The first time I ever saw the Wood Brothers’ Ford, I don’t remember it. In my defense, I was only seven years old. Most of what I remember is that Ned Jarrett won the race, and the two most beautiful automobiles I ever saw were driven that day by Fred Lorenzen and Richard Petty.
I just looked up the box score of the Volunteer 500, run on July 25, 1965, at Bristol International (now Motor) Speedway. (It also spent some time as a Raceway.) Eight laps into that race, Marvin Panch, in the No. 21 Ford, and David Pearson, in the No. 6 Dodge, crashed. They placed 35th and 36th, respectively. In the first NASCAR race I ever saw, the driver who would become my hero crashed into the car in which he would earn his greatest fame.
My late father would have said (and, most likely, did), “If that ain’t a Dutton deal, I don’t know what is.”