In addition to touring and recording, Marty Robbins was an avid race car driver, competing in 35 career NASCAR races with six top-10 finishes. Robbins was partial to Dodges, and owned and raced Chargers and then a 1978 Dodge Magnum. Most of his cars were built and maintained by Cotton Owens. Over the years, he ran a few makes and models (Dodges or Fords) before buying a 1972 bodied Dodge Charger race car from Owens. Robbins had 6 top-ten finishes as well as a few major wrecks during the ’70s and had Owens rebuild the car and update the sheet metal to the ’73-’74 Charger spec, and then finally 1978 Dodge Magnum sheet metal, which he raced till the end of 1980. Robbins typically ran cars bearing either number 42, number 22, and number 777. His last race was in a Junior Johnson-built 1982 Buick Regal in the Atlanta Journal 500 on November 7, 1982, the month before he died.
The Velocity Channel show “Americarna” hosted by former NASCAR driver/mechanic Ray Everham will feature the restoration of one of Marty’s old race cars, a 1964 Plymouth Belvedere, and its presentation in Nashville to Marty’s son, Ronny Robbins. He remembers working on the car as a teenager in the 1960s. “It was the first one that we built in-house. It was built in our shop on the family farm,” Ronny tells Country Weekly.
The car was a modified racer with a 1964 Plymouth body and Dodge engine and a 1958 Chevy frame. A couple of years ago, Evernham acquired what was basically left of the car and restored it at his shop in Mooresville, NC. Ray went to great pains to restore it authentically, finding parts in New Jersey and Iowa that would match the originals. Watch as Ken Binkley, the artist who did the orginal lettering on the car applies the 777 to the Plymouth. watch here