HomeThe MarketSimeone museum will exercise NASCAR race cars

Simeone museum will exercise NASCAR race cars


'Mystery Motor' '63 Chevrolet | RK Motors Charlotte photo
‘Mystery Motor’ ’63 Chevrolet | Michael Furman photo for Simeone Museum

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum not only displays some of the world’s most amazing vehicles, but from time to time takes them outside so they can demonstrate their aural and dynamic capabilities.

The next such demonstration day is October 11, when NASCAR Racing Legends will be exercised between noon and 2 p.m.

The star car figures to be the famed “Mystery Motor” 1963 Chevrolet Impala SS that Junior Johnson drove to a speed record at Daytona and to seven victories that season wearing the No. 3 and Holly Farms sponsorship colors.

Chevrolet withdrew from official factory participation in motorsports for the 1963 season, but not before delivering some of its newly developed “Mystery Motor” engines to several NASCAR teams. The engines (RPO Z33 Mk II 427) featured cylinder heads with valves canted in two planes. The engines were so strong they were banned for the 1964 season. The No. 3 went from the race track to storage in a barn.

1938 Ford replica racer | Michael Furman photo for Simeone Museum
1938 Ford replica racer | Michael Furman photo for Simeone Museum

It reportedly has undergone no modifications since, except for a replacement alternator and a new carburetor, needed after the original Holley carb was stolen.

The car is owned by RK Motors Charlotte and is on a brief loan to the Simeone. NASCAR Racing Legends Day is the only time will be “exercised” while in Philadelphia.

Joining the No. 3 car in demonstration runs will be a 1986 Buick Regal raced by Larry Pearson with Chattanooga Chew sponsorship, a replica of the 1938 Ford raced by Louis Smith, a 1953 Hudson Hornet that competed successfully in hill climbs and became known as the “Satan of Morimar,” and a 1970 Plymouth Superbird.

For additional information, visit the museum’s events webpage.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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