Petty’s Race Car! 1960 Plymouth Fury #43

When it comes to legendary names in auto racing, Richard Petty’s must be included. 200 wins and seven national championships over 35 years in NASCAR is a record that will likely never be beaten. Petty was behind the wheel of a Chrysler product for many of the 1,184 Cup Series races he was in. For 1960, that included Plymouth and this very Fury that helped him take three trophies. An actual racecar that has been fully restored, this beauty is a museum piece that’s available here on eBay. If you have a spare $1.2 million laying around (or something close, we assume), you could take it home! Thanks for finding this coolest of cool tips, T.J.!

Back in Petty’s heyday, NASCAR stock cars were pretty much stock, devoid of anything unnecessary that added weight. But lacking any of the safety equipment that’s required today before someone straps into one of these machines. Chrysler redesigned its cars in 1960. This was after a three-year run under the “Forward Look” banner where tailfins ruled the world. The fins were still there, but the engineering was different, with unit construction used by all the Chrysler automotive nameplates except for Imperial.

We’re told this Plymouth is the oldest of Petty’s racecars in existence. It took Richard to his second, third, and fourth career wins and enabled him to finish second in points in 1960. For the past decade, the car has been part of a display at Wayne Lensing’s Historic Auto Attraction Museum in Roscoe, Illinois. Having been restored as period correct as possible, the Mopar comes with a load of documentation. The museum is changing directions, so classics like this are now on the market.

Pop the hood and you’ll find a 383 RB (raised block) V8 engine. Its rated horsepower isn’t noted, but it’s likely more than one horse per cube. This is the second time the car went on the block, but that was several years ago and an unrealistic reserve of $10 million was set, so it didn’t sell. Does that make $1.2 million here a bargain?

Before it became a restored museum piece, the Fury was modified and raced at some lower-level series. After that, it sat outside for 30 years where Mother Nature did a number on her. It took Richard Petty himself to validate that this car is “Thumper 1”, the car’s name back when he was behind the wheel. The races it won included Martinsville, Virginia in April 1960; Hillsboro, North Carolina in September 1960; and Richmond, Virginia in 1961.



    Very nice and important race car yet it makes me wonder with it being modified for lower level racing and sitting outside for 30 years what has more original parts, this car or George Washington’s hatchet.

    Like 21
    • RayT Member

      To be 100% fair, if this was indeed Petty’s mount for at least some 1960 races, whatever original parts survived from factory to race shop to race track (the latter almost certainly the scene of more than a few quick-and-dirty repairs/rebuilds/replacements) were probably gone by the time the King went on to his next racer.

      The ad states that the car was re-shelled when the Pettys sold it. Does that mean the original body was found and returned for the restoration? That seems unlikely to me.

      And I’d also want to know who restored it. Just looking at the supplied photos, and not seeing the car in person, I question why the Petty Blue was slathered over so many parts one wouldn’t ordinarily paint (brake master, door latches, etc.).

      In short, there are a long list of items to check off before discussion of price could even begin.

      I love old race cars, and wish more were being preserved and used. This one needs a few hundred laps around Bowman-Gray to get its (and my) juices flowing!

      Like 19
      • jrhmobile

        Yeah. The way I see it, “Re-Shelled” means a whole ‘nother body. Maybe I’m naïve, but to me that means this is a whole ‘nother car to the one King Richard won his second, third and fourth races in.

        No two ways about that.

        Like 21
  2. Tracy

    Very nicely done. The price is optimistic.

    Like 2
  3. DavidH

    A few scrapes, a few scuff marks of black rubber and a slightly different headlight cover are required to restore it to the same condition as the period correct, winner’s circle photo. As much as I am a Petty fan those restoration errors should knock a few of those dollar signs off the asking price.

    Like 6
  4. rstjean

    unibodies started in 1962 for plymouths not 1960

    Like 2
    • bone

      Nope, it was 1960 .with the exception of Imperial -You ever see a Valiant with a frame ?

      Like 9
  5. Todd J. Member

    If I had crazy money, I’d buy this as my grocery getter. The local authorities wouldn’t pull me over for having no headlights, or whatever, because of my contributions to their benevolent fund. I can imagine this conversation in the parking lot:
    “Hey, mister, that’s a nice clone!”
    “Ain’t a clone, son, it’s the real deal.”

    Like 4
    • Steveo

      For the ask, I’m thinking you could probably build about 10 that are as much ‘the real deal’ as this is likely to be.

      Like 10
  6. Allen L

    I thought the 383 was a B block, along with the 361.
    And the 413, 426 wedge and 440 were RB blocks.
    Anybody wish to clarify this for me?

    Like 2
    • Slantasaurus

      There was a 1 year only 383 RB engine.

      Like 3
      • Allen L


        Like 2
    • Phil D

      I’ve only recently stumbled across the explanation for the RB 383, Allen L. The story supposedly was that in the early days of the wedge engine, it took a couple of days to reconfigure the machinery at Trenton Engine from B to RB production or vice versa, so they’d run one configuration or the other for a week or so at a time. The 383 being the high volume engine at the time, the decision was made to produce a small bore/long stroke RB 383 so that 383s could be produced without regard to what else was being “run” at the time. As the engineers learned to make faster changeovers — hours, instead of days — the 383 was returned to its B-block roots and the RB version was dropped.

