Behind the Wheel: Petty’s Garage

Behind the Wheel: Petty's Garage

Any true motorsports fan knows the name Petty, especially Richard Petty. This racing phenome has turned a few heads in his day and while his name is synonymous with NASCAR, Petty is also becoming a legend in automotive performance.

After the founding of Petty’s Garage in 2008, Richard Petty has quickly become the “The King” of high-performance vehicles. RacingJunk went Behind The Wheel with the experts of this speed shop to find out how a new era of Petty has automotive enthusiasts seeing their dreams come true.

Headquartered in the birthplace of NASCAR’s King, Petty’s Garage occupies the former home of Richard Petty Motorsports. Although this facility was once home to NASCAR Cup Series stock cars, it now restores and gives power to some of the most legendary automotive machines hitting the roads today. As this automotive performance shop’s saying goes, “If You Can Dream It – We Can Build It;” taking a walk around this garage would make any auto enthusiast’s heart skip a beat.

If they dream it, we can build it! This high-performance Dodge Challenger Hellcat is being built for a customer who hasn’t even seen his new car yet, but had an idea in mind that Petty’s Garage is now bringing to life.
If they dream it, we can build it! This high-performance Dodge Challenger Hellcat is being built for a customer who hasn’t even seen his new car yet, but had an idea in mind that Petty’s Garage is now bringing to life.

Whether this flutter be due to witnessing the custom build of a street legal 2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat currently being rebuilt with a 426 Supercharged Hemi engine, capable of over 1,000 horsepower, or the restoration of a 1970 Plymouth Superbird, which Richard Petty made famous during the 1970 NASCAR Grand National Series season, it is clear to see that Petty’s Garage is a car lover’s heaven on earth.

Petty’s Garage is even restoring the classic cars that Richard Petty made famous during his early days of racing.
Petty’s Garage is even restoring the classic cars that Richard Petty made famous during his early days of racing.

How Did This All Begin?

Anyone who knows anything about the Petty racing family is aware of their love for building anything that will go fast. Starting with NASCAR pioneer Lee Petty, who spent endless nights in his garage souping up hot rods, son Richard Petty didn’t let his retirement from racing stop him from continuing this family’s legacy for producing vehicles that turn heads and keep people talking.

“Richard’s passion is all racing and automotive,” said Aftermarket and Restoration Brand Manager Will Cheek. “Petty’s Garage actually began with the restoration of some of his old race cars as well as his classic cars. Before long a few of his friends were asking Richard how they can have their cars restored or supercharged and the business grew from there.”

Behind the Wheel: Petty's Garage
Lee Petty’s garage still stands on the Petty’s Garage property today.

As the business began to grow, Petty tapped a few additional car buffs as well as past racing crew members to build Petty’s Garage. To grow his successful business, Petty knew that he would need those who had the talent to build and restore the unique vehicles that come into his shop, as well as someone who had both the knowledge and passion to grow the Petty automotive brand. This is exactly why Richard aligned himself with current Petty’s Garage CEO Russ Stellfox.

“Much like Richard, along with my experience on the automotive side of the business, I am a passionate car collector,” said Stellfox. “During my 16 years with Purolator, I spent a lot of time working around the motorsports business and had the opportunity to get to know Richard during this time. Our similar passion for cars quickly resulted in a bond that eventually led me to assist my friend and confidant in growing this amazing brand.”

Goodbye Shelby – Hello Petty

Along with restorations and custom builds, Petty’s Garage is also making its mark in the OEM market. Much like the alignment between Carroll Shelby and Ford Motor Company, Petty’s Garage has aligned itself with the automaker to build a line of Ford Mustang GTs.

Recently featured at the SEMA auto show, the cars in this line of high horsepower Mustangs are available in four models each which feature a custom paint job, including an opportunity to have the famous No. 43 ghosted onto the hood or the C-pillar, a Petty’s Garage Magnaflow Center Exhaust Kit, Petty’s Garage Rear Fascia with Center Exhaust (Personally Designed by Richard Petty), Petty’s Garage hand designed spoiler and loads of additional features hand-designed and autographed by the King himself.

Behind the Wheel: Petty's Garage
Petty’s Garage introduced their customized Ford Mustang GT at SEMA.

“This is what makes each of the cars so special – Richard is involved from the ground up,” said Sales Manager Matt Crump. “Richard assists in the design of many of the parts and not one of these cars is released before he has an opportunity to inspect and approve.”

These hatchback and convertible Ford Mustangs can only be purchased at your local Ford Dealer and have already caught the attention of well-known rocker and car collector Brian Johnson.

“This Mustang has just taken my breath away,” Johnson said. “It really is one of the best cars I’ve ever driven. I didn’t have an American car, but I do now!”

Along with powerful Petty Mustang models, Ford is once again teaming up with Petty’s Garage to produce the company’s all-new 2017 Ford F-150 models. Adding a component to its new off-road division, Petty’s Garage’s new Ford F-150 model will be available with either a supercharged or non-supercharged engine as well as Fox Shocks, Petty’s Garage grill and many other available customizations.

Behind the Wheel: Petty's Garage
The Petty’s Garage Official F-150 will be available at Ford dealerships across the U.S. in 2017.

“Another nice component about this program is that we will be giving the interested Ford customer the opportunity to select the platform that their truck will be designed on and we will add the Petty’s Garage package from there,” said Crump.

Here We Grow Again…

As if designing some of the coolest vehicles on the road today isn’t enough, Petty’s Garage will be once again expanding in 2017. While this will be the newest edition of the business, this enhancement will actually be a step into the past.

“In 2017, we will begin the production of Petty’s Garage new classic car division,” said Stellfox. “This will be part of a $2.5 million expansion that will include the hire of 17 additional members to our ever-growing staff, including technicians, marketing, sales and management positions.”

Construction on Petty’s Garage’s newest 10,000 square foot edition is slated for the first quarter of 2017, with the plan to complete this new edition by the end of the year.

“There really aren’t many full service classic car dealerships in the state of North Carolina and we are hoping to fill this gap,” said Stellfox. “The funny thing is that this state is number three in the country for registration of antique classic cars and hot rod vehicles – so there is a natural tie-in for this new edition.”

Along with the purchase of a classic car, Petty’s Garage will also offer the opportunity to modify or service this vehicle so that each customer can drive the car they have always wanted to despite the age.

We will continue to follow the progress of this latest expansion and will be sure to be on-site for the grand opening of the newest classic car dealership. To find out more about Petty’s Garage, visit Pettys-Garage.com.

About Ellen Richardson 166 Articles
Ellen Richardson is the author of Behind The Wheel for RacingJunk.com. This automotive sports junkie has a passion for telling an athlete's story while also covering various racing activities. Find out more about her at ellennrichardson.wordpress.com or follow Ellen on Twitter at @ellennrich or Instagram at elnrich33.
  • Jerry Parham

    Good article. I look forward to more.

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