Richard Petty’s 1974 Dodge Charger NASCAR Cup Car Is Still Awesome

This Car Got Him His Sixth Cup Series Championship...

With an illustrious career spanning 34 years, Richard Petty, often hailed as “The King” of NASCAR, left an indelible mark on the sport. Among his vast array of accomplishments, his partnership with the 1974 STP Dodge Charger stands out as one of the most legendary chapters in racing history. 

Richard Petty’s astonishing record of seven championships and an astounding 200 wins firmly establishes him as NASCAR’s most prolific driver. Among his many triumphs, Petty’s affinity for Mopar vehicles was evident. While he clinched his seventh title in a Chevy, his most successful years were behind the wheel of Mopars, notably the Plymouth, with which he secured titles in 1964 and 1967.

In 1974, Petty’s association with the No. 43 Blue and Orange STP Charger redefined the boundaries of dominance in NASCAR. Following a somewhat lackluster 1973 season, this Charger was a game-changer. Petty piloted it to an astonishing ten wins and an additional 12 Top-3 finishes, clinching the Winston Cup Series with remarkable ease.

The Charger’s prowess was so undeniable that Petty continued racing it in 1975. The result? A staggering 13 victories and eight podium finishes culminated in his second consecutive and sixth overall Winston Cup Series Championship. This Charger’s legacy is a testament to its unparalleled success in NASCAR history, boasting an incredible 23 wins in just 60 races.

In a remarkable twist of fate, this legendary Mopar remains pristine despite nearly five decades since its departure from the Petty Enterprises stable. Richard Petty’s deep affection for his race cars led to the preservation of many, including this Charger, on his estate for years. In 2018, it found a new home after an auction, joining the esteemed collection at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame museum in Talladega, Alabama, for a price of $490,000.

Recently, the Charger emerged from its long-term slumber to grace the Music City Mopars car show in Nashville, Tennessee. The roar of its race-ready V8 engine, reminiscent of the golden days of NASCAR, echoed through the event as the Charger rolled in and out under its own power, captivating visitors with its timeless allure.

Based on the third-generation Charger produced from 1971 to 1974, the 1974 STP Dodge Charger’s distinctive styling exudes an air of nostalgia. Petty’s remarkable success with this body style, amassing an impressive 35 wins between 1972 and 1977, solidifies its status as an icon in NASCAR history.

Source: Matt Gause via AutoEvolution.com

Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only the Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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This was the time when stock car racing was between stock cars with true factory built engines and bodies. Fans truly could see them race on Sunday and buy one just like it on Monday. Of course the dominance of Mopars led to multiple rule changes to “slow down” the Plymouths and Dodges which led to the spec cars that effectively destroyed NASCAR. NHRA did the same with Pro Stock, now X Stock and fans know the difference and have lost interest. Oh yes, NHRA just changed the rules one week after Dodges won both Factory Stock classes. There they go again as their Chevy- Ford bias plays out once more.
As to Petty and his Charger, truly something to be admired. My son has a numbers matching, mint 1971 Dodge Changer R/T in his garage. Some things are beyond a price tag, like driving a true classic. Those were the days. Those were really the days!

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