HomeCar CultureLifestyleRare car search leads man to No. 7 Richard Petty Mustang GT,...

Rare car search leads man to No. 7 Richard Petty Mustang GT, more


Editor’s note: This piece is part of the ClassicCars.com Journal’s Muscle Month. We’ll be featuring stories, cars and people during July about everything and anything that goes fast.

In the winter of 2017, I had begun looking for a car that was different from others that would increase in value. I began searching on the internet and found several possibilities, but did not want something produced in the thousands. I thought, for a time, about a Dodge Demon but they were nearly impossible to get at any dealership.

As I continued my search, I came across the Mustang GT350R. Only a few hundred were produced for certain model years and it offered 526 horsepower.

But then I came across the 2017 Richard Petty 80th Tribute Edition Mustang GT, capable of 825 horsepower on pump gas. I found there was a limited run of just 43 of these cars. The No. 1 car is in a museum and the No. 43 was given to Petty for his 80th birthday.

After speaking with a few dealerships across the country, I found the No. 7 in Brandon, Mississippi. I didn’t pursue the No. 2 car because it wasn’t the first and the others — save for No. 7 — really had no meaning for a collection. I decided  to chase No. 7 because of Petty’s seven Daytona wins and seven NASCAR championships.

I went to the dealership to pickup the car in Mississippi and brought back in an enclosed trailer. A couple trailer tires later, we were back to Wisconsin. I kept in touch with some of the dealer’s employees that blossomed into a great — and fruitful — relationship.

In May, I received a call from a salesman letting me know Petty was going to sell car No. 43 and said that I had first crack at it. It didn’t take long. We negotiated a price and the deal was finished.

I believe No. 7 car was the only one of these cars that had the radiator plate signed by Petty, so I asked if I could go watch and photograph him signing the radiator plate on the No. 43 car.

Meeting and spending time with him on the Monday after the Pocono race was an honor. He was very genuine and has such a great sense of humor. 

I also had a plaque made with the basic history of the car, the VIN, a photo of Petty signing the radiator plate and proof that he once owned the car. I also have Petty’s signed title, a certificate of authenticity, the build sheet with all specifications and a thank you card signed personally by Petty.

To sweeten the deal, while I was in North Carolina, Petty’s Garage worked out a deal with me on a car hauler wrapped in its logo. That trailer was also signed by Petty.

I plan on taking No. 43 to some nice car shows.

Scott Roshak from Greenville, Wisconsin


  1. Growing up in the late ’60’s/ early ’70’s, my lil brother and I watched REAL NASCAR. At the time, I was a fan of David Pearson (ye olde Silver Fox); my lil bro was, and always has been, bleeding Petty Blue; partly because I liked Ford stuff and he was a Mopar guy from birth, and partly because I liked the machine-like way Pearson moved up through the pack, where bro liked Petty’s "in it to win it" style.
    I would sell my soul to see NASCAR the way it was intended to be- "win on Sunday, sell on Monday", with cars that looked like something one could actually buy; oh, and let’s just ditch the "pack mentality" and let ’em run what they got.
    But Mustang, as a Ford, is worthy of the King- did he not defy Chrysler and run a fastback aero Torino?
    I wish I could meet him and tell him of all the joy that he and his opponents gave the sons of a single mother without much money.
    Among American icons, Richard Petty stands polite, self-effacing, and undeniably a fantastic role model.

  2. I met Richard Petty a couple times, at my Father-in-laws house, wehere he would come and visit from time to time in Archdale NC . He is a nice guy, he acts like a regular guy, and has a fun sense of humor. I havent seen him in several years, but he is a super nice guy to talk with ! Im from High Point about 20 miles or so from Randleman

  3. I had the chance of a lifetime to meet Richard Petty back in the fall of 1992 after he had retired from driving. He was doing a meet & greet at a local Pontiac dealer where I lived at the time. I found him to be the same man in person as he is on television interviews; warm, friendly, and very down to earth. You really get a sense that the fame and the glory never went to his head as it has with so many other celebrities/professional athletes. In his heart, Petty is still a southern gentleman!
    And I still have the autographed poster of all of his Pontiacs that I received that day too, among other various Petty memorabilia that I have in my collection.

  4. I own number 3 of 43 in this 80th tribute mustang. I would love to meet Richard Petty as well and would love a story behind these indeed rare cars !

  5. Hi. Hope all is well for everyone out there. I own 4 of 43 and surprisingly found this article as I’ve been researching my car to find out how much it might be worth. Its great to see you guys enjoying your cars and having the opportunity to meet Richard. I’ve definitely been watching too much nascar lately and after 20 minutes of watching these cars driving in circles, I usually feel inclined to jump in my car to exercise it a bit. Love everything about it. Great to see you guys enjoying yours.


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