NASCAR Vehicle Evolution: Then and Now
NASCAR racing has come a long way in the half-century since it was founded. What were once stock cars, which meant that they were slightly modified consumer vehicles produced on an assembly line, have become the hand-built, precision NASCAR vehicles we see today. Let’s take a look at how the body, engine and safety features have changed from NASCAR’s founding in 1948 to today.
The body and frame in 1948: When stock car racing started to become popular, the cars had so many original parts they often served as the driver’s main source of transportation. These were not specialized vehicles; the car body and frame were both made from the same steel as other vehicles on the road at the time.
The body and frame in 2013: Modern NASCAR vehicle frames are made