Tregosteevo asked in SportsAuto RacingNASCAR · 1 decade ago

In 1964 Chrysler equipped Richard Petty's cars with the 426 Hemi...?

did David Pearson also get the same engines? Then in 1965 Chrysler boycotted NASCAR after Bill France Sr. banned the 426 from competition because of the unfair advantage it afforded the drivers that used it. Both Richard and David did some drag racing that year because of the boycott. How did they do and did they ever race against each other during that time? Petty was also in a bad accident while drag racing that year and killed an 8 year old boy that was a spectator. Seven other people were injured as well. Does anyone know more about this story or what caused it? Thank you, I tried finding more information on these subjects but could only find bits and pieces. FYI, Bill France was forced to let Chrysler use the 426 again, in late July of 1965, due to diminishing ticket sales.


Tina, the 2nd link you provided was a very interesting read. Thank you.

Update 2:

Ed P- David Pearson drove an assortment of Pontiacs, Plymouths and Dodges in his early career and when he won his first championship in 1966. He did not switch to Ford until he started driving for Holman-Moody in 1968, when he won his 2nd championship.

10 Answers

  • Tina
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    ...They (Richard and David) did race together "Between August 8, 1963 and June 12, 1977, they finished one/two on sixty-three occasions, with Pearson coming out on top with thirty-three victories".

    In 1964----

    ...Richard Petty won 8 races and had 37 top 5s

    ...David Pearson had 8 wins and 29 top 5s

    ...I'm going to guess yes on Pearson with a 426 Hemi. Didn't Cotton Owens run the 426 Hemi in his cars? Also I believe the 426 Hemi was used in the Dodges and Plymouths.


    ...Actually Cotton Owens said "I run a Chrysler salvage yard. But I just got done building a ’64 Dodge like we raced in ’64 with a Hemi engine". And the older engines had a rear mounted distributor while the 426 hemi had a front mount



    ...Chrysler began work on a big block engine

    The first 426 Hemi was assembled in Nov 1963

    The first 426 Hemi dyno was done in Dec 1963 (it exceeded the dyno's 400-hp max)


    ...The new 426 Hemi debuts at the 1964 Daytona 500

    Paul Goldsmith, in a Belvedere, qualified first at 174 mph, 14 mph over the previous qualifying record

    Richard Petty qualified second with his 426 Hemi

    By the end of the race, Richard Petty had lapped the entire field

    426 Hemi-powered Dodge and Plymouths took 4 of the top 5

    Overall for the season, Dodge wins 14 races and Plymouth wins 12

    Richard Petty won 8 races and had 37 top 5s

    David Pearson had 8 wins and 29 top 5s

    More to come.

    ...On the drag racing accident............

    ...NASCAR's mortal enemy in stock car racing, USAC, was quick to point out to Chrysler that it was continuing to use the same rules it had in 1964 and the Plymouth and Dodge Hemi teams were welcome to compete on that circuit in 1965. Many did, including Paul Goldsmith, Bobby Isaac, and David Pearson. Richard Petty and Petty Enterprises went drag racing. In a Barracuda that they called "Outlawed," Petty attracted large crowds wherever his raced. Unfortunately, on 28 February 1965, the same day that a 100-miler was being run at the Asheville-Weaverville Speedway in Weaverville, North Carolina, Petty and "Outlawed" were at Southeastern Dragway in . During a match race with Arnie Beswick, the Barracuda experienced transmission problems off the line. As Petty tried to find second gear, the car started to get loose. When Petty finally got it into second gear the car suddenly broke loose, turned towards the spectator area, and hit the embankment. The Petty Blue Barracuda vaulted the embankment, being launched almost straight up, which carried the car over the fence that was supposed to protect the spectators, and into the crowd. Seven people were injured when the Barracuda slammed into the people who had come to watch the match races. One of these suffered severe head injuries, but there was an eighth victim, Wayne Dye - an eight-year old from Austell, Georgia. He died of his injuries before he reached the hospital. Petty suffered light injuries in the violent crash, but the shock of the young boy's death stayed with him for years.

