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Carrera Dodge Charger 500 #1 - Pete Hamilton
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Carrera 27657 Dodge Charger 500 #1 Pete Hamilton. Available now. £41.95 at Pendle Slot Racing.

It has been tricky to get news about Carrera releases in the UK this year following the handover of distribution from The Hobby Company to Revell UK. However, the Carrera Evolution models still make it into the country and into the hands of customers, mostly thanks to Pendle Slot Racing. The latest arrivals are two 2021 models in the classic stock car range - a Norm Nelson Plymouth Superbird and Pete Hamilton's 1968 Dodge Charger 500.

No offence to Norm Nelson, but I'll look at the Charger 500 - certainly the car that's on my wishlist. I am a big fan of the Carrera stock cars, but I prefer them without all the aerodynamic nonsense.

   

Son of a Massachusetts college dean, Hamilton began his racing career in 1962 at the local short track - Norwood Arena Speedway. He rose rapidly through the junior classes to become the 1967 NASCAR national Sportsman division champion. The following year, he moved up to the Grand National division - the pinnacle of stock car racing...

   

Initially driving Rocky Hinton's mauve #5 Ed Griffin Ford Torino, Hamilton made 16 starts in 1968. The final six were in the #1 King Enterprises Dodge Charger 500, filling in for regular driver Bud Moore. Overall, he scored three top-5s and six top-10s - his best in the Charger was seventh at Charlotte.

   

At the end of the season, Hamilton was crowned NASCAR Rookie of the Year...

   

Hamilton shifted to the new NASCAR Grand American division for 1969, a series for Trans-Am style pony cars. He won twelve of the twenty-six races but also suffered a neck injury that would increasingly trouble him over the following years. Although missing out on the Grand-Am title, Petty Enterprises snapped him up for sixteen Grand National races in 1970. He paid them back with three big wins - the Daytona 500 and the both Talladega races - and twelve top-10 finishes (10 top-5s). An incredible return on his sixteen races - and a Daytona 500 winner to boot...



However, the neck continued to bother him and after driving Cotton Owen's Plymouth in 1971, Hamilton retired in 1973. He really should have been a contender...

   
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