1971 Daytona 500 win, Richard Petty led a 1 - 5 Mopar sweep of the Carolina 500 race @ Rockingham (article from the Spartanburg Herald").
The print is a little small so here is the finishing order;
Petty - Isaac - Baker - Lorenzen - Brooks. Mopars also finished 7th and 8th.
A nice color shot (shared from Facebook) of Don White's first ride @ Daytona in 1966 - a Ray Nichels built car.
More info on Don's Daytona racing in post #797. Looks like the Ray Fox Dodge which was driven by Earl Balmer in front of Don's car. To his right is the #56 Plymouth of Norm Nelson which was driven to 6th place in the race by Jim Hurtubise. A month later Hurtubise drove that car to victory in the Atlanta 500.
Photo of Herschel McGriff's ex-Petty owned Plymouth during a pitstop at the 1972 "Miller High Life 500" held at the old Ontario Motor Speedway in Calif. This car was originally the #40 winged car driven by Pete Hamilton to victory in the 1970 Daytona 500. McGriff finished 6th.
(Photo shared from Pinterest)
Going through some old stuff yesterday and came up with this - an article from the "Los Angeles Times" covering the 1974 Daytona 500 won by Richard Petty. It was his fifth win in that race. Sorry it's so old and yellow. If you don't make special preservation efforts, newspaper doesn't age well after 40+ years. I'm figuring that if I don't get it to post now, it'll be turning to dust pretty quick .
The "fuel problem" mentioned in the article refers to the gas shortages from the first "energy crisis" of the early 70's and whether spectators could find enough to get to the track and has nothing to do with a race fuel problem. Nascar shortened their races for awhile to prove that they were contributing to energy savings (auto racing was being savaged for consuming too much precious fuel), hence the reference to the Daytona "450".
I would have liked Brooks to win it all. Give France a slap in the face! lol!
The print is too small to read clearly but if you could see the results, you would see that the Mopars were outnumbered about 6 to 1 by "Brand C" racers. I was just happy to see any Mopar prevail.
6 X Winston West Champion (and 2 X winner of Nascar Cup races @ Riverside,CA), Ray Elder.
This car is currently being re-bodied into a "Ray Elder" Daytona!
Floorpan and entire chassis was built a few years after the wing cars!
Any word from Pat Elder about how the project is coming along?
Touchy subject. Others have told her the chassis was Ray's 69 Daytona, so that's why they put a 68 Charger body on it and his real Daytona front end and wing.
Plainly seen are '71 floor pans in the car, with the corresponding wider main hoop of the cage. Underhood bars are also '71 style and not like know pics of Ray's '69.
I have not talked to her since I sent her a list of parts I needed for the #88 and her reply was, "We have all that and a lot more, but it's not for sale, since we are restoring Ray's Daytona."
Well, I thought that's cool, only to see pics later that proved it's not his REAL Daytona, but his '71, backdated.
I ended up finding everything I needed by driving to Spartanburg, Huntsville and Keokuk.
Why do folks have to lie about a car's history, when you can easily be called out by vintage photos?
She may not know all the technical details. I mainly used to chat with Richard Elder, Ray's cc and brother, and haven't communicated with any of the family since he died back in the 90s. My memory isn't that good anymore but I do know that Ray's first 2 cars were hand-me-downs from Jack McCoy. Then there was a Nichels car or two, IIRC. I think that one of those became the winged car, then the car was returned back to "stock" Charger shape and won @ Riverside in '71. The last car they raced was bought from the Pettys ('73, IIRC) and I think that Ritchie Bartz from the Petty operation came out to Calif for a week to help them set the car up for W. West tracks. Ray won his last 2 W. West championships in that car but didn't run the circuit full time anymore after '75. He still finished 4th at both Riverside races with that car in '76 and then it was sold to Norm Palmer later that year. Norm still managed to drive it to a 6th place finish at Riverside in the June '77 race, converted it to a Magnum, but then crashed it in '78. I think that somebody else bought the pieces and it was driven once by Hershel McGriff and once maybe by Chuck Bown. The whole story of that car is written up on the "Mopar Dealer" website for anyone that might be interested. To make a long story short, whatever they are using under the "Daytona" sheet metal is not the ex-Petty car.