NASCAR: National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Some may not realize there was a time when NASCAR race cars were, in fact, stock. As in, based entirely on production cars you could buy in a showroom. This lasted until the early ’60s when the chassis began to morph away from production components, but in the ’50s, the stuff was pure OE. That meant underpowered, overweight, and with heavy steering, questionable brakes, and minimal safety gear. These drivers had guts. Also, unlike today, regular guys were able to participate in big Grand National races. In the 1955 Southern 500 at Darlington, independent racer Arden Mounts was in a ’54 Hudson when he broadsided Don Duckworth (in his first and only Grand National race), who had crashed and stalled his ’55 Chevy. Both men lived, credited with wearing seat belts. The Southern 500 marked the first win for the then-new small-block Chevy V-8.
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