Once upon a time, there wasn’t anything with much less value than last year’s race car. After a season of fender-banging on-track competition, a car was pretty much used up. 

In Richard Petty’s case, the car he’d driven all season likely had won a bunch of races and could be sold to a team that didn’t have the car-building resources he and his cousin, Dale Inman, had put together.

“The deal was that you hoped to get enough out of last year’s car to buy your next year’s car,” Petty said of an era in which stock cars actually started out as truly stock cars that had come off the assembly line rather than being custom built in a race shop.