I grew up an hour from a NASCAR racetrack, but I never managed to see a race. Ironically, I ended up owning the pace car from that track, but the planets simply didn’t align for me to attend a Dover Downs event. In fact, I never attended a NASCAR race until last year, 3,000 miles away in Arizona. Nonetheless, old NASCAR footage can be spellbinding — check out this video on the 1970 Darlington Southern 500.
For the geographically challenged, Darlington is located in South Carolina, about an hour away from the capital of Columbia. Darlington Raceway will be celebrating its 74th anniversary later this year. The Southern 500 has been a tradition at this track since the beginning.
This Southern 500 video from 1970 features vivid color and what’s arguably the most romantic period of NASCAR: the “Aero Wars” featuring the Dodge Charger Daytona and Plymouth Road Runner Superbird versus the Ford Torino Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II. Where’s cars from General Motors? Still under a racing ban instituted in 1963.
Buddy Baker, who is from nearby Florence, won this event in a Charger Daytona. In fact, five of the top six finishers were driving one of Chrysler’s wing cars. And the pace car at the track? A 1970 Ford Torino GT similar to this one.