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Famed ‘˜Black Mamba’ goes from Pike shop to Barrett-Jackson auction

A 1957 Chevy Bel-Air with an unbeatable track record was completely restored in Pike County and will be featured Saturday, Jan. 30 in one of the most upscale car auctions in the world – at Barrett-Jackson. The Bel-Air, also known as the ‘˜Black Mamba,’ was restored from the bottom up by Marty Perkins of Perkins Towing and Recovery in Concord over several months from May 2015 to January. The car will be lot number 1308 at the Scottsdale, Ariz., auction during the last week in January. The classy one-of-a-kind, which is currently owned by David Crawford of Crawford Classic Cars LLC, has an illustrious racing history, holds many unmatched records and is billed as ‘the fastest 57 Bel-Air stock production car ever made.’ ’This car has quite a unique NHRA history and we presented it as it would have looked at the end of its career,’ said Crawford. ‘Marty Perkins spent about a year working on it and did everything from sandblasting to tuning the engine. It had been sitting in a barn in Wisconsin when I bought it and we got it with no engine or transmission. Now it has a 700 hp engine.’ The 1957 fuel-injected Bel-Air Sports Coupe was purchased from Calliau Chevrolet in California by blue collar truck driver Bruce Morgan, who drove it at drag strips on weekends and off days. In 1961, his talent paid off after teaming with Don ‘Dyno’ Nicholson. The car became the first and only ’57 Bel-Air to win the NHRA Winternationals and World Championship in the same year. The Morgan ’57 also won an NHRA World Championship without a sponsor – completely unheard of in today’s racing world. It was a top stock eliminator at an NHRA event and was undefeated in all NHRA events in 1961. For all his wins, Morgan was presented with a 1962 Pontiac and he hooked it up to the back of the Black Mamba and hauled it home to California. Later that year, he sold the ’57 Chevy and it returned to the NHRA drag racing circuit, having more than 12 owners and being part of more than 800 races in its 50 year career. Watch the Barrett-Jackson auction live on the Discovery channel and Velocity channel. To find out more about the one-of-a-kind car, go to http://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1957-CHEVROLET-BEL-AIR-RACE-CAR-189750″>barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1957-CHEVROLET-BEL-AIR-RACE-CAR-189750

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