1969 Ford Torino GT Richard Petty Edition
Fellow gearheads, today I want to follow up from a previous post with something that should complete the story. If you have been following this blog, you remember in a previous post I mentioned that Richard Petty left Mopar to race for Ford in NASCAR racing in 1969. He wanted to find a new ride that was winning races. Today, I want to show you the reason he left Dodge. The 1969 Ford Torino GT Richard Petty Edition.
Since Dodge was not doing well in NASCAR, Richard Petty needed a new car to race. He looked at all the offerings available, and found this car was the best option in 1969. This is the 1969 Ford Torino GT Richard Petty Edition that Ford built for him. Legend has it that this car was the car to beat in 1969, so Ford made a few to offer to the general public. In order to qualify as a “production” car to meet NASCAR standards, Ford was required to make at least 50 of these cars. There were 111 of them made for production, so this car qualified as a race car. All 111 of them had a nice selection of options, including power brakes, power steering, and column shifted C6 automatic.
They also made 5 GTs for a special Charlotte 600 sweepstakes on Memorial Day in 1969. The winners would receive one of these 5 Petty Blue Torinos delivered to their house by Richard Petty himself. Can you imagine seeing Richard Petty drive up to your house with a trailer to drop off this car? That must have been an amazing feeling for the winners! The winning 5 people probably had no idea just how special these cars really are.
The GT package included some cool options, such as GT logos in the grille and gas cap, side stripes, GT center caps on the wheels. hood pins, hood scoop with GT logos, and white letter Firestone Wide Oval tires. However, these 5 GT equipped cars had to have something special to attract someone like Richard Petty. These 5 Torino GT Richard Petty Editions were built with the 428 Cobra Jet engine. This was the kind of car that could win races. This monster was a massive big block that could pass anything (except a gas station).
The 1969 Ford Torino GT Richard Petty Edition was made for speed. Petty started off his 1969 Ford NASCAR season with a win at Riverside. He continued to win eight more races that season, and came in second in the overall point standings. He lost to David Pearson, who was driving another Ford. To say the least, this was a successful season. No one at Mopar could catch this car, so Petty was a happy driver.
Classic Race Car
Can you imagine sitting on a bench seat for hours on end going around a race track? This is basically what they did back then. This 1969 Ford Torino GT Richard Petty Edition 428 CJ is a classic example of what it was like to be a pioneer of auto racing. Richard Petty now owns 2 of the 5 Petty Edition GT 428 CJ Torinos. These 5 cars all came with a blank code on the data plate, which shows they were special edition contest prizes, and not the production car. This rare monster is an example of what racing was really like in those days, and tells the story of how a diehard Plymouth fan changed brands for one season.
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