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Saturday, March 27, 2010


The Joe Weatherly Gallery

 On our way across North and South Carolina, we stumbled into Darlington, a city known to us as the home of Darlington Raceway, a Nascar track. We didn't mean to go that way, but it was raining and we haven't bought a Road Atlas in fifteen years. We discovered that many of the highways have had their numbers changed and so...

We drove through Darlington, South Carolina!

 Good mistake though, because we drove right past the track and wow! Saw the sign, both of us pointing and going: "Look!" And Dick did a U-EE and schwing! 

We parked the Magnum, went in and toured the museum!

Originally, the facility was called the Joe Weatherly Stock Car Museum; the name was changed following a major renovation and expansion project in 2003.  Just as Darlington Raceway had originally been constructed in 1950 to give stock car racing a platform to rival that of the Indianapolis 500, the Museum was intended to do the same for the history of the still fledgling sport. 

The sign inside tells the story:

We were in the place for at least an hour and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Of course, being Stock Cars fans, the cars and faces in the pictures and posters were familiar and well, we just had a ball!

It's so cool to see some of these old girls because so many of them were cut up and parted out for other cars or just buried as junk. There's a story about several race cars being buried in the back fields of one of the most well known driver's farm.  You have to remember that way back when, it cost money to take a junk car to a wrecker and would be more trouble than it was worth!

There's a nicely rounded out selection of both newer and older things.

The history goes that: 

After a visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Musuem, Weatherly suggested to his good friend Bob Colvin, then president of Darlington Raceway, that he consider building a stock car museum in South Carolina. Colvin not only liked the idea, but followed through with it; following his friend's death, Colvin brought plans for the Joe Weatherly Stock Car Museum before the Raceway's Board of Directors, where they were unanimously approved. The facility was officially dedicated on May 2, 1965, and still stands as a testament to the greatness of the sport of stock car racing and those who compete in it. 

 What I like is that they have displayed many of the 'famous' engines and have placards explaining what they are, so you don't have to be an expert to enjoy the history.

Cases of trophies and paraphernalia line the walls, telling folks who owned what.

 This chap, (for my non race fan readers, ) is known as The King of Nascar: Richard Petty. He is famous for these hats and sunglasses!
It's his son and wife; Kyle and Patty who have the Camp in North Carolina for children: 
The Victory Junction Camp. 
(Been there on one of our previous trips!)

And sure enough, they've got one of Richards' cars with its trademark blue and the number 43. A 1967 Plymouth that won 10 races in 1965, the year they opened this museum. 

We love going to museums and especially automotive ones so this was an unexpected treat! 

 I took some other photos as well, but I'm going to follow up with some "Beauty" posts with those because you know how I love cars!

 Thanks for tagging along! Follow the link at the top for Darlington to see the full history of this museum. You won't be sorry.

And if you find yourself using an old map, just remember there's a silver lining in every cloud: We wouldn't have gone here if we'd bought a new map and gone the roads we'd planned!

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.


Eva Gallant said...

We're not Nascar fans, but Hubby would enjoy those old cars, I'm sure!

DJan said...

I am also not a Nascar fan, but I'm a fan of Lucy and Dick, so there!

Anonymous said...

We are NASCAR fans!! DH & I both read this post & loved it!! To us NASCAR changed upon the death of Dale Sr. & now it is the "younger" drivers show!!
We still watch it but not with the enthusiasm of before!!
Great Post!!
Palm Sunday Blessings!

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

Yes, I agree that things changed when Dale died, but the one thing about this life that is consistent is change. I don't like how they've taken all the edges off and it's all quite slick. Oh well! We keep gaining fans and exposure and I can always go dirt racing or tom another small track and still see my old style racing!