    ...43/JR was out on the drag strips by November of 1964. Although it could probably have been raced in some existing class, “exhibition” was where the money and the most exposure was. The car was booked at various tracks well into the 1965 season. On February 28, 1965, 43/JR was scheduled for a best of three match race with Arnie Beswick at Southeastern Dragway in Dallas, Georgia. Dallas is northwest of Atlanta about 300 miles from Randleman. During one of the runs against Beswick a front suspension part broke sending the uncontrollable Barracuda off the strip and into the crowd of spectators. Several people were injured and one 8 year old boy named Wayne Dye was killed. Richard was okay but he and the family were devastated. JR was hauled home to the Petty junk yard in the woods behind the shops never to run again.

    ...The name "Outlawed" came from when Nascar outlawed the 426 Hemi from competition. Richard said "If you can't beat them then Outlaw them".

    ...This article also said that his front suspension broke and sent his car sailing to the stands

    ...Also as far as racing together on the drag strip - yes they did.

    And also on this link is a picture of a restored car like the one Petty wrecked called "The Outlaw".

    Petty's car (The Highlander) -no picture-

    Pearson's car (The Honker)

    ...While it was in force, NASCAR’s Hemi ban affected both the Plymouth and the Dodge Divisions of Chrysler. Plymouth and the Pettys put on a well orchestrated and highly publicized show but what was happening over at Dodge? From the magazine articles of the era you would gather that the major Dodge team of Cotton Owens and their driver David Pearson were also “busy elsewhere” and didn’t need France’s money. Super Stockers in Action of January 1965 had a brief article on a match race held at Islip Drag Strip in New York between Richard Petty and Pearson. You could assume this probably happened around November of ’64. Neither team had their own car. Instead Richard borrowed a ’64 Hemi SS Plymouth “The Highlander” while David used Faubel’s Dodge “The Honker.” Petty won the $1,000 prize. What’s interesting is that while the Pettys would soon get 43/JR out (if it wasn’t done already) the Owens team would not field a “JR like” Dodge until April or May, 1965. This was way too late to affect Bill France’s thinking. By that time, I am sure, his thoughts were not if he should lift the Hemi ban but when. It seems that 43/JR was selected to wage the psychological war with NASCAR single handedly

    ...As far as being competitive this article says he was a serious contender;

    Hubert Platt: The Georgia Shaker

    ...One of Hubert's proudest moments in racing was when he defeated NASCAR star Richard Petty in this car at a match race at Lassiter Mountain drag strip in Birmingham, Alabama. Richard was driving his 43/Jr. Barracuda and was a serious drag racing contender while Chrysler was boycotting NASCAR. Late in 1965, Platt built a tube chassised, steel bodied, longnose 1965 Mustang with a fuel injected 427 engine. This was a nationwide popular car that was known for its wild wheelstanding starts.

  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    In 1964 Chrysler equipped Richard Petty's cars with the 426 Hemi...?

    did David Pearson also get the same engines? Then in 1965 Chrysler boycotted NASCAR after Bill France Sr. banned the 426 from competition because of the unfair advantage it afforded the drivers that used it. Both Richard and David did some drag racing that year because of the boycott. How did...

    Source(s): 1964 chrysler equipped richard petty 39 cars 426 hemi:
  • 4 years ago

    Richard Petty Drag Racing

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No they were not...The 426 hemi was available in limited amounts in belvederes.Remember the 426 was developed for drag racing not for stock car racing...He didn,t run the 426 a full season until 67...Yes he had a 65 hemi cuda that he ran for part of the season until the accident...The car was in a ditch behind the shop for many years...Till someone bought it and is restoring it today...Pettys drag career was bleak from the start...

    Source(s): Petty and mopar nut....
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The fun-n-happy Chrysler hemi. So unstoppable, in revolutionized Drag Racing as well. The engine configuration changed also. The '64 hemi was different than later models.

  • Ed P
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    No--Pearson drove Ford Torino--Mercury Cyclones which had the 429 cubic In V-8 in the latter 60s-- And he drove a 1962 Pontiac for a season or 2 before that!!!!! If Pearson drove a Dodge Or Plymouth I dont remember it

  • 4 years ago

    This is an interesting question, and one that confused me for quite a while.

  • Bill
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Only thing for anyone to say is---Tina has done her homework on this one (deserves all kinds of stars and thumbs up------------------GOOD JOB TINA

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't so.

  • beth
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Thanks Tina and Steve, very interesting.

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