Richard Petty's No. 43 Stock Car Featured in Smithsonian Magazine The November Issue of the Smithsonian Magazine features Richard Petty's famed No. 43 stock car as a part of a feature entitled, 101 Objects That Made America. After sourcing over 137 million artifacts held by 19 different museums, the Smithsonian selected 101 items to be featured. Included in the list is the 1984 No. 43 Pontiac Grand Prix that carried "The King" Richard Petty to his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at the Daytona International Speedway in July of 1984. The fact that Petty won the race with President Ronald Reagan in attendance, the first sitting United States President to visit the track, helped carry the moment, the car and "The King" into American history.
The STP-sponsored, red, white and Petty Blue machine is featured along other iconic American objects such as the Bald Eagle, the Discovery Space Shuttle, the Model T, the Barbie, the U.S. Olympic Hockey Jersey and more.
Writer Jeff MacGregor writes about the car and Petty in a look at what made the No. 43 stock car make this exclusive list. MacGregor points out that the "genius of this car lies not in what it is, but in what it did." He also singles out Petty as a "throwback" with his signature jean and cowboy look as he explained Petty's place in the history of stock car racing. Petty himself is honored to be featured in the magazine.
"I just think the fact that it's the Smithsonian, and they had all these pieces of history or objects to look at, and they picked our car is what makes it special," said Petty. "That just made us feel pretty good that they include the car and mentioned a little about what we did. You look at everything on that list, it's our history, and it's humbling that they think we're a part of that."
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