What do you think of our list of top 5 Strangest NASCAR cars?
Earlier NASCAR sets of rules provided a greater variety of cars that raced the ovals, and some of them were quite exotic, unexpected and even impossible to imagine on NASCAR autodromes. This is our short list of the most interesting, strange and crazy speedway race machines driven throughout the history of NASCAR.
5. 1981-1983 Imperial
Looking at other cars on the list, the sixth generation Imperial seems kind of regular, but bear in mind that it was a full-size personal luxury coupé advertised by none other than Frank Sinatra himself. However, it was more aerodynamic than the contemporary Corvette and then-used Dodge Miradas, so several drivers used its bodies in the early eighties. Buddy Arrington managed to finish sixth in 1982 at Brooklyn, Michigan. Also, Buddy’s Imperials were the last Chrysler products to run in NASCAR Winston Cup Series.
4. Jaguar XK120
This coveted sports car was an extremely successful competitor in many famous races including 24 Hours of Le Mans and Mille Miglia, but one XK120 FHC was also the first non-American car to win a sanctioned NASCAR event, held at Linden Airport, New Jersey in 1954. The car was was owned by Paul Whiteman, a jazz composer and a big band leader, and was driven by Al Keller. Keller was later involved in the 1955 Indy 500 crash that killed Bill Vukovich and he died as a result of injuries sustained at Arizona State Fairgrounds track during a Champ Car event.
3. VW Beetle
Yes, a real Herbie The Love Bug actually did NASCAR! Starting in 32nd and finishing in 19th place, one Volkswagen Beetle driven by Dick Hagey entered a 1953 NASCAR Cup Series race in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.
2. Citroën ID-19
Though underpowered with just 70 BHP, this French limousine was extremely aerodynamic compared to its contemporaries, which helped two of the cars to finish 18th and 19th overall and 1st and 2nd in their class at the 1958 Crown America 500 at Riverside Raceway in California. The cars were driven by Bill Jones and Ralph Roberts.
1. Tucker 48
The most exotic car on the list, the Tucker 48 was made in just about 50 samples and was one of the most advanced cars of the era. One of them started in 1950 Poor Man’s 500 with Joe Merola behind the wheel, finishing 29th. Thought to be a #1023, the Tucker was reportedly destroyed in a fire in the late seventies. However, in March 2012, Hemmings Magazine published a story revealing the car to be #1004. Without anyone knowing about the car’s NASCAR origins, the #1004 Tucker was even briefly exhibited at Richard Petty’s North Carolina museum. This Tucker 48 now resides at the Toyota Museum in Nagakutecho, Japan.