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Author Topic: Buddy Bakers Daytona  (Read 102311 times)
Aero426
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« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2010, 07:34:51 PM »

This is a great comprehensive story of the car...

http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=RW09&CarID=r081&fc=0


Owens and Baker started 1970 off strong, starting their Daytona qualifying race from the pole and finishing second to Charlie Glotzbach but an ignition problem put them out of the 500 itself. Problems dogged them at Rockingham and Atlanta but Baker in the #6 Charger Daytona were the class of the field in the Alabama 500 at Talladega on April 12, leading 101 laps until a spin and a fire put them out of the race.

It was in this race as Baker was leading the field that he accomplished the feat which will forever make this car famous: recording the first NASCAR race lap at over 200 mph.

The accomplishment was heavily promoted by Chrysler, even more than the continuing successes of the Chargers and Superbirds, because it was a singular accomplishment. It led inevitably to another of Bill France’s competition building innovations, the carburetor restrictor plate, which has forever limited superspeedway speeds to well below 200 mph.

Baker drove Owens’ #6 Charger Daytona to a second place finish in the Firecracker 400 at Daytona in July, to fourth at Atlanta in August, sixth in Michigan on August 16, fifth at the Talladega 500 August 23.

With this car Baker then won the Southern 500 at Darlington on September 7 by a lap over second place Bobby Isaac. On the same weekend Cotton Owens was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame at Darlington.

The auction company publishes what the owner represents to them, with a minimum of fact checking.    RM originally publicized that this car was the one Baker set the 200.447 mark with.   When the owner of the real #88 car informed them of the error, they amended that to the 200 mph race lap statement.  Aside from that this is a wonderful description of a wonderful car,   how is one to know this particular car is THE one that ran all these events, as Cotton Owens Garage had more than one Daytona.    I believe the gist of the auction description and races it ran was similar to the one you used to sell the car on Ebay several years ago.  

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therealmoparman
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« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2010, 08:42:33 PM »

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Aero426
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« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2010, 09:08:03 PM »

Why don't you call Mr. Cary Estes, the author of the article written for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame:

http://cottonowens.com/IMHOF08.html



Mr. Estes is a freelance writer and press release writer who has done work for the IMHOF.    Reading Mr Estes 2008 press release would lead me to believe he is referring to the 200.447 run in the #88.   Back in 1970, Chrysler issued press releases of the #88 run were issued "from Cotton Owens Garage",  even though COG really had nothing to do with the record run other than "loaning" the driver.   It would be easy for Mr Estes almost 40 years later in 2008 to not know that the #88 was not actually prepared at COG, and get this wrong in a modern article.    Although a very accomplished writer, Mr. Estes is a young man, and probably not old enough to have first hand information on the subject.

Also, Mr. Estes does not differentiate whether Baker's record was set during a race or the Chrysler test that the #88 ran.   He simply says it took place at the "NASCAR sanctioned event."   Chrysler and the #88 were there with the blessing of NASCAR.   If the #88 set an "official" record,  how could it not be NASCAR sanctioned?

The August issue of Stock Car Racing (page 15) does make mention of the fastest race lap speeds in the Alabama 500 at Talladega.   Since you have this copy yourself, you can follow along.  It clearly says that Baker turned the fastest competition lap in NASCAR history at 198.260 prior to lap 12.    For those who do not have the copy, here is the paragraph from SCR.



Furthur along in the same page,  it reports that Cale Yarborough eclipsed Baker's one lap race record speed with a 199.080, on lap 22.   Bob Carey's excellent 6 page race report makes no mention of any 200 mph race lap, but does mention Baker's spectacular fireball DNF with a blown engine.    Since Carey was tuned in to the fact that record laps were occuring,  he would have reported anything that broke 200.



The April 1970 Alabama 500 at Talladega was the last chance for a 200 mph race lap.   When the teams returned for the Talladega 500 later in the year, speeds were considerably slower due to the mandated removal of all side glass, and the implementation of the carburetor restrictor plate.   The pole speed in the second race was down to 186 mph.  

  



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C5HM
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« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2010, 10:54:25 AM »

Game, set , match.

