After 10 years in downtown Randleman, North Carolina, the museum that holds memorabilia and personal collections of the most decorated American stock car driver in history is going back home to Level Cross.
The Richard Petty Museum will be located on the site of the original Petty Engineering race shop. The site currently is the home of Petty's Garage and the Petty Family Foundation.
The Museum was founded at the race shop in Level Cross in 1988 by Lynda Petty but moved to Randleman in 2003 to address space demands of the expanding race operation. Randleman, the neighboring city where Richard Petty went to high school, then became the home of museum. With Richard Petty Motorsports now operating in Concord, North Carolina, it was decided to return the museum to its original home.
"It is just time to move the museum back to its original location," said Richard Petty. "We are really grateful for everyone in Randleman for allowing us to move the museum there when our race shop had to grow. We now have the opportunity to move it back to where it all started, and I think everyone agrees that's where it belongs. We want people to come and see the history on the same ground where it all happened. We're going to take the time to make it even better too. It's exciting for our family, and we hope everyone will enjoy it with us."
After it's relocation and renovation, the museum will not only return to its spot in the building first built to house Kyle Petty's race program, but will eventually expand to include the "Reaper Shed;" the original home of Petty Engineering where Lee Petty founded the family dynasty. The museum will also include the Dodge Barn, built in the days of the team's close connection to Dodge and Plymouth.
Fans will also be able to visit the Lee Petty House, birthplace of both The King and his brother Maurice. The new-look museum will feature exhibits honoring the Petty family's four NASCAR Hall of Fame members (Lee, Richard, Maurice and cousin Dale Inman), view "Mr. and Mrs. The King" from the Pixar film "Cars" and enjoy many of the family's contributions to the sport of stock car racing.
Rebecca Moffitt, Executive Director of the Petty Family Foundation, will play a key role in the move of the museum. Moffitt, the daughter of Lynda and Richard Petty, has been preparing for the move for months.
"This has been a project that our family has been working on for the last year," said Moffitt. "We're thankful for the people in Randleman to allow us to host the museum in their downtown, and now, we want to move it back to the original race shop. It will really give fans the most genuine look at the Petty racing history. We're going to work hard with many in the community and state to ensure that when we open in the original location that it's a destiny for all race fans."
Michael LaPaglia of LaPaglia Associates in Durham has been hired to design and construct the new exhibits. Local attorney and historian Mac Whatley of Asheboro has been hired as Executive Director of the Museum to oversee the move and plan the facility's future expansion. The museum will also host special events including an opening gala and other special events to benefit the Petty Family Foundation.
The move is effective immediately, and while the new exhibits will not open until February of 2014, the museum will provide limited tour opportunities at the Level Cross facility during the move and renovation period.