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Author Topic: Possible Petty Superbird ??  (Read 17908 times)
tallzag
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« Reply #50 on: March 16, 2010, 12:46:16 PM »

Want to go a little more in depth here on this post.  Couple guys posted on here that a West Coast guy like John Soares Jr. (it's spelled Soares) could not have built a new car but I have to disagree here.  I've talked to Ernie Conn who was the owner and builder for Jack McCoy and they built a brand new car in 1971.  He said Nichels flew out to their shop and helped them build the car and Chrysler gave them $4k a year to play with and they were given a lot of help.  They could also buy all parts at cost.  Dick Bown, another West Coast guy, also debuted a 71 Plymouth at the Riverside race on 6/20/71.  Ray Elder used all hand-me-down cars (mostly from McCoy) but then built a new car for the 1972 season.  They were both West Coast guys and had brand new cars.  Don't know if anybody on here has the book "Racing's Real McCoy" but I would highly suggest getting it (it was written by Jack McCoy who recently passed away and  the book is now out of print, I did manage to get a few copies if anybody on the board is interested, PM me).  McCoy has a great picture in the book of the new car they were building for the 71 season that debuted at the Ontario Race on 2/28/71.  They got a lot of factory help back in the day and Elder did as well.  I do not know for a fact that Soares did but I have his phone number and am going to try and get a hold of him.

McCoy's book has every result from every Western Grand National Race from 1966-74 with finish, car number, Driver, and team/car.  The "car" year or make can be inaccurate a lot of times but if you read between the lines or see the same car over and over again on a Northwest swing for example you can usually tell if it is accurate or not (plus a lot of the pictures in the book help).  He has very little info on Soares in the book or pictures but the standings can tell you a lot of info.  Soares ran a Superbird in 1970 and it looks like he ran that car until the San Jose Speedway race on 3/21/71 (which he won, the standings just say 70 Plymouth so not sure if he was still running wing car metal at that point).  Soares skipped the Las Vegas race on 5/9/71 but went to the Stockton, CA race on 5/15/71 and it lists him as driving a 71 Plymouth.  He then skipped the Ascot race on 6/5/71 and ran the Riverside race on 6/20/71 finishing 6th with the regular NASCAR ciruit.  Soares then race at Salem, OR on 6/26/71, Tacoma, WA on 7/2/71, Mount Vernon, WA on 7/4/71 all in a 71 Plymouth.  It gets a little weird after that race though, he ran the Hermiston, OR race on 7/10/71 in a 71 Chevy, the Portland, OR race on 7/11/71 in a 71 Plymouth and finished last (crash?), the Langley, BC race on 7/13/71 in a 71 Dodge (this might be an error like I mentioned earlier), and the Medford, OR race on 7/16/71 in a 71 Plymouth.  I have a feeling all of those races were in a 71 Plymouth and the results are incorrect in the book.  He then ran Roseburg, OR on 7/17/71 in a 71 Plymouth and according to the race results he ran a 70 Plymouth in every race after that until the end of the year.  Looking through the 72 and 73 season they do not list him racing a 71 Plymouth again but he did run a 71 Dodge a couple of times.  Take what you will from this info.  Did he wreck it when he stopped running the 71?  Who knows.  That car does have damage to it like it was in a wreck.
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C5HM
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« Reply #51 on: March 16, 2010, 05:51:37 PM »

Could the Plymouth have been---assembled---on the Left Coast? Possibly, if all of the fabricated subcomponents depicted were stamped/machine/drilled and then sent West to be welded up. Is that likely? That remains to be seen. It would seem to be contrary to logic, though. If you have all of the fabricated subcomponents in one place (say Nichles engineering) why not go ahead and weld them up? Then there is the great similarity between known Nichels chassis and the new Plymouth. If you study, for example, the engine box of the car under scrutiny, the details are just about identical to the shots of the COG Daytona circa 1970 in this thread.  It beggars the imagination to contend that Soares or McCoy could have come that identically close to a Nichels chassis independently of Nichels.  Can't imagine that happening. Comparison point: in the early 70s H&M was still building cars and, at the same time, they were also selling "you-weld-it-kits" for folks who had their own welder. Tiger Tom Pistone bought and built a number of cars from those kits. I have seen and worked on both H&M cars and Pistone cars built during that time period and can tell you from that experience that H&M built cars are grossly different in many large and small ways from Pistone built cars.  And this was so even though Pistone's shop was just across town (and NOT across the continent) from H&M. It follows that a Soares or McCoy built car---even if assembled from Nichels/Petty subcomponents---would necessarily be grossly differenty from a Nichels or Petty built chassis. Yet, the Plymouth seems to contradict that expectation.  It will be interesting to see what Randy turns up about the history of this car pre-Soares/McCoy.
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« Reply #52 on: March 16, 2010, 05:58:14 PM »

lot of intresting  reading going on here !!  love this kind of stuff  popcrn 
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Randy
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« Reply #53 on: March 18, 2010, 07:06:38 PM »

Let’s take a look at what is known about this car….

