This is my story of our
The information was collected
by me from books tapes and physical people references. I have spoken with Ray Elder,
previous owner of the car, Pat Mcelreath, Hershel Mcgriff's crew chief when driving this
car, Bill Morehart, who helped Norm Palmer and Ray Elder from 1976-82, and Pat Mckinney
who owns another Petty car from this era. Thanks to everyone who has helped me piece the
past together on this car, any additional help would be welcome on either information or
parts to finish this car.
We purchased this car in late
80's from a guy that was going to run it at Oildale a 1/4 mile dirt bullring. At the time
we had been running short track dirt cars and a friend of ours who was living in Mojave
Ca, let us know of the car being down the street and wanted to know if we wanted it. We
bought it not knowing at the time that it had such a great history. The only thing we new
is that it looked professionally built and that Hershel Mcgriff's name was on the side, a
great west coast legend himself. While at an autograph signing I had Kyle Petty check the
pictures I have of the car and he said it was definetly a Petty Enterprise car but that it
started out as a Dodge Charger. Past known drivers are Herschel Mcgriff #01, Chuck Bown
#93, Norm Palmer #93, Ray Elder #96, Richard Petty #43, Buddy Baker #11. The car currently
has 10,000 RPM speed equipment as the main sponsor and it was last run at Riverside
Raceway in 1982. We have purchased a 1971 charger body to restore it as original but the
1978 Dodge Magnum body is so nice that we hate to cut it up. If we keep the magnum body we
will restore it to Petty colors, even though Petty never raced this car as the magnum.
Since the articles came out in
the mopar magazines about the two 1971 Petty plymouths with peace signs I have done
extensive research. I have compiled about 10 vhs tapes and Dvd's including the Buddy Baker
story from 1971, the Richard Petty story 1972, Thunder Alley "1972 Petty and
STP", and various race events 1971-73. Numerous magazines including Autoweek
covering the complete season 1971-72, Stock car magazine 1971-79, and numerous race
programs from 1971-1973. I have been collecting information over the last year I have
found that this car is a Petty Enterprises built car built in 1971 originally. Starting
life as a 1971 Charger It was raced by Buddy Baker and then Richard Petty who raced the
Charger 11 times in 1972 winning the Lone Star 500 at Texas World Speedway with it and the
Championship. In 1973 Ray Elder Winston west champion bought the car from Petty
picking it up in Randleman N.C. on his way to the Daytona 500 as a 1972 Charger. He
then owned the car until approximately 1976-77 when Norm Palmer acquired the car racing it
at Riverside and Ontario Motor Speedway. He then rebodied it as the Magnum you see in the
pictures below. He had Chuck Bown drive the car and then Hershel Mcgriff which is the way
car is painted now. The peace sign headrest was the tell tale factor pinpointing when the
car was made. This is all very exciting to me and my father, we have been big Petty fans.
He went out and bought a 1964 Plymouth Sport Fury that was painted blue right after Petty
won the 64 Daytona 500. We have raced mopars at the drags and dirt tracks since the early
I have talked to Richie from
Petty Enterprises and he mentioned to me that he ran the Baker program. He said that they
had run only one car during the 1971 season. Because Baker never wrecked this car
the second charger was not finished to run until late in the 71 season. This car was run
in the Daytona 500 in 1972 were it was wrecked. It was then refurbished and that is when
it had the bar added that ran from behind and above the driver to the right rear corner of
the car. This car was run until the end of the 1972 season. It was then sold to Elder for
the 1973 Daytona 500 where Elder was running fourth with 15 laps to go he broke a timing
chain. Richie in 1973 also came to California to build a new car for Ray Elder.
Kyle signed the center
picture for me at an autograph signing. Thanks.
The picture below was in the
program from the 1972 World 600. These pictures are of Petty's plymouth but the two cars
were built very similar, you can actually see Baker's car in the bottom right photo, also
an interesting fact look at the engine this is the 426 wedge motor that they switched back
and forth to from the hemi during 1971- 1972. I took pictures of our car below to compare
them. Notice the picture of the Dash it has a square plate to the right of the guage panel
to cover where they previously had installed the Sun tachometer. Our car has the same
plate over it. The bar configuration also matches the pictures below. The trunk picture
shows how they had oval plates welded to the bar running to the back for support
structures to be bolted and unbolted. Our car also has these in the exact same location.
Below I took some pictures of
our car to match the above photos.
The picture on the left has
quite a bit of added bars but you can see this is the same era car built by Petty.
Remember this car was raced until 1982. The bar that runs through the center of the rear
panel was actually added by Petty Shop sometime in the 1972 season. The other bars
including the one extending the center horizontal bar and the supports for the rear end
adjustment were added at an unknown time.
The picture on the left you
have to look for the two oval pads welded to the bar where the supports once were
located.That held the body support brackets probably letting the car rub the wall without
getting a flat.
The picture on the left was
taken of Baker's car in 1971 compare it to the above shots.
The picture on the right is
Bakers crew chief 1971-2.
I shot this picture because
it was hard to see the patch plate added after removing the tach. The tachometer was added
for some reason to the right side of the dash in the middle of the 71 season then covered
in early 72.The tach is clearly seen in the pictures below these.
I took the picture below but
didn't remove the wheel If I shoot from the same angle you can see the bracket for the oil
lines and brake line match identically. Notice the Drum front brakes, our car currently
has the Hurst Airheart discs..
The picture on the left is
the peace sign, it was repositioned when the seat was changed but you can still see where
it was originally mounted. Also notice the rearview mirror bracket this was a petty piece.
The picture on the right is vertical door bar right behind the driver seat I scratched the
paint to see what the story was on the car. It has two layers of Petty blue paint then one
layer of red paint then the bottom layer is white. This led me to believe that this is one
of the two original 1971 built cars for Buddy Baker which was painted white in the
begining of the 71 season then painted red in the middle of the 71 season. The interior
was then painted blue in the beginning of the 72 season.
The car on the right is this
car. This is one of the few pictures of the car with a flat hood. I have a Petty
book "Grand National the autobiography of Richard Petty by Bill Neely"
page 187, that told how Petty got a phone call in late 1970 from Chrysler Corporation
stating that he would be the only factory backed team for Dodge and Plymouth and that they
wanted Baker to run the Dodge. The contract would be that Petty Enterprises would build
parts for race teams sold through Chrysler Dealerships. Mother mopar supplied 4 cars in
white to Petty Enterprises 2 Dodges and 2 Plymouths. Baker ran one car throughout the 1971
season he had engine problems twice but never wrecked. At the time it was Bakers best
season run even though on a limited schedule. He won the Rebel 400 and out of the 19 races
that he ran he finished in the top five 14 times and in the top ten 17 times with a total
winnings of $115,150 for the year.
Notice the sticker
configuration on the car above and below.
Above is at the Petty
compound below is at Daytona.
This is the car in 1971
probably Daytona It looks like it has the old stock appearing steel wheels. When they
switched to disc brakes they could no longer use these rims. They switched to the Clements
Baker dirt trackin in Ontario.
The Indianapolis 500 style start at Ontario Motor Speedway.
Above is from the Dixie 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.Petty
Above and below is from the 1971 Texas 500 From Texas World
Speedway Petty-Baker finished 1-2.
The Goodyear guy takes a look at the Tires from pit wall. It was
95 degrees 140 on the track.
Picture from Darlington.
The 1971 Atlanta 500 notice
the flat hood and the white interior. Also the SE grill.
Another picture from the
Atlanta 500. You can see the Sun Tachometer in Petty's Dash from this shot.
The pictures below with the
pause sign on them were all taken from the dvd of the Buddy Baker Story shot in 1971.
You can see the peace sign on
the left and the tachometer which is place on the right side of the dash on the right.
Notice also the white interior.
Buddy Baker story. At the
Petty shop 1971. Baker and crew. Peace sign on the right with red interior.
The picture on the left shows
the added Sun tachometer. The picture on the right shows the Bar configuration.
This is Buddy Baker at His
win at the Rebel 400 Darlington 71. Notice the vent below the steering column and the red
In the beginning of 1972 the
car appeared as below with petty blue interior and numbers.
The picture below shows more detail of the peace sign.
Kasey Kahne doesn't have anything on Buddy Baker. These are much better
looking ladies than the Allstate gals.
These pictures are from the
1973 Daytona 500 program showing 1972 speedweek activities.
Baker served as an Easter
seal chairman. You can see the bar configuration matches.
This is how the car appeared
in 1972 later in the year notice the white numbers and the blue interior.
The Picture below you can see
the bar running through the center of the panel under the rear window. Ontario Motor
Speedway picture Miller High life 500.
This is a great shot of
Petty's plymouth in the shop 1972. Notice the bar configuration in the center of the car.
The Petty cars were built to different ways for an unknown reason but it helps identify
Richard Petty in an unkown
race 1972 left side. Right is the car above. Notice the hood and fender paint.
This is petty in 1972 I
believe the car on the left is Riverside race notice the peace sign. This was a trademark
of one of the Petty fabricators.
The lineup before the World
600 This is Petty and Baker both in 1972 Chargers. Charlotte motor speedway racing.
Richard making a pitstop in
the 1972 Charger. The sloped roofline identified the 1972 Charger. World 600 72.
Petty later dropped out of
the World 600 in 72 and Buddy Baker went on to win.
The picture below is from the
Lone Star 500 victory circle 1972 at the old Texas World Speedway in College Station with
Richard Petty driving the 1972 Dodge Charger. The new record books show Petty winning this
race in the Plymouth but here is the proof. The old record books show him winning in the
Dodge. The quality is poor because It is from an old vhs tape.
The Petty Crew at Texas World
Another shot from the same
race Just before the big win at Texas World Speedway..
Dirt tracking at Michigan
International Speedway the Yankee 400..
Below is how the car looked for its Third Daytona 500. Ray elder
picked it up from Petty 1973. He was
running fourth with fifteen laps to go and he broke a timing
chain. On the left is Hershel Mcgriff in another Petty car.
Ray Elder at Riverside International Raceway.
Ray elder driving the car
1974 or 1975?
The car as it looked in 1977
Norm Palmer Driving at Riverside International Raceway.
Norm Herborns Alignment
The Picture below comes from Augie Schultz. Norm Palmer
going around turn 2 at Riverside. Norm qualified 17 and drove the car to a 6th place
finish. Pretty darn good for a west coast guy. Petty won from the pole.
Norm Palmer 1978 Riverside
Raceway January Race. Norm was one of the first drivers to switch to the Magnum.
American Racing Equipment
Below Norm Palmer or Chuck
Bown driving the car as it was painted in 1980.
Photo below supplied by Rick Marshall. Thanks for the great
In 1982 The car had the 01
painted on it Hershel Mcgriff drove it last at Riverside.
Petty started furnishing and
maintaining the Winston 1 race ready show car in 1972. The car wore the Plymouth body for
only a short time. It was then switched to the Dodge Charger the picture below was its
debut in Texas notice the wheels.
Petty's restored 1972 charger
if you look close you can see the bar running through the center of the rear panel. This
car also has the peace sign.
This is Ray Elder's car and
hauler 1971 This is not our car, but is the driver
who purchased it from Petty
in 73. He won quite a few winston Grand National
If anyone knows anything else
about this car please E-mail me ---->>.