The First Smokey Yunick Chevelle

William CorleyCorrespondent ISeptember 30, 2009


First, please let me say that the picture shown in this article is NOT the first of the two 1967 Chevelle's built by the Legendary Smokey Yunick. It is the second car and it's story will be told later.

In 1967 Ford and Chrysler were back full time in Nascar. At the opening race, the 1967 Daytona 500, Curtis Turner broke the 180 MPH mark for the first time ever and qualified Smokey's Chevelle on the pole!

All the usual bickering started about Smokey and his unique race car. Bill Gazeway was Nascar's Competition Director and he knew Smokey and his car were suspect. The car actually had a 1966 Chevelle front end on it because Yunick thought the aerodynamics were better than the 1967 model.

Because of all the publicity about the 180 MPH speed mark being broken, Big Bill told Gazeway to leave Smokey alone and let the car race.

In the last 100 laps of the race, Turner had engine problems and the race ended for the Black and Gold #13 Chevelle.

Smokey entered the car at the 1967 Atlanta 500 at A.I.R and it went out and also won the pole.

I was on pit road that day and for what ever reason, Turner brought the #13 back on the track in the late afternoon.

Coming off of turn number four, the backend suddenly broke loose and Curtis barrel rolled the car at least six times down the front stretch.

After Turner was helped from the demolished race car, he wandered over to Smokey who was "SMOKING". Smokey told Curtis that he would NEVER drive one of his race car's again, because he didn't want to be responsible for his death.

Well, like all of Smokey's other wrecked race car's, he had it crushed into a square and set it outside his famous "BEST DAMN GARAGE IN TOWN" in Daytona Beach, FL.

I visited Smokey's site and although I couldn't get inside the chain link fence, I saw the crushed squares of black and chrome that lined his shop.

Stay tuned for the story of the second #13, the 7/8 scaled Smokey Chevelle.

Bill Corley