Petty’s 1988 Daytona wreck sold as prelude to upcoming auction of NASCAR Hall of Famer Cotton Owens estate


There was no price or winner announced after it was sold Saturday, but a valuable piece of NASCAR history was auctioned off Saturday in Greer, South Carolina.

The remnants of the 1988 Pontiac Grand Prix that Richard Petty crashed, flipped and spun (video below) in the 1988 Daytona 500 – ultimately walking away from the wreckage of one of the most spectacular crashes in NASCAR history – was sold by Wham Auctions.

The car is still in its original crashed shape. And even though it’s been 26 years since Petty’s fateful wreck, it was a prized collector’s item. Or as the Wham web site put it, a “Once in a lifetime event.”

The car came from the estate of NASCAR Hall of Famer Cotton Owens, who passed away a little over two years ago. Saturday’s auction was somewhat of a prelude to an auction of Owens’ memorabilia, tools and equipment that will be sold Dec. 6 at his home, located at 7065 White Avenue, Spartanburg, S.C.

Among items on the auction block include a 1964 Grand National-winning race car, complete with its original Hemi motor, as well as Owens’ home, garage and all of its contents.

“I have two children, and my sister has two children, and it would be very difficult to divide everything up into four parts for them to inherit,” Cotton Owens’ son, Don, told Michael Burns of the Greenville (S.C.) News. “The property taxes and the fact that when things sit around for a long period of time things tend to happen to them – it’s not something that we wanted to do, but we’re kind of forced into having to do it.”

Auctioneer Patsy Robinson is looking forward to a big turnout, especially of longtime fans of NASCAR and Owens.

“It’s just phenomenal,” Robertson said of the scope of the Owens estate. “It should be a fun auction.”

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