Smithsonian picks No. 43 car as American icon

November 10, 2013, Staff report,

Institution's magazine honors Richard Petty's ride as one of 101 Objects That Made America

What do Richard Petty's No. 43 car, the Bald Eagle, the Space Shuttle, the Model T, Barbie and Plymouth Rock have in common?

"Smithsonian" includes these icons in a November magazine feature entitled "101 Objects That Made America." After sourcing over 137 million artifacts held by 19 different museums, "The King's" Pontiac Grand Prix that earned his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at the Daytona International Speedway in July of 1984 also earned a spot on the magazine's list. 

In a piece entitled "Why No One Will Ever Replace Richard Petty as the King of NASCAR," Jeff MacGregor writes the "genius of this car lies not in what it is, but in what it did." He calls Petty a "throwback" with his signature jean and cowboy look as he explained Petty's place in the history of stock car racing.
"I just think the fact that it's the Smithsonian, and they had all these pieces of history or objects to look at, and they picked our car is what makes it special," said Petty. "That just made us feel pretty good that they include the car and mentioned a little about what we did. You look at everything on that list, it's our history, and it's humbling that they think we're a part of that."
Click here for the article on Petty and the complete list.