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History Richard Petty's Drag Barracuda

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gotgas, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,642

    Gotgas
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from DFW USA

    This is a car I've seen a little of for years, just wondering if anyone knows the history of it. I'm fairly certain it was raced about '64-65, since that's the year of the car and also about the time that the Hemi was ruled illegal for Nascar.

    I saw these (probably never seen) pictures from a link in another thread and thought I'd ask.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. speedtool
    Joined: Oct 15, 2005
    Posts: 2,541

    speedtool
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    Well, if I remember right - NASCAR ran a few drag races back then.
    And I remember something about a drivers strike, too.
    Richard won a couple races with the Barracuda, but got crossed up and killed a lid in the stands once (bad deal).
    I think Richard parked the racer, then.
    I wonder whatever happened to that car?
     
  3. NITROFC
    Joined: Apr 17, 2001
    Posts: 6,189

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  4. lanny haas
    Joined: Nov 1, 2008
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    lanny haas
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    from Phoenix AZ

    I saw some photos from behind Pettys shop and the cars out in the woods, and the Petty jr car was out there in the trees...
     
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  5. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,642

    Gotgas
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from DFW USA

    Good link, that told me a lot.

    Interesting that this is the "second" 43 Jr, after the first one was crashed. And it was only raced sometime between February and June 1965.
     
  6. NITROFC
    Joined: Apr 17, 2001
    Posts: 6,189

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    http://www.1962to1965mopar.ornocar.com/mmo12007.html


    Richard Petty and Petty Enterprises went drag racing. In a Barracuda that they called "Outlawed," Petty attracted large crowds wherever his raced. Unfortunately, on 28 February 1965, the same day that a 100-miler was being run at the Asheville-Weaverville Speedway in Weaverville, North Carolina, Petty and "Outlawed" were at Southeastern Dragway in . During a match race with Arnie Beswick, the Barracuda experienced transmission problems off the line. As Petty tried to find second gear, the car started to get loose. When Petty finally got it into second gear the car suddenly broke loose, turned towards the spectator area, and hit the embankment. The Petty Blue Barracuda vaulted the embankment, being launched almost straight up, which carried the car over the fence that was supposed to protect the spectators, and into the crowd. Seven people were injured when the Barracuda slammed into the people who had come to watch the match races. One of these suffered severe head injuries, but there was an eighth victim, Wayne Dye - an eight-year old from Austell, Georgia. He died of his injuries before he reached the hospital. Petty suffered light injuries in the violent crash, but the shock of the young boy's death stayed with him for years.

    ...43/JR was out on the drag strips by November of 1964. Although it could probably have been raced in some existing class, “exhibition” was where the money and the most exposure was. The car was booked at various tracks well into the 1965 season. On February 28, 1965, 43/JR was scheduled for a best of three match race with Arnie Beswick at Southeastern Dragway in Dallas, Georgia. Dallas is northwest of Atlanta about 300 miles from Randleman. During one of the runs against Beswick a front suspension part broke sending the uncontrollable Barracuda off the strip and into the crowd of spectators. Several people were injured and one 8 year old boy named Wayne Dye was killed. Richard was okay but he and the family were devastated. JR was hauled home to the Petty junk yard in the woods behind the shops never to run again.

    ...The name "Outlawed" came from when Nascar outlawed the 426 Hemi from competition. Richard said "If you can't beat them then Outlaw them".
     
  7. Moonglow2
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 658

    Moonglow2
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    I agree with the above. I was at Daytona in 1964 watching Richard Petty win with a 426 hemi block that had only been cast 30 days prior to the race. The 43 Jr drag car was intended as a pasttime for the Petty garage when Chrysler dropped out of the 1965 NASCAR season in protest for Bill France banning the hemi. Richard was deeply affected and would never discuss the wreck incident. Some friends and I drove up to their shop in 1971 and the Superbird was sitting outside with four flat tires. I remember wondering to myself if they would sell it to me. It ended up in their museum.

    Richard Petty was a true champion. He is the only guy I ever asked for an autograph. He signed it on a 1969 Ford sales brochure for all it's high performance cars during a local sales promotion. I consider it a nice piece of memorabilia because it was the only year he ever drove a Ford.
     
  8. Captain Chaos
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 577

    Captain Chaos
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    from Missery

    Looks almost like it's mini tubbed
     
  9. solid
    Joined: May 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,459

    solid
    Member

    Neat stuff. Thanks for the info guys,you guys kick ass... Great thread.
     
  10. codeblu
    Joined: May 11, 2006
    Posts: 606

    codeblu
    Member

    I've got video of that car racing.
     
  11. Slim Pickens
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 3,346

    Slim Pickens
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    Thanks Al for the Drag history info. Slim
     
  12. captmullette
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
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    captmullette
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    i always wondered whatg the story was on that deal, thanks
     
  13. I have a friend whose dad was a car salesman at the local Plymouth dealership. This car was photographed at the dealership with my friends dad in one of the pictures and also one of "The King".

