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Richard Petty started racing NASCAR in 1958, 16 days after his 21st birthday. He drove a 1957 Oldsmobile Super 88 Convertible given to him by his father, Lee, in his first race in Columbia, South Carolina, where he finished in sixth place. He became the Rookie of the Year in 1959. In 1978, the Dodge Magnum was introduced replacing the Dodge Charger. Unable to get the car to handle properly, Petty ended his relationship with the Chrysler Corporation. Returning to General Motors over midway through the 1978 NASCAR season, the Petty team took this secondhand 1977 Monte Carlo chassis acquired from fellow driver Cecil Gordon and cut and modified it to make it perform according to the King’s demanding standards. They rolled out this Chevy at the Michigan International Speedway on August 20, 1978. Petty proceeded to record six top ten finishes to end the 1978 season. Though he never graced Victory Lane in 1978, he ran a total 30 races to finish second three times in North Wilkesboro, Riverside, and Atlanta (the Monte Carlo’s top finish), and finished the season sixth in the Winston Cup Grand National standings. He raced this car in 1979, winning races in it at the Martinsville, Michigan, Dover, and Rockingham speedways, and finishing the season as the Winston Cup Series Champion, his seventh overall win. The King continued to drive this Monte Carlo in 1980 winning in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee, finishing fourth in the year-end Winston Cup standings. The Monte Carlo’s current engine is a 600-horsepower 358-cid eight-cylinder small block engine with a Holley 830cfm four-barrel carburetor and a BorgWarner T-10 manual transmission. Petty has signed the back of the Monte Carlo in black marker.

“This car is a big part of the Petty history, because we’d raced with Chrysler up to this point. We had a Plymouth or raced with Dodge. Then we changed and went with General Motors, Chevrolet and this Monte Carlo. We made the switch in the middle of the ‘78 season and had a lot to learn. We did ‘OK’ cause we came back and won the 1979 championship. It was my seventh and last championship, so it became a pretty special car for us.”


Property From The Collection Of Richard Petty

Richard Petty

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Estimate $200,000 - $300,000May 12, 2018