Performance & Hotrod Business February '14

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Dealer & Distributor Inquiries Welcome tracks or speedways or dirt tracks, but not many that were good everywhere. That Plymouth was fast no matter where we ran." The car was actually a '66 model that was updated with a new grille through the 1967 racing season. The success of the car was amazing given the competition that year from Ford, as there were hordes of 427 Fairlanes out there running down the blue Plymouth, and with a budget behind them that made Richard's look like a back-woods effort in comparison. There were 10 consecutive wins during 1967, totaling 28 in all for that season. It was his second Grand National Championship year. Manufacturer Changes There was some friction that came between Chrysler and Petty toward the end of the 1968 season, as Richard wanted to be able to race a Dodge Charger 500 for 1969, as the Road Runner was going to be a carryover from the '68 car. Petty knew the Dodge was a better shape for the superspeedways. However, Ronnie Householder, the top racing guy at Chrysler, told him: "No, you're a Plymouth man." Petty insisted he wanted the Dodge so he would have a better chance of winning races. There was some back-and-forth conversation and Petty then told Householder that Ford was interested. Apparently the Chrysler man thought the statement was nothing but a bluff, and went on to basically tell Petty to "go and talk to Ford then." Petty Enterprises signed with Ford to drive a new Torino Talladega on the long tracks, and a regular Torino Fastback on the shorter circuits. When the announcement was made, Chrysler went berserk. Petty tried to reason with them by saying: "Hey man, I didn't do it, you did." And now the color Petty Blue was on a Ford for 1969. The first race was the Riverside event in California and Richard won it with the standard Torino. The rest of the season he won nine more and 29 top-five finishes, showing he was very capable in a non-Chrysler vehicle. To make amends with Petty, Chrysler agreed to make a special Plymouth race car for him (to match the winged Dodge Daytona that came out in early 1969) called the "SuperBird," and that car (plus a lucrative Chrysler racing parts distribution deal) was enough to win Petty back to the Pentastar fold. From a dollars standpoint, 1970 came to be the best ever for Petty Enterprises. Pete Hamilton was brought in with the #40 team car (and won the Daytona 500 and both Talladega events) earning an impressive $131,000. Richard won $151,000 in prize money, making it a fantastic year and a successful return to the Mopar camp. However a lot was about to change for 1971. That year saw good news and bad news come to Petty Enterprises. Richard received a call from Detroit regarding Chrysler's involvement in NASCAR for the '71 season and it was related to downsizing of the fleet of sponsored cars. Petty of course wasn't too pleased with that news, however he sat and listened. "We're going to run one Plymouth and one Dodge," said the voice on the phone. Well Richard perked up a bit as it sounded as though at least he'd still be the Plymouth guy. Then he NEW! FOR 2O14 ULTRA SHEATH MA™ POSITIVE LOCKING TIES™ • 304 Stainless Steel • Secure exhaust wraps more • Tensile strength. 5/15" 200 lbs. 1/2" 350 lbs. VERSA SHIELD MA™/ STARTER SHIELD • Severe duty use heat soak protection • Withstands direct heat up to 1350°F • Easy to instal with hook and loop enclosure • Light weight protection for your cables, lines, wire or hoses • Higher sustained heat capability of up to 1100°F • Impregnated molten aluminum core fabric TITANIUM PIPE SHIELD TITANIUM™ PROTECT-A-SLEEVE™ • HIGHEST TEMP ON THE MARKET! UP TO 1800°F! • Protect wires, lines & cables from hot exhaust • Includes hi-temp shrink tubes to seal ends Design Engineering, Inc. (800) 264-9472 800-264-9472 February 2014 PHBFEB.indd 41 • Riveted standoffs to maximize heat dissipation • Withstands radiant heat up to 1350°F • Protect engine components from exhaust heat n Performance & Hotrod Business n 41 1/7/14 2:36 PM

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