1.      Frank Burnett said he bought the car from Richard Petty – year? This should explain the blue paint.

2.      Petty cars were built by Nichels Engineering until Petty got the Chrysler deal in 1970 and started building his own cars.

3.      In the book, The Real McCoy, all of the West Coast races are listed as well as the finishing positions, etc.  I cannot find where Frank Burnett ever entered a race with this car. Also, John Soares told me that he did not believe Frank ever raced the car.

4.      The car was sold to a woman with the last name of Nafey (sp?) and her husband. She raced it at Bonneville in 1990-1991. Sorry I missed the magazine article that was posted and then removed. But I think it is clear from the photos that they did not change the car significantly from the way Petty had built it. They even ran Frank’s number on it. (They just put a “1” in front of the “34”.)

5.      This car has never been any color other than Petty blue. There is no evidence that it was ever painted after it left Petty’s. (Or that it was ever sandblasted, stripped or repainted.) The car only had two owners between Richard Petty and Jack McCoy (who purchased it in approximately 2005). Neither of them modified the car significantly from its original configuration.

6.      It seems to me that it is clear that Petty owned it. The question is what races he ran it in and in what configuration.

In order to resolve these questions it would be helpful to be able to find photos showing details of the interior or under the hood that were unique to this car. Any help in this would be appreciated.

Thanks, Randy

 
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C5HM
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« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2010, 07:34:48 PM »

Randy, What color was the car this Soares fellow raced? If they were some color other than Petty Blue, one would expect remnants of Soares' livery to still be evident at least in nooks and crannies. Of course, it Soares raced Petty Blue cars, that's another kettle of fish. Do you, or anyone here know what color(s) Soares car was?
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learical1
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« Reply #55 on: March 18, 2010, 10:00:03 PM »

A few observations:
The pictures Doug posted earlier in this thread are of a 73-74 RoadRunner, not a 71-72.  Yes, I know that the sheet metal can rather easily be changed, but to the best of my knowledge, Petty never ran a 73-74 Plymouth.  He switched from the Plymouth to the Dodge for the 72 Winston 500 at Talladega.  He may have run the 72 Plymouth a few more times in 72, but, IIRC he stuck with the Charger body all of 73-77, til he went to the 78 Magnum.

71 and up Plymouths and Dodges had a steeper slope to the windshield compared to the 68-70 body style.  If conversions were made, the roll cage modifications should be very obvious.  I don't see any blatant re-welds that would indicate this change on the interior pix. And what's with the 'stock' instrument panel with the racing cluster and a locking steering column?

Roll cage bulges out into the door shell.  To me that indicates a mid 70 or later cage, since earlier versions would leave room for window mechanisms.

Look at the Petty pictures Doug posted in another thread when he took the Ramo Stott #7 'Bird.  STP red is evident under the hood more than Petty blue in some pictures.  Petty had the STP sponsorship starting in 72.  I don't know what year the red made it to the underhood area, but it's an interesting question. 
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Bruce
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« Reply #56 on: March 18, 2010, 10:27:14 PM »

Let’s take a look at what is known about this car….

2.      Petty cars were built by Nichels Engineering until Petty got the Chrysler deal in 1970 and started building his own cars.


Even in the Nichels days, Petty had an arrangement with Chrysler to construct his own cars.   I am not sure whether this meant he got some basic stuff from Nichels and finished it, or started from scratch with a body in white on their own jig.
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Redbird
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« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2010, 09:43:25 AM »

" How come in former lifetimes everybody is someone famous? I mean, how come nobody ever says they were "Joe Schmoe ?"" - Kevin Costner in Bull Durham.

I hope this is the frame of the car that Pete Hamilton won the Daytona 500 with, it would be a great find, the Holy Grail and a great story.

From what I've seen so far, I believe it had a CHP steering wheel and was raced at Bonneville. Someone built a nice roll cage (was it a Petty car, a Kit car, a Nichols car something someone put together in another shop ? I sure don't know and I'd like to know). It has old Blue Paint on it. It has specially fabricated parts.

I hope someone can show what it is.
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Aero426
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« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2010, 01:00:30 PM »

These are photos of a 1971 Petty Roadrunner from the disk brake test at Martinsville.   George Wallace, an engineer at Chrysler Corporation took the photos.    The car is running a 426 Wedge.











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Mike DC (formerly miked)
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« Reply #59 on: March 19, 2010, 02:55:47 PM »

     
This rear subframe rail doesn't look like a 1966-70 item to my eyes.  There's not enough horizontal area at the top of the axle arch. 

Figure out the source of that rail, and it might tell us something about the car (assuming that rail is original to the rest of the chassis.)




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Aero426
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« Reply #60 on: March 21, 2010, 09:04:10 PM »

Pics of the car from the early 70's.

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tallzag
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« Reply #61 on: March 22, 2010, 03:04:35 AM »

Sorry for the size but you really need to see the full size picture to see any details.

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The70RT
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« Reply #62 on: March 22, 2010, 04:41:24 AM »

 popcrn
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Aero426
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« Reply #63 on: March 22, 2010, 02:22:24 PM »

Another Petty car from the 1973 DC World of Wheels.   Note the underhood bar configuration is similar to the Petty test 1971 Road Runner and Petty Magnum, but is not like Randy's car.  This photo is from the Petty fan board.  The Hemi in there looks like it isn't sitting right.



* Petty73RRunderhood.jpg (59.61 KB, 640x460 - viewed 2608 times.)
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moparstuart
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« Reply #64 on: March 22, 2010, 02:31:05 PM »

Another Petty car from the 1973 DC World of Wheels.   Note the underhood bar configuration is similar to the Petty test 1971 Road Runner and Petty Magnum, but is not like Randy's car.  This photo is from the Petty fan board.  The Hemi in there looks like it isn't sitting right.


  almost like there is no trans in it  ?
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Aero426
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« Reply #65 on: March 22, 2010, 02:57:18 PM »

Sure looks like it.   Looks wierd doesn't it?
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SFRT
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« Reply #66 on: March 22, 2010, 03:01:33 PM »

whatever that cars history it its  badassed and I wished it was mine.
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« Reply #67 on: March 22, 2010, 03:16:13 PM »

 iagree yep ! me too ,   yesnod
  good lot of pictures !! thanks for posting   cheers cheers 2thumbs
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Highbanked Hauler
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« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2010, 03:53:14 PM »

Another Petty car from the 1973 DC World of Wheels.   Note the underhood bar configuration is similar to the Petty test 1971 Road Runner and Petty Magnum, but is not like Randy's car.  This photo is from the Petty fan board.  The Hemi in there looks like it isn't sitting right.


  That motor has to set down a ways for the air pickup/cleaner to line up with the fire wall.
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1RareBird
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« Reply #69 on: April 09, 2010, 07:14:46 PM »

Well, there is a lot of vintage photo proof here that proves your car is not a Petty car.  Are you going to keep researching it to find out who's car it really was?"   Obviously, you want to restore it properly and not have a bogus car...
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C5HM
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« Reply #70 on: August 20, 2017, 12:21:19 AM »

Well, there is a lot of vintage photo proof here that proves your car is not a Petty car.  Are you going to keep researching it to find out who's car it really was?"   Obviously, you want to restore it properly and not have a bogus car...

Randy made the car into what he wanted it to be from the jump: a Petty car. Evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. It has been sold as such to a perhaps, too gullible collector.
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Aero426
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« Reply #71 on: August 20, 2017, 10:20:21 AM »

Car could and should have been easily restored to its original configuration as a Winston West car.
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C5HM
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« Reply #72 on: August 20, 2017, 10:31:17 AM »

It has been said, Doug, that *money changes everything*.
I have a shot of the chassis today in faux Petty trim. But since I am unwilling to pay the Photobucket tariff...I can's post it. Will you? (Sent you a couple via the Bat Phone).
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Aero426
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« Reply #73 on: August 20, 2017, 10:44:17 AM »

Shots of the finished car courtesy of C5HM.   As you can see the owner has a number of legit GN and other vintage race cars.   


* IMG_2065abc.JPG (47.94 KB, 480x360 - viewed 307 times.)

* IMG_2067abc.JPG (45.74 KB, 480x360 - viewed 311 times.)
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odcics2
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« Reply #74 on: August 20, 2017, 04:16:54 PM »

Well, there is a lot of vintage photo proof here that proves your car is not a Petty car.  Are you going to keep researching it to find out who's car it really was?"   Obviously, you want to restore it properly and not have a bogus car...


Perhaps the new owner can continue to research the car?    shruggy
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