RC2 1/18th 1968 Richard Petty Plymouth Roadrunner w/Vinyl Roof - DX NASCAR - DiecastXchange.com Diecast Cars Forums

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RC2 1/18th 1968 Richard Petty Plymouth Roadrunner w/Vinyl Roof


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#1 OFFLINE   Jersey_Devil

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 07:34 PM

Today I took delivery of the RC2 1/18th 1968 Richard Petty Plymouth Roadrunner with the black vinyl roof. The story of this car is of the ingenuity of NASCAR teams and how sometimes it works - and sometimes it doesn't. 1968 was the first year that the factories started concerning themselves with aerodynamics and the Plymouth lagged behind Ford, Mercury and even its sister company, Dodge in that area. Maurice Petty, Richard's cousin and brilliant crew chief, admitted later that the 1968 Roadrunner was "the most tricked-out" car they ever ran in their efforts to make up for the poor aerodynamics.

The most obvious of the tricks was the black vinyl roof the #43 showed up with at the season-opening Daytona 500. No one has ever truly explained what it was for but one scribe's two favorite theories were that 1) team patron Lee Petty thought the dimples on the vinyl would smooth the car's travel through the air like a golf ball and, hopefully, also disrupt the airflow behind it discouraging drafting followers or 2) that with all the "tricked-out" features on the car, the vinyl would distract NASCAR tech personnel from noticing some or more of the others!

Unfortunately, the roof let the team down as the vinyl started peeling away from the metal, requiring extra stops to secure it (DX'er Josh was the first to find this pic of Petty out of his car during a pit stop helping with the repairs!):

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Anyway, the 1/18th of this car (built by RC2 for MOPAR) is a typically simple, but nicely done basic RC2/Ertl-style diecast with very good lines and decals and some internal touches such as a fire extinguisher. The doors and hood open and the engine is appropriate for this price range, although the left door seems to have gaping shutlines. However, it's a nice entry-level diecast:

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Edited by Jersey_Devil, 14 April 2016 - 07:35 PM.

I just want someone whose baggage goes with mine [from "Rent"]...
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My 1/18th collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...16/#entry557038

My 1/43rd collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...d-riverside-300

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#2 OFFLINE   Josh

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 08:43 PM

It is nice to see more of this model, I am a fan of Petty cars, but  do not have them all. 68 was not a great year for him, the Fords were best that year I believe.

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#3 OFFLINE   Jersey_Devil

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 11:36 PM

Yes, Petty tied David Pearson with 16 wins but Pearson won the Grand National title driving Fords, while Bobby Isaac finished 2nd in a Dodge to Petty's 3rd. Petty led the most laps all year but completed fewer laps and had more DNFs than the other two (possibly due to having to push harder to keep up with the Fords and Dodges on the faster tracks, where he won only once all year). The continued refusal of Mopar to allow him to switch from the brick-like Plymouth (which would be unchanged in 1969, to his dismay) to the Dodge Charger led to Petty's switch to Ford the next year.

But Petty's move motivated Mopar to get moving and the Dodge Charger Daytona was born and would win first time out at the brand-new Talladega Speedway in September, 1969 (a race most notable because nearly all the big name drivers boycotted it because the new track's surface and previously unheard of speeds were causing blowouts. NASCAR czar Bill France, Sr., refused to postpone or cancel the race and even drove a race car himself to "prove" the track was safe - not that he approached the speeds the pros were hitting. The fledgling drivers' union, led by President Richard Petty, skipped the race but France put together a field of mostly no-names, many from lower NASCAR series, to stage the race). Based on his advance knowledge of the Dodge Daytona, Petty requested a Plymouth version of it; it took a couple of attempts, because the Roadrunner body wasn't as easily converted to Superbird standards as the Charger body, but he got his car and returned to Plymouth for the 1970 season.

Edited by Jersey_Devil, 15 April 2016 - 11:07 PM.

