Story continues below this advertisement
Another incident at the ARCA Salem 500 involved Bill Nelson’s Minneapolis-based ’69 Charger 500. Sporting 426 hood callouts, we know there’s an elephant on board. Look closely to see the flush-fitting ’68 Coronet grille and headlamp block-off as this aero-tuned Charger catches plenty of air – thanks to failed hood pins. We can’t see the rear window, but there’s a strong chance it’s an actual Charger 500 – with the flush-fit glass insert. But was it born a 500 (one of 392 built by Creative Industries) or is it a standard Charger with an added body kit? Dig on the Schlitz beer motto: “When you’re out of Schlitz, you’re out of beer”.
We’ll end this month’s look at legendary Mopars on the track with the cover of the November 1972 issue of Stock Car Racing magazine. Note the bizarre mixture of shapes on display. By this time NASCAR handicapped Charger Daytonas and SuperBirds by forcing them to run 305 cubic inch small blocks. Meanwhile, the less-aerodynamic ’71 and ’72 B-bodies were still allowed to run 426 Hemis. But the end was near. With the Hemi out of production after 1971, NASCAR turned the screws and forced carburetor restrictor plates for hemispherical engines (including the Ford Boss 429). The upshot was a return to dominance for Chevy 427 drivers. The best machine doesn’t always win. As the Pettys said in 1965, “If you can’t beat ‘em, outlaw ‘em”. The quartet of wing cars seen here were likely soon stripped of their nose cones and wings then recycled with late model B-body sheet metal. It happened a lot. See you next month with more NASCAR-nage!