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1957-59 Dodge NASCAR

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  • 1957-59 Dodge NASCAR

    I've been trying to find a picture for a friend of a 57-59 Dodge stock car racer, & preferably a -59, but I can't find any at all! Wasn't there any? Seeems strange to me that MoPar shouldn't have been running any Dodge at all these 3 years, or even some private team for that matter...
    Any thoughts?
    sigpic

    Josephine
    -55
    Champion V8
    4d sedan

  • #2
    Petty ran Plymouths- I've seen lots of pics of 59 Plymouth nascar racers over the years
    Evan Davis
    Prince Albert, Sk

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    • #3
      Noxnabaker, looks like Dodge was the back seat to Plymouth most of those years. This is the only race car picture I found, but there are lots of 56 car pics ! https://www.imcdb.org/v097531.html

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      • #4
        Ah, thanx J. Byrd! & yeah, I already seen all the Plymouths & also some earlier Dodges, I find it rather strange thou.
        sigpic

        Josephine
        -55
        Champion V8
        4d sedan

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        • #5
          In 1955, during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a catastrophic accident where a Mercedes 300SLR exploded and careened into the crowd killing 83 spectators (injuring dozens more) caused a major stir among auto manufacturers and in 1957 the Automobile Manufacturers Association. Made up of members that represented all American auto makes, the AMA formed a gentleman’s agreement to back out of organized auto racing and motorsports of any kind. Some in the industry felt this was a method that would prevent Congressional involvement that might force the auto makers hand in some other more unwanted way. This happened in February 1957 and was suggested by Harlow Curtis, CEO of GM.

          Corporate groups with all of the "Big Three" still had parts on the shelves for police cars and other applications they could sell the parts to racers without the label of corporate sponsorship. You could order a 413 Mopar used in the 300 series and put it in a Plymouth. The years 1957 to 1959 were hard years for NASCAR, because of this. Yet, there always seemed a way around the ban. One of those was a executive in a hard battle to save his car division.

          Bunkie Knudsen took over Pontiac in 1956. You remember those: Tom MCahill said it looked like it was born on it's nose. Knussen was in a fight to save Pontiac and knew it took styling and performance. He formed the Super Duty Group to do just that and said the heck with the ban and went racing. He had his cars in NHRA and NASCAR. Remember the dominance of the Pontiacs starting in late 59 and 60? Daytona was completed in 1959. Before that there were the sand trials which ended in 1960.

          The ban must have had an effect as Mopar pulled back and besides the 300's on the sand trials, Richard Petty and his father Lee chose Plymouth until Lee's bad accident in 1960.

          Mind you this is just a theory, but that is why you probably don't see any 57-59 Dodge NASCAR pictures.

          Bob Miles
          Pacific Southwest Zone Coordinator
          Last edited by 6hk71400; 07-12-2019, 02:14 PM. Reason: corrections

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          • #6
            That kind of info is worth gold, even if "only" a theory!
            Makes me wonder if the Dodges were heavier? I mean that there must have been smaller short wheelbased 57-59 Dodges, & for sure there must have been other drivers than Lee & Richard? (Thou I don't know what year Richard started driving.)
            sigpic

            Josephine
            -55
            Champion V8
            4d sedan

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            • #7
              Richard Petty started in 1958. In 1969 he switched to Ford when the Talledaga came out but back to Plymouth with the 1970 Superbird.

              Dodge did go to a shorter wheel base car in 1960 with the Dodge Dart ( not the small one). It was the beginning of the decline of Plymouth as the car eat into Plymouth sales.

              Dodge Coronet was running at NASCAR in 1953 to 1957, then the Coronet came back in 1965 but as an intermediate car.

              Here is a link for further reading.

              https://www.allpar.com/racing/dodge-nascar.html

              It seems Chrysler pulled the plug in late 1956 and did not return until 1959 according to the article.


              Bob Miles
              Pacific Southwest Zone Coordinator

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              • #8
                Aha, so Dodge did at least race in -57!

                Slightly off topic, I remember seing a film on youtube about moonshiners running a blue -60 Dodge 2d pillar sedan. & the small Dart started as -63 model.
                Last edited by Noxnabaker; 07-14-2019, 01:07 PM.
                sigpic

                Josephine
                -55
                Champion V8
                4d sedan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Noxnabaker View Post
                  Aha, so Dodge did at least race in -57!

                  Slightly off topic, I remember seing a film on youtube about moonshiners running a blue -60 Dodge 2d pillar sedan. & the small Dart started as -63 model.
                  Yes, the Valiant sized (compact) Dart started in 1963. Bob M. said for "...1960 with the Dodge Dart (not the small one)." Dodge Darts started in 1960. The film that you saw probably had a 1960 Seneca two door sedan.
                  Gary L.
                  Wappinger, NY

                  SDC member since 1968
                  Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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