I just want someone whose baggage goes with mine [from "Rent"]...
- Red

My 1/18th collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...16/#entry557038

My 1/43rd collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...d-riverside-300

#4 OFFLINE   Dave7872

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 04:29 AM

Congrats my friend, Always nice to read a bit of history that goes with these race cars.
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#5 OFFLINE   Josh

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 09:47 AM

View PostJersey_Devil, on 14 April 2016 - 11:36 PM, said:

Yes, Petty tied David Pearson with 16 wins but Pearson won the Grand National title driving Fords, while Bobby Isaac finished 2nd in a Dodge to Petty's 3rd. Petty led the most laps all year but completed fewer laps and had more DNFs than the other two. The continued refusal of Mopar to allow him to switch from the brick-like Plymouth (which would be unchanged in 1969, to his dismay) to the Dodge Charger led to Petty's switch to Ford the next year.

But Petty's move motivated Mopar to get moving and the Dodge Charger Daytona was born and would win first time out at the brand-new Talladega Speedway in September, 1969 (a race most notable because nearly all the big name drivers boycotted it because the new track's surface and previously unheard of speeds were causing blowouts. NASCAR czar Bill France, Sr. refused to postpone or cancel the race and even drove a race car himself to "prove" the track was safe - not that he approached the speeds the pros were hitting. The fledgling drivers' union, led by President Richar Petty, skipped the race but France put together a field of mostly no-names, many from lower NASCAR series, to stage the race). Based on his advance knowledge of the Dodge Daytona, Petty requested a Plymouth version of it; it took a couple of attempts, because the Roadrunner body wasn't as easily converted to Superbird standards as the Charger body, but he got his car and returned to Plymouth for the 1970 season.


That sums it up nicely. If you want to learn a lot more about the Factory era and Nascar on a race by race basis, the book series that Greg Fielden put out back in 1989 and 1993 does a masterful job of detailing everything that happened in the aero wars. I just wish Chevy/GM had gotten involved as well. Who knows what kind of crazy ZL1 powered Special Chevelle they would have cooked up. Did you ever realize that the Chevelle was the only musclecar intermediate that never got a spoiler?

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#6 OFFLINE   Jersey_Devil

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 03:08 PM

Funny you mentioned GM, Josh; I had to look back and see that during the short reign (1969-70) of the "Aero Warriors" - Dodge Charger Daytona, Plymouth Roadrunner Superbird, Ford Torino Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II - GM was not a participant with only a very few non-factory independents running Chevies. In fact, GM, which had been a major player in NASCAR through Oldsmobile as recently as 1962, didn't return big time to the series until sometime after MOPAR and Ford withdrew factory sponsorship after Bill France effectively outlawed the "aero-cars" by mandating that from 1971 they (the four car models were listed by name) would be limited to maximum engine size of 305 c.i. (5L), well below the 429 (7L) max for other cars.

What many people don't realize is that Ford initially wasn't going to stop upping the ante in the aero-wars - they actually built their new challengers, the 1970 Ford Torino King Cobra (in orange) and Mercury Cyclone Super Spoiler II (yellow):
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But internal Ford politics and NASCAR's intent to increase the minimum number of these limited edition cars that had to be manufactured for street use from 500 to 3000 kept these from ever seeing the track.

Edited by Jersey_Devil, 15 April 2016 - 03:11 PM.

I just want someone whose baggage goes with mine [from "Rent"]...
- Red

My 1/18th collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...16/#entry557038

My 1/43rd collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...d-riverside-300

#7 OFFLINE   Josh

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 04:37 PM

Yep 1972 Chevy was back at it. Bobby Allison kept the Chevy banner floating some during the 62-71 era and of course Smokey showed up with his 66? Mystery Chevelle and smoked ALL the Mopar and FOMOCO stuff at Charlotte, which is hilarious because he had NO factory support! God I love that guy!

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#8 ONLINE   ibj40

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 06:42 PM

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Edited by ibj40, 01 September 2019 - 03:46 PM.


#9 OFFLINE   Jersey_Devil

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 04:07 PM

Thanks for the tip, Jim! And you're right - opening doors aren't correct anyway (I should've noted that in my mini-review).
I just want someone whose baggage goes with mine [from "Rent"]...
- Red

My 1/18th collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...16/#entry557038

My 1/43rd collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...d-riverside-300

#10 ONLINE   ibj40

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 01:03 AM

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Edited by ibj40, 01 September 2019 - 03:45 PM.





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