Doug (Aero 426)is one of the most knowledgeable wing car guys I have ever met.  He really knows his stuff.
And, as is often the case, he knows it better than the folks who actually lived the history (not to mention their grand kids).  Modern vintage NASCAR enthusiasts like Doug pay slavish attention to details and facts that guys who actually raced the cars never took pains to remember. The cars folks like Mr. Owens raced were simply tools of the trade and taking the time to memorize rivet patterns or welds just wasn't part of the equation.  But, the Devil is in the details. Details like the presence of windows in Canepa's car and the lack of Grand National spec support stands or safety lanyard for the wing speak volumes.  Those details strongly suggest show car rather than (winged, at least) race car--let alone Southern 500 winner.  The only real way to know for sure is comparison photos of the actual Southern 500 car from the day that match critical and unique features on Canepa's car today. Memories just don't suffice--even first generation recollections.  Race cars back then were not built to cookie cutter standards (as they are today in NASCAR).  Each chassis was in many ways unique and represented the evolution of knowledge that each team had about what it took to win.  Most teams in the 70s seldom had more than three cars in a given season and if they were all lined up and looking pretty they would vary greatly in detail from car to car. So until convincing proof of this sort appears, the Canepa car, while still way cool and a veritable time machine, cannot be conclusively said to be the Southern 500 car. And it certainly is not the/a record setting 200 mph lap car.
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therealmoparman
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« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2010, 12:24:51 PM »

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therealmoparman
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« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2010, 12:37:03 PM »

BTW - any questions should be directed to Cotton himself. He'd be glad to reminisce with you and he can set the matter straight once and for all. His phone number is posted on the website. Give him a call. I'm sure you'll find something to disbelieve even if you hear it directly, because Doug didn't say so.



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therealmoparman
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« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2010, 12:55:50 PM »

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Troy
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« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2010, 01:02:06 PM »

It's called research. I'm sure everyone has "misremembered" something only to catch it (or get caught) later on. A perfect example played out right here on this site when a new member asked if his car could be an original Dick Landy drag racer (after contacting DLI and was told that Dick Landy never raced a 70 Charger). Other members started posting pictures, race results, and magazine articles of said car. It was enough for Landy to rethink his position and inspect the car in person which verified it.

I realize that race teams usually had several cars and over the years facts get blurred (purely because of the sheer number of different things going on - including rule changes). For a guy whose passion is studying race history (especially a specific car or race), documenting and disseminating information is a way of life. Photographs, video, and documented eyewitness accounts are an invaluable part of preserving history (the way it really happened). I don't think any of the questions that Doug asked have been sufficiently answered. I build web sites for a living and I could make one say anything that I want. It doesn't make it true - or an infallible source of information. If there are some documents to set the record straight I'd love to see them. Perhaps, a public discussion (like this) could turn up some information that was thought to be lost? That is, if the people involved can remain amicable and "play nice".

Troy
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« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2010, 02:12:09 PM »

That's why it's so important for someone to finish Cotton's biography while paperwork and photos are still accessible.  Just going by word of mouth makes it too easy for things to get fuzzy and I think we all suffer from "the older I get the faster I was" syndrome.
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nascarxx29
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« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2010, 02:21:27 PM »

Thats why its important to interview and compile and share info from these living resources. Twocents
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1969 R4 Daytona XX29L9B410772
1970 EV2 Superbird RM23UOA174597
1970 FY1 Superbird RM23UOA166242
1970 EV2 Superbird RM23VOA179697
1968 426 Road Runner RM21J8A134509
1970 Coronet RT WS23UOA224126
1970 Daytona Clone XP29GOG178701
therealmoparman
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« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2010, 03:00:40 PM »

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C5HM
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« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2010, 03:51:06 PM »

The presence of the windows in Canepa's car is very significant. As Doug has pointed out, by the running of the 1970 Southern 500, NASCAR had outlawed the use of side glasss. This is not in doubt and not subject to forty year old recollections. It is just a fact, like water is wet.  As Doug has pointed out, putting windows --back in--Canepa's car would have been a big job. NASCAR cars of the day featured sheet alloy pop riveted in place of flamable stock door panels.  Putting windows back in Canepa's car after the  Southern 500, as is suggested, would have required drilling out scores of rivets, removing the panels, installing full window glass and regulators and roof rail weather stripping,  and then re-riveting the panels back in place.  No small job, that Why would one do that---since--as is without dispute---side glass was outlawed by NASCAR forever more and a car with side glass could not have passed tech inspection?  That kind of defies logic. Could have happened, but not likely.  The use of a street wing and wing supports, as mentioned also strongly suggests that Canepa's car did not race as configured. That doesn't mean it was never a race car. Just not a winged Daytona, or at least not the Southern 500 car. The term "show car" may be at the root of some of the misunderstanding. Dedicated, purpose built show cars were years in the future in 1970. When a show car was needed in those days, often a tired old race chassis--that had seen better days--would get fluffed up for the purpose.  The pictures in this thread of the #6 show car (with windows) fit the bill.  And, the car pictured appears identical to Canepa's car in fender configuration, too. Coincidence?   As mentioned, the ONLY way to document exactly what race an old stock car was actually raced at is generally photos from that race that show details that match a present day chassis. The teams just didn't keep records of that nature for any given chassis. Not even Holman Moody--agruably the largest racing concern in that day. Fuzzy recollections just don't serve. Even first hand ones.  Based on Doug's research as posted ffrom period magazine reports, the 200 mph issue is resolved.

