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1/18 Fantasy Wendell Scott Howard Furniture #34 Plymouth Superbird

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#1 OFFLINE   ibj40


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Posted 21 November 2020 - 02:18 PM

Consider the following factual circumstances:

1968 Daytona 500

Richard Petty would start second in a Plymouth with a black vinyl top.

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Rumor has it that Lee Petty thought it looked like the "dimples" on a golf ball and figured it would be faster through the air, not to mention disrupting the airflow over the car enough to make drafting behind Richard very difficult.

As it turned out, it was the vinyl top coming loose that cost Richard a shot at the win.

Here is a picture of Richard standing on the hood of the Plymouth using a sledge hammer on the vinyl above the windshield to get it back down so they could wire it to the roll bar.

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Winged Warriors/AutoWorld created an 1/18 scale version of the vinyl roof car, which I have in my collection.

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1972 World 600

It was 1972, and Wendell Scott had about all he could take. His race team was out of money.

And then the phone rang in his tiny office in Danville, Virginia. It was Richard Howard on the line.

What if, he asked the 50-year-old driver, Howard could promise Scott a ride in the 600?

What if the car was new?

What if it was brand-new Chevy built by Junior Johnson?

Would you consider giving it one more shot?

The car was gorgeous.

It was a rust red 1971 Monte Carlo with Scott’s own No. 34 on the doors.

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Howard Furniture Company, in block letters was along the rear quarter-panels.

He made the parade laps and took the green flag. From the moment he punched it, he knew it wasn’t right.

Scott was a racer, and he’d built cars from scratch that were faster than this one.

The engine never really warmed up, and within a few laps Scott could feel the power going away.

He nursed it home, as he’d done so many times before.

Scott finished 22nd. He won $1,710.

The true backstory is that the car was a recycled beater.

It might have originated at Junior Johnson’s shop, sometime back in its history, but it was not the quality of car that was promised to Scott.

No mainstream diecast manufacturer ever created an 1/18 scale version of the Howard Furniture Monte Carlo, so I had the late Jesse Pyron custom make a retro version for me, which I have in my collection.

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1970 Nascar Grand National Season

Now, consider this fantasy (with some reality basis) circumstance:

Wendell Scott ran 41 of the 48 scheduled Grand National (Cup) raced in 1970., finishing 14th in the points standings.

On Monday, May 18, Scott qualified 15th and finished 10th at Langley Field Speedway, Hampton, Virginia in the Tidewater 300 (won by polesitter Bobby Isaac).

On Thursday, May 28, Scott qualified 10th and finished 9th at Smokey Mountain Raceway, Maryville, Tennessee, in the Maryville 200 (won by second qualifier Bobby Isaac).

In between these two races was one that Scott did not enter, the World 600, Charlotte, North Carolina (won by ninth qualifier Donnie Allison).

I am not sure why Scott didn’t even attempt to qualify for the World 600 in 1970; however I can come up with any number of assumptions, including budget.

Well, what if Richard Howard had come forward in 1970, as he did in 1972; and offered to underwrite a ride in a “brand new” racer?

And what if that racer was a 1970 Plymouth Superbird prepared by Petty Enterprises?

And what if that Plymouth Superbird wasn’t just any Superbird, but it was a factory experimental Superbird that Plymouth had entrusted to Petty Enterprises for testing?

This fantasy build incorporates several elements.

The first fantasy is that Plymouth, after the failed vinyl roof experiment at Daytona in 1968, wanted to retest that aerodynamic theory on the streamlined Superbird?

Could the assumed “golf ball dimple” effect (now accomplished with paint) add rear downforce, by creating a different airflow to the high mounted Superbird (and Dodge Daytona) rear wing?

The second fantasy assumes that, unlike the 1972 World 600 debacle, the Wendell Scott Superbird for the 1970 World 600 was really a factory-backed, professionally-prepared Grand National stock car?

Folks, I present to you the Wendell Scott driven, Howard Furniture-sponsored, Petty Enterprises #34 Plymouth Superbird.

The model is a blend of an 1/18 scale Winged Warriors Richard Petty Nascar Plymouth Superbird chassis under an 1/18 scale Ertl American Muscle street Plymouth Superbird.

Special thanks to my friend Lee Rilea for his execution of the decaling.


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