    The dealership is gone now and the building has been replaced with a Rite-Aid. Sad.
     
  14. skywolf
    Joined: Jul 1, 2006
    Posts: 1,862

    skywolf
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    Another shot of the car.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. NITROFC
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  16. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
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    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    AHH I remember it well! I saw it race at Capitol Raceway. I saw it pop up in a few old picture threads and wondered how many people knew that it was the King's Cuda. Thanks for this thread. I recall it as Chrysler withdrawing from NASCAR in protest. I had forgotten about the tragic accident. Selective memory I guess.

    I was pleased to see Sox and Martin's 65 Comet mentioned also in the article.
     
  17. NITROFC
    Joined: Apr 17, 2001
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    More good reading from the net ............

    Super Stockers in Action of January 1965 had a brief article on a match race held at Islip Drag Strip in New York between Richard Petty and Pearson. You could assume this probably happened around November of ’64. Neither team had their own car. Instead Richard borrowed a ’64 Hemi SS Plymouth “The Highlander” while David used Faubel’s Dodge “The Honker.” Petty won the $1,000 prize. What’s interesting is that while the Pettys would soon get 43/JR out (if it wasn’t done already) the Owens team would not field a “JR like” Dodge until April or May, 1965. This was way too late to affect Bill France’s thinking. By that time, I am sure, his thoughts were not if he should lift the Hemi ban but when. It seems that 43/JR was selected to wage the psychological war with NASCAR single handedly

    Hubert Platt and his Georgia Shaker defeated Richard Petty in this car at a match race at Lassiter Mountain drag strip in Birmingham, Alabama. Richard was driving his 43/Jr. Barracuda and was a serious drag racing contender while Chrysler was boycotting NASCAR. Late in 1965, Platt built a tube chassised, steel bodied, longnose 1965 Mustang with a fuel injected 427 engine. This was a nationwide popular car that was known for its wild wheelstanding starts
     
  18. Tim Cowan
    Joined: Jan 3, 2009
    Posts: 41

    Tim Cowan
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    I believe that the "Outlaw" car was stripped and the body/chasis was burried behind the Petty shop in NC to have the car out of sight.
     
  19. strawberry
    Joined: Sep 13, 2008
    Posts: 292

    strawberry
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    yep thats about the long and short of it a drivers strike and a death at the strip , the car was done ,where is it now???
     
  20. dart165
    Joined: Apr 15, 2005
    Posts: 704

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    If the car is gone/burried/destroyed, that would be an awsome car to clone, and 65 cudas aren't super pricey...yet. They are still pretty reasonable form what i've seen.

    Now, financing an injected 426? ...another story all together.
     
  21. Gator
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,016

    Gator
    Member

    At Bristol;

    [​IMG]
     
  22. thequietwon
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 599

    thequietwon
    Member

    I have heard rumors for years of a Richard Petty "drag car" Barracuda being owned and in storage by someone in Bristol, TN, and supposedly it is the same one that killed the boy. Could be purely urban legend, but I have heard the srory from several different people over the years...
    Sam
     
  23. 64Cyclone
    Joined: Aug 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,496

    64Cyclone
    Member

    I'm guessing that Petty Enterprises might have an issue with someone building a clone of that car.
     
  24. Troublemaker427
    Joined: Jun 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,829

    Troublemaker427
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    The car was burried behind Petty's shop years ago. A few years ago they were doing excavation for a building expansion and the dug the car up. There are photos of it around. It is a twisted, rusted shell that Richard gave to a long time friend. The car will never be restored or shown in public.

    There is a pretty decent clone around of the car also.
     
  25. Troublemaker427
    Joined: Jun 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,829

    Troublemaker427
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  26. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 866

    Rolleiflex
    Member

    I've always been intrigued by this car. My Dad has some pictures of it racing at Suffolk Raceway in Virginia, I'll have to see if I can get them scanned. Anyway, here's some other pictures of it that I found looking around online.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and here is a link to a recreation that someone did.
    http://www.1962to1965mopar.ornocar.com/mmo12007.html
    Oops now I see that Troublemaker427 already posted this link.
     
  27. RacerRick
    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,753

    RacerRick
    Member

    I think that this would not be a car to clone. I have heard that Richard Petty still doesn't even want to talk about the car, or the accident.

    Be kinda like pouring salt in the wound....
     
  28. I remember seeing an article in one of the Mopar mags from the mid 90's with the pictures of the car being dug up, and given to a friend.
     
  29. jrsautografx
    Joined: Dec 12, 2008
    Posts: 117

    jrsautografx
    Member

    I have a copy of the book, Cars of the King. There are several pages on just this car. I'll read it over when I get home and see if I can add any more to this.
     
  30. I seem to recall an article where Petty admitted they buried a bunch of old race cars and built the shop over top of them. He said something like "several million dollars worth of cars" they just buried. Of course, at the time they were just worthless obsolete old stock cars, the expansion was done at some point in the 1970s.

    Maybe they were all behind the shop instead of under it?
     

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