The car is still a neat piece. And one that I'd love to have sittingin my garage. In light of the spec racers that pass for stock cars today, it is a precious piece of racing history and a direct connection to days that are no more. More's the pity.
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Mike DC (formerly miked)
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« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2010, 04:20:38 PM »

 
I'm not claiming to know enough to call anyone wrong here, but - is it feasible that maybe they just rolled down the glass for a while? 

NASCAR wasn't as hardheaded about precision-following the rules in those days.  It stands to reason that as long as raising up the glass was totally outlawed, then the window glass & mechanisms would disapear soon enough anyway as teams rebuilt their cars from wrecks. 


Just a thought.   

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therealmoparman
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« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2010, 04:34:02 PM »

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therealmoparman
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« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2010, 04:45:09 PM »

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Blakcharger440
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« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2010, 05:15:11 PM »

It would seem that there are more things that point to the car not being the actual #6  track car than the opposite. Just it being the show car is cool enough though and I dont think anybody disputes that.  cheers
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A383Wing
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« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2010, 05:16:59 PM »

   
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therealmoparman
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« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2010, 05:28:17 PM »

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Ghoste
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« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2010, 07:05:15 PM »

I'm not sure but doesn't NASCAR not acknowledge anyone going 200 mph in an actual race until the 80's?
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C5HM
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« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2010, 07:38:33 PM »

CH5M - you are confusing things.

No one ever said the car was preserved exactly as it was raced. It was just an actual race car that was later made into show condition. Some things were changed from race trim. Some things were left off. It was wrecked and put back together for show, not as a historical representation. Is that hard to understand or believe?

Once again, are we done with the windows?

Are you suggesting the car was built from the ground up to be a show car? They did not build show cars back then. Are we looking at the same photos?

You're right, they didn't keep records much. So the only evidence presented thus far is from the owner/builder of the damn thing. And the pretty darn convincing photos. And why would Darlington museum want to keep a show car instead of the actual 500 winner? What would have happened to the actual 500 winner then?

You're figured it all out - the original 500 winner was crushed and instead they kept the show car for 40 years. Of course!




Sorry no confusion here.
And no emotion either.
I am (like Doug) just a guy who is interested in keeping NASCAR history accurate (lord knows that Brian X. France has no interest in doing so).
As posited, it seems likely that the well know (and photographically documented in this thread) #6 show car was an original race chassis that was hastily put in Daytona trim with a street wing and stands for show car use. I would guess that the car was probably originally a Charger 500. But Doug will be a better judge of that than I.
And, BTW, the fact that the #6 car was in the Joe Weatherly Museum for years and years means ... ahem, not much. Sadly many, many of the cars that used to be on display there were replicas or homages. The supposed Jim Reed Chevy "Southern 500 winner": fake, the Fireball Robert's '63 "Southern 500 winner": homage (actually A.J. Foyt's Banjo Mathews '64 H&M Galaxie rebodied by Ken Myler to reprise Fireball's car); The Johnny Mantz "Southern 500 winner": fake; The 1964 Joe Weatherly Marauder; an homage (actually the car was Weatherly's 1963 Southern car, raced by Dieringer and Wade after being up graded to a '64) and so on and so on.   The cars in the museum in Talladega are even more suspect The Donnie Allison Torino Talladega, for example,  was actually Bill Dennis', Junie Donlavey---Pistone built--- (not H&M) Truxmore Mercury Cyclone (rebodied by Elmo Langley, btw); The supposed 200 mph Baker "record" Daytona; an homage (the real car was given to and last raced by Don White in USAC and is now undergoing restoration; the museum car was a cheated up Glotzbach Charger that NASCAR had banned which was dressed as a Daytona for museum use by Chryco). And don't even get me started on some of the other "museum" cars ( like those at Alex Beam's shop and the N.C. HoF). So, as you can see, spending time in a museum doesn't mean much at all. It certainly doesn't mean that a car displayed there is what it purports to be.

The windows thing is the clincher, for me. I can't imagine anyone taking valuable shop time to put windows back in that car for any reason. No reason to do so since it couldn't be raced with windows due to the NASCAR rules change.  (and, of course, if the windows were simply rolled down, the team would have had to of found a way to roll down the wing windows and trim, too). And who would care about taking the time to retro fit windows in a show ccar. Not John Q Public--the intended audience. Since the show car's existence seems to be traceable to about the same time (does anyone know when it first appeared on the scene?), and since that car appears to be identical to Canepa's car, the conclusion that the cars are one and the same isn't much of a stretch. But---again--the only way to know for sure will be to compare period photos of fixed details (not easily changed things like roll cage bars, etc.)  with the show car or the Southern winner (where-ever that car may be today).

No one has said anything about Mr. Ownes destroying a car.
The conjecture is about just which car Canepa now owns.  
And that car doesn't appear to be the Southern 500 car.

Interestingly, if the conjecture is true, this won't be the first time that Canepa (or the other bucks up California guys who are now getting interested in old GN cars) has been snookered. He currently purports to own Richard petty's "Riverside winning" 1969 Torino. Sadly the real car was destroyed by Richard at Asheville/Weaverville in May of 1969. That car was created (along with a number of other homages) in Gastonia, NC.

The really are coming out of the wood work, aren't they?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200437736430&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT

Bobby signed it (and that other turd that just went through the Mecum auction in FL). That makes them real, right?
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therealmoparman
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« Reply #45 on: February 14, 2010, 08:52:15 PM »

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therealmoparman
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« Reply #46 on: February 14, 2010, 09:27:15 PM »

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C5HM
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« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2010, 11:19:44 PM »

I have enjoyed having lunch with your Grand Father and Mr. Moore (at the Peach Blossom) on a number of occassions. And I've interrviewed Mr. Ownes on a number of other occassions. Both he and Bud are legendary.  And both of those men are humble. Well met, to coin a phrase.  Talking with them about the old days is a treat. A great pleasure.

While there is nothing more that I like than discussing old stock cars. I am not sure that what we are having is a discussion.

But it does remind me of one of my favorite movies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjEcj8KpuJw

I am happy that you are satisfied with your beliefs about the Canepa car.

Not everyone else is.

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Mike DC (formerly miked)
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« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2010, 11:26:01 PM »

      
This is definitely and interesting discussion to watch, anyway.  I don't know what to think myself.    

              
Everyone seems to agree that Cotton didn't build an all-new GN chassis just for the show car.  And everyone agrees that a GN chassis would not have been thrown away in that era unless it was structurally smashed up and/or outdated.  So if it's not the Southern 500 chassis under there, then that means two things:  

#1 - some other existing real GN chassis disappeared from the vicinity of Cotton's operation at that time.  

#2 - the real Southern 500 car's chassis continued on with some other life after this car went to the show circuit.  
  


If the show car is not the real Southern 500 car, then is there any other support for either of these two points?  
  
    
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6bblgt
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« Reply #49 on: February 15, 2010, 02:15:59 AM »

So let me get this right ....... some things don't add up!

anyone got any hard dates for these events?

Quote
Race History
Cotton Owens Dodge Charger Daytona driven by Buddy Baker
Daytona, qualified 2nd, — DNF
Rockingham — DNF
Atlanta — DNF
Alabama 500, led for 101 laps, first race lap at over 200 MPH — DNF
Firecracker 400 — 2nd
Atlanta — 4th
Michigan — 5th
Darlington Southern 500 — 1st
Charlotte — DNF

When did the Canepa car get put in the Darlington museum "where it sat for 40 years"?
Out in '05 - 40 years earlier would be 1965, that doesn't work.  Did I get the quote wrong?

The claim that the car was rebuilt as a show car after the 1970 NASCAR season - for the 1971 "new car" show season.
Then what car was on display at the "new car" show in Chicago in February of 1970?  Same month as the Daytona 500 that the same car sat on outside pole?

There was a race WINNER from every race.  Where are all of them?  Easy - fixed/changed/modified/updated to race again or scrapped.


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