      Also, you’ve accounted for all of the RB variations, but you’re missing a couple of B engines, one from each end of the lifecycle. There was initially a 350 CI version, used primarily, if not exclusively, by Plymouth, and for the last few years of production, the 400 CI successor to the 383.

      There were plans in place to standardize all B/RB production on the 400’s bore, which would have resulted in the 440 growing to 444 CI, but the plug was pulled on the big blocks before it happened.

      Like 6
  7. Greg Gustafson

    NASCAR certainly had little to no involvement concerning driver safety during that era.

    Like 2
    • Tom

      Look at that seat!!

  8. Greg Gustafson

    I loved when all of the manufacturers looked like the cars sold to the public. Now, virtually all of the NASCAR “stock cars” look the same; like different colored jelly beans.

    Like 25
    • Boatman Member

      That’s because all of the factory cars look the same, Greg!

      Like 11
  9. angliagt angliagt Member

    Cars like this never looked this good at the end of the season.
    They were race cars,& driven as such.They weren’t worth that much
    after the end of the season.
    I visited the Petty museum in 2015,& noticed that the race cars
    on display (some of them clones),were just too perfect.I also noticed
    that a lot of items in the display cases were signed by Petty,as if we
    didn’t know who he was.
    Don’t get me wrong,as I am a (Richard) Petty fan.

    Like 2
  10. Sam61

    Cool car but sketchy as others mentioned. I like idea of seeing tribute Nascar clones from the 50’s through the 80’s, with some bruises, running around at vintage car races, etc.

    Like 5
  11. JEV

    Christine painted blue.. nobody cares! King Richard needs to sign the glove box and for that reserve, I want his hat!

    Like 3
  12. Melton Mooney

    I knew the guy who discovered and rescued Dyno Don Nicholson’s Comet station wagon that he drove in AF/X in ’64. First time I saw it, 4 or 5 guys probably could have carried the whole car from the trailer into the shop. I’d be surprised if more than 200 pounds of the original is still in the restored car. That’s just how these things go.

    Like 6
  13. Steve RM

    The mention in the ad of a $10,000,000 reserve was for his superbird.

    Like 3
  14. Bunky

    “383 RB” was known as a “Golden Lion”.
    I had a ‘59 Chrysler with one. Same architecture as a 413/426/440 (wedge). Didn’t bother to look up when and where it was available, but not a one year wonder. NIce “vertical stabilizers” on the Plymouth. 😉

    Like 2
  15. Troy

    Well lets see I can drop $1,200,000 on this car or $1,100,000 on 159.60 acres with a nice cabin in Musselshel Montana.. I would move to Montana before buying the car

    Like 12
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      I miss the Montana of the early ’70’s,when I went there often.
      Way too many Californians there now,who’ve tuned it into what they
      moved to get away from.
      Overall,the pace of life isn’t slow anymore.

      Like 4
  16. RexFox Member

    Would a NASCAR car of this vintage really have a 3 on the column?

    Like 2
    • Boatman Member

      I wondered the same, Rex. Apparently so.

    • Norman K Wrensch

      A lot of the vintage oval track cars were three on the tree, I remember seeing that in the late 60″s and early 70’s most the ones On the short tracks they ran 2nd gear so they would have a spring hanging from the roll bar to hold it in second gear on the track. On the big tracks they would not have that problem using third gear.

      Like 1
  17. Terry Mayes

    Jim Vandiver restored this car. He rented a garage from Junior Auten of Huntersville, NC. Junior bought the car from Lee Petty. Junior painted it yellow and raced it. He then retired it and it sat behind the garage for probably 30 years before Jim bought it. Jim found a good body out west and rebodied the car. I’m sure many of the original parts have been replaced, but there is enough of the original car there to be a Petty car.

  18. John L.

    Someone help me out here. It’s been rebodied, the front end is wrong, the wheels are wrong, the decals are wrong, but it’s the “Original” car. I suppose since Richard Petty validated the roll cage on the rusted out wreck this was supposedly built from that makes this an “Original”.

    Like 3
    • DON

      That’s probably all that it was. They ran the same cars on large and short tracks as well as dirt tracks back then , and the cars would get beat up, crashed ,repaired and beat up again, only to have the useable parts stripped off the old carcass to use on the next years car , or to keep for spares. The beat shell was then left out in the elements for decades before it was “rediscovered” . I’ll bet there wasn’t a straight panel on the body , and the floors were likely rotted out after sitting on the ground for so long

      Like 3
  19. Emel

    Being in the heart of NASCAR…..I’m surprised this isn’t at the
    NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    I like his Red/Blue color scheme on the 3rd gen Charger the best.
    But I’m kinda bias…when it comes to that !

  20. George Louis

    Reminds me of the TV Show on Cable/Satellite Texas Auctions where the one car dealer bought a 1060 Plymouth Two Door, sent it to some place in Iowa and had it made into a Petty Clone.

  21. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    As expected. this seller has lots of other interesting NASCAR items up for bidding.

    They also have the blue Pontiac hearse that was recently featured. And, throw in an extra $500 to buy the vintage dust-covered coffin that probably came out of that hearse.

    • angliagt angliagt Member

      Signed by Vincent Price?

  22. Jeff

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