The chassis received plenty of attention, in the form of Pedders LX SRT8 extreme coilovers, bushings, and anti-roll bars, front and rear. The rear end also got Petty's Garage's adjustable antiroll bar and toe linkages, and all the chassis' bare-metal pieces got a coat of what the Pettys call Parts Blue, to contrast with the Petty Blue-painted underside. Brembo's "Gran Turismo" brakes went on at all corners, with their "M-6" calipers in front and "M-4" calipers in back. Filling the fenderwells are a set of 20-inch-diameter CCW's SP551 wheels, shod with Goodyear Eagle R5A tires
It all adds up to a car whose identity is summed up by the words "Challenger by Petty."
If you're wondering why they waited until the new Challenger came out before building a Petty version of the LX-Body, Richard says there was a very good reason why-and it didn't involve waiting. "When the Charger came out, we were racing out of Level Cross and didn't have the time to focus on anything but racing," he says. "Not to say that I have more time today, but the race team is now in Statesville, and my office is still here in Level Cross, so I'm here pretty much every day, and I can spend time on both businesses."
The plan for Petty's Garage includes more builds like this Challenger, but not Concours-quality restorations of street cars, as Richard says those are two very different specialties. "We are currently working on a couple of historically-significant race cars for customers that will be returned to period-correct vehicles, as they were raced," he says. "One is for a museum, and the other for a private collection. We also have a few custom cars we are working on for customers: two Mopars-one's a really nice Barracuda, and the other is a Pro Touring Superbird that will be my personal car. It's starting from a Road Runner chassis, and I have a few things in mind for it."
When this car crossed the block at Barrett-Jackson, the sale proceeds benefitted the Petty Family Foundation. "Our family has always supported charities and civic service," he says. "Mostly that goes back to the values Lynda and I were taught by our parents. Our charities of focus are the Victory Junction Gang Camps, the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), and education-based charities.
"When Kyle and Pattie started Victory Junction, our charity work became more visible, but our family has always tried to give back to communities. The experiences that Victory Junction provides these kids are remarkable. Just allowing a child to swim in a pool can be a new experience, something they might not have ever had the chance to do.
"I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for those who have served our country, and a deep appreciation for those who have made sacrifices for our freedom. Without that freedom, Richard Petty would have never been able to do the things he did. I enjoy working with the PVA, and going to see our service men and women at the VA hospital, and visiting with those that receive assistance from the PVA. The work the PVA does is so critical for these men and women, and anything we can do to support them is well worth the time and effort."
To find out more about the Petty Family Foundation-and the good causes it supports-check it out online at www.pettyfamilyfoundation.org, or by visiting the foundation's homepage on Facebook.
'09 Dodge Challenger by Petty
Built by: Petty's Garage, Level Cross, North Carolina
- Engine: Yeah, it's got an Arrington-built Gen III 426 Hemi, good for 585 hp and 560 ft/lbs of torque (per Arrington's dyno numbers). Inside the machined-and-NASCAR-prepped 6.1L block went forged Mahle pistons and K1's H-beam connecting rods and a forged steel stroker crankshaft. The camshaft is a special grind roller cam, and the heads are Arrington's ported Phase IV aluminum. Also on this engine: Arrington's 90mm throttle body and carbon fiber cold air intake.
- Transmission: A Hurst-shifted SRT8 6-speed manual.
- Rearend: OEM SRT8 differential and 3.92:1 gearing.
- Suspension: At each corner are Pedders LX SRT8 extreme coilovers and bushings, with Pedders' antiroll bars, front and rear, plus Petty's Garage's adjustable rear antiroll bar and toe linkages.
- Brakes: Brembo "Gran Turismo" brakes, with "M-6" calipers in front and "M-4" calipers in back.
- Wheels and Tires: CCW's SP551 wheels (20x9 inches front, 20x10 inches rear) wear Goodyear Eagle RSA's (245/45R20 in front, 295/40R20 in back)
- Body: Inside, the original LX-Body Challenger unibody was reinforced with Petty's Garage-fabricated subframe connectors and shock-tower brace. Outside, special parts by Petty include the front fascia and grille inserts, rear spoiler, plus a fiberglass rear bumper cover and rocker panels.
- Paint: BASF/R-M's special blend of the legendary Petty Blue, sprayed on at Petty's Garage, Level Cross, North Carolina
- Interior: Petty's Garage made the OEM cabin even better with custom logos on both front seats, silhouettes of Richard Petty on both door panels, and a Kicker subwoofer and amplifier added on to the stock SRT8 Option Group II sound system.