Now that we’re a season in with the “Next Generation” NASCAR chassis and have learned its good and bad parts, the process of improving them, mostly for driver safety, is underway. What about 50 years ago? What was the deal back then? Well, it was totally different. Sure there were rules but everyone build their own cars and interpreted them as they saw fit. The result? A lot of different designs outside of the driver’s cockpit. Yeah, that part was regulated and thankfully so because many guys would not have seen the light of day again after wrecks of the magnitude you’re about to see.
The 1970s represented an interesting time for stock car racing. The machines transitioned from big blocks to small blocks, the tire technology evolved, the manufacturers continued to peddle cars that were more and more capable of cheating the wind, and some of the largest names in the sport’s history became known in the public eye, far beyond the walls of the race track.
This video shows how intense and wild the action was in the 1970s. There was a lot of wreckage to go around and with the size and heft of the cars involved, you’ll see some nasty stuff here. The one thing you’ll also see is virtually every car maintain its cage structure, protecting the driver.
Whether it is low speed flops and high speed flips, this footage from the Swingin’ 70s will definitely feature them all. From Petty to guys you have never heard of, it’s nuts.