TMCP #564: 15 Year Anniversary Throwback – The Time I Landed Richard Petty, The King of NASCAR!


Fifteenth Year Anniversary Special Throwback:

It is hard to believe that in May of 2024 it will have been fifteen years since I carved out a hole in my basement and started recording this podcast! Many listeners have tuned in and followed along as I met people from all across the automotive world and simply asked the questions we all wanted to know about business and cars. I had no idea that 15 years later I’d still be in the business, nor did I have a clue what a life defining thing this would become. In a nutshell, this podcast (and you) have changed my life.

I am blessed to have started the show during the pre-podcast boom and have been able to use it to go places and see things that were far above my punching weight. I’ve had backstage passes, met stars, and attended events with all of you listeners along for the ride. I’ve raised a family along with way too, lost a parent, and had the chance to build and drive cars with my best friends. You have given back to me with friendship and support for chasing my dreams while creating a place we all can enjoy, The Muscle Car Place.

Many great and exciting things have happened since that start but one of my most memorable was getting to talk to the King himself, Richard Petty. At the time the “new” Challenger was still fairly new,  and who knew it would go on for another twelve years and the most amazing cars that were not even imagined yet. It was pretty exciting to see Daytonas once again on the streets, even if in limited numbers, as Petty Garage made special editions of the Challenger with the iconic nose and wing of the NASCAR heydays. I did get to ask him about his racing career and recorded every glorious second of the conversation in Episode #76 way back in 2011.

In every great sitcom there is the throwback episode where they queue the wobbly lines and memories from previous episodes come back based on a vague story line. This week the throwback episode, is my interview with Richard Petty. Enjoy!

Feature Segment

Richard Petty’s Superbird in action

Note: This is a rebroadcast of our original airing of Richard Pett’s interview in Episode 76, circa 2011.

This week’s guest on the podcast show needs no introduction. He’s been a fixture in NASCAR since the 1950’s, has 7 Championships (a tie with Dale Earnhardt for the most ever of any driver), 200 wins (the most wins of any driver), and has won the Daytona 500 7 times (the most wins by any driver). His trademark grin, mustache, glasses, and hat could be identified from space.

Up until 2008 his original race team, Petty Enterprises, was based in the same location it had always been, right next to his home in Level Cross, NC. Today his NASCAR team has reformed as Richard Petty Motorsports and is based with nearly all of the other NASCAR teams near the Charlotte, NC  area, but the old Petty Enterprises shop has been reborn as Petty’s Garage. It’s a hot rod and restoration shop cranking out show quality restorations and projects, and was born because many of the highly talented Petty Enterprises employees didn’t want to make the move to Charlotte; they wanted to stay home. Richard didn’t want to see their years of talent go to waste, so Petty’s Garage became both a new venture to produce cool cars and a method to keep the talent in Level Cross doing what they loved to do; build cars. As a result Petty’s Garage has developed a full line of their own speed parts for the new Dodge Challenger as well as Richard Petty Edition versions of the Challenger.

Richard’s favorite of all time: his 1973 Charger

Just a while back the team at the shop had the chance to restore an original Petty Enterprises 1970 Superbird back to showroom condition. The car was originally the #40 raced by Pete Hamilton (who raced for Petty Enterprises), but after NASCAR outlawed the use of the aero cars it was sold. At some point in it’s life it was reskinned as a later model ’73 or ’74 Charger and was raced, and that’s the condition it was brought to the shop in. Petty’s Garage was able to restore it back to original condition using (wait for it) original parts from their attic! It turned out that they knew where to look and found a Superbird nose, a HEMI intake, and a few other items upstairs, and as a result were able to put the Superbird back together again. I can’t imagine having a Superbird more accurate than one built by Petty himself!

Richard was a joy to interview and is just how you think he’d be; genuine. He also gave a little history lesson on the evolution of stock cars that I’d been dying to know, and I think you’ll enjoy it in the interview as well.


-Rob Kibbe


This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!



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