RK Motors Charlotte, one of the nation’s premier restorers, re-sellers and builders of classic, muscle and high-performance cars, has added “Junior” Johnson’s 1963 Chevrolet Holly Farms Impala No. 3 NASCAR to its private collection in a partnership with the Johnson family. The only Impala Super Sport ever raced in NASCAR, Johnson captured an impressive seven Grand National Events and nine poles in it.
“We’re honored to partner with Junior, his family and friends to celebrate his incredible legacy,” said Joe Carroll, RK Motors Charlotte president and CEO. “We want to preserve Junior’s racing accomplishments, including his incredible Impala 427 that was far ahead of its time. New generations of enthusiasts will appreciate NASCAR’s origin when they see this incredible Impala in our collection.”
Called “The Last American Hero” by famed author Tom Wolfe in the March 1965 issue of Esquire Magazine, Johnson is one of the early superstars of NASCAR from the 1950s and 1960s. As a driver, he won 50 races before retiring in 1966. Returning as a team owner in the 1970s and ‘80s, he fielded champions like Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip.
“This Impala has been Junior’s pride and joy for 50 years,” mentioned Lisa Johnson, wife of the famed driver. “I hope Rob [Kauffman] and the RK Motors Charlotte team will enjoy showing off and talking about the Impala as much as Junior does. It’s nice to meet a team of enthusiasts who will cherish it for many years to come.”
One of the most famous cars in racing history, the Impala featured a RPO Z33 Mk II 427 “Mystery Motor” that Johnson debuted at the 1963 Daytona 500. That weekend, he drove it to the fastest qualifying lap at 165.183 mph, which set a Daytona speed record that year. The race-winning, record-setting Impala that helped cement Johnson’s legend is now featured in the RK Motors Charlotte private collection.
“The Impala Super Sport was the first of its kind on the track and is considered by many as the ‘Holy Grail’ of vintage NASCAR competitors,” noted Carroll. “The experimental Mk II 427 was banned from competition because Chevrolet had instead begun to develop the Mk IV 427, which eventually went into production. Less than 50 Mk II 427s were built and a few still exit today. We believe that this is the only Mk II 427 motor that won a NASCAR Grand National event.”
Generating up to 650 horsepower on its monstrous V-8 engine, the Chevy engine gave Johnson and his team a great advantage over competitors. A state-of-the-art engine in its day, the Impala featured a new design cylinder head called the “Porcupine” and a four-bolt main short-block.
“This Impala is the NASCAR ‘Statue of Liberty’ and a true piece of motorsports history that Junior has owned since 1963,” explained Keith Barnwell, executive vice president and general manager of Junior Johnson Enterprises. “After speaking with Rob and Joe, we knew the Impala would find a good home in RK Motors Charlotte’s collection. Few people love motorsports, NASCAR and racing as much as Rob Kauffman and the RK Motors Charlotte team do. We’re fortunate to team up with them to preserve this Impala for NASCAR enthusiasts to enjoy for years to come.”
RK Motors Charlotte will display the legendary ‘63 Impala at its booth this weekend, during the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va. Enthusiasts will be able to see the vintage Impala for the first time since arriving in the collection. It will also be on permanent display in the RK Motors Charlotte showroom.
RK Motors Charlotte will also assist the Johnson family with the marketing and sale of three significant cars from the Johnson collection, including the 1980 Oldsmobile #11 Cale Yarborough Busch Beer NASCAR, the 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo #11 Terry LaBonte Budweiser NASCAR and the 1978/1979 Oldsmobile #11 Cale Yarborough Busch Beer NASCAR.
For more information about the RK Motors Charlotte Private Collection or to view vehicles available in the company’s inventory, visit www.rkmotorscharlotte.com or call (704) 596-5211.