Richard Petty’s Daytona-winning 1964 Plymouth Belvedere replica was featured in the April issue of Hot Rod Magazine, which also has a good article on the 426 Hemi. Those of you without a subscription (or who are unwilling to head down to the newsstand), check out this site, which has a ton of photos and information about the car.
I came across this story while looking at Chrysler 300s on the Chrysler 300 Club website. My Dad and his friend had a couple of 1957 300C Chryslers when they were in their 20s. I got to hear a lot of crazy stories from both my Mom and Dad about these cars and how amazing they were. The story links at OregonLive and Chrysler300Club are just another amazing example of how special the “Beautiful Brute” was to a lot of people who have owned, own one, or just love them.
Where is “Wild” Willi Boelcke’s 1969 Coronet? Well we know that Willi is still racing out at the salt flats and when I received my May 2013 issue of Mopar Collector’s Guide I found out on page 29 that his Coronet was still around and for sale. Here’s the story from my angle…what I can remember anyway. I believe it was 1988-89 and on one of my first trips to the Bonneville Salt Flats to attend Speed Week in August I met Willi and his Coronet. I do remember the first configuration of the car didn’t have all the fancy racing paint like in the picture I took below. It was fairly plain with a 440 six pack and 4 speed with a Super Bee six pack hood. I remember his best speed was around 144mph which is not to bad for a stocker at 4000ft above sea level. One of the next years which I believe to be 1990-91 Willie showed up with a 440 with the Stage V Hemi head conversion with a big tunnel ram, and the six pack hood was raised up almost in a cartoon like fashion to clear the intake setup. Well…about the last thing I remember is Willi running around 200mph with the setup in B/Production and blowing up the engine. After that I was spending time in the Air Force and didn’t ever keep track of the car or Willi.
B/Production is generally a class that has been dominated at Bonneville by Plymouth Superbirds, Dodge Charger Daytonas, and big block Camaros that run around 220+ mph so pushing that big Coronet through the air must have been quite an experience!
The hood on the car for sale in MCG was not the same one I remembered but I think it would be more aerodynamic than the massive raised six pack scoop that I saw on it!
Check out this 2012 article about Willis Blown/Fuel Rear Engine Modified Roadster. Interestingly his roadster carries the same car number that his Coronet had….426.