Richard Petty’s Stock Car
1984, American History Museum
The chariot of the King
Author Jeff MacGregor writes in our 101 Objects Special Issue:
In America every car is a declaration of independence.
The special genius of this car lies not in what it is, but in what it did. Richard Petty, “The King,” won the Firecracker 400 behind the wheel of this car on July 4, 1984, down in Daytona Beach, Florida. It was his 200th Nascar career victory, an achievement unmatched in stock-car racing history, and he did it on the nation’s birthday in front of Ronald Reagan, the first sitting U.S. president to visit Nascar’s most famous track. This car carried the sport’s greatest star to what may have been the sport’s greatest moment.
Read more of MacGregor's essay.