The change at 311 Branson Mill Road in Level Cross, N.C., a facility that has produced more race winners than any other shop in the history of NASCAR, is amazing. The employees of a newly-formed Petty's Garage are transplanting that legacy of success into a new endeavor producing performance automobiles there. The first car from the historic garage will be a custom 2009 Dodge Challenger to be sold for charity at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in January 2010.
"For 61 years, Petty Enterprises built, engineered and raced some of the most-historic cars in all of NASCAR right from this shop," said 'The King' Richard Petty. "You're talking about Plymouth Belvederes, Superbirds, Road Runners, Torino's and Dodge Chargers. When racecars went from being a purely production car to a car built from the ground up, or modified, solely for racing, many of them came out of Level Cross. We are proud of what we were able to accomplish here and it was important for us to keep this place going."
Over the years, Petty Enterprises garnered 268 wins in what is now the Sprint Cup Series, ten championships and nine Daytona 500 wins from this facility. Now, Petty's Garage will focus on the manufacturing of performance vehicles, including the "museum-quality" restoration of vintage race vehicles, custom cars and high performance street vehicles. The first complete car project is the build of a Dodge Challenger to be sold at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in January of 2010 by the Petty Family Foundation (PFF). The proceeds of the sale will benefit the PFF and the charities it supports.
Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing products and services to collector car owners, astute collectors and automotive enthusiasts around the world. The company produces "The World's Greatest Collector Car Auctions™" in Scottsdale, Palm Beach, Fla., Las Vegas and Orange County, Calif. Barrett-Jackson also endorses a one-of-a-kind insurance offering for collector vehicles and other valued belongings.
"Richard Petty made a huge impact at our Scottsdale event earlier this year when he helped sell another MOPAR for charity," stated Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. "We're pleased that he chose one of our world class automotive lifestyle events to showcase the shop's talents and raise money for such a fantastic charity. It will be truly a historic event where someone will get to own a well-documented car built by the one and only, Richard Petty."
The 2009 Dodge Challenger was completely disassembled and placed on a rotisserie so it could be painted the trademark Petty Blue by BASF R ̶ M. Reassembly included a Late Model 426 Hemi by Arrington Engines with 585 hp, Pedders suspension upgrades, Brembo Gran Turismo brakes, a new Corsa Exhaust system with a Petty's Garage custom center exhaust exit and refinished all of the suspension to Petty Parts Blue by BASF R ̶ M. Body Modifications consisted of a Petty's Garage custom front fascia and rear bumper cover, Petty's Garage custom rocker panels, rear spoiler and Petty's Garage branded interior seats and door panels.
"This Challenger is special to me because I wanted to build something that I would drive on a daily basis," stated Petty. "I wanted the car to have a race car look, but be functional on the street and I think the guys really captured that. But most importantly it provides our foundation with the platform to help our Veterans, children with life threatening illness and our neighbors in need. Everyone at Petty's Garage is excited about getting this Challenger to Barrett-Jackson in January. I think it will do well when we get there. It definitely shows our capabilities and the auction will put us in front of the right people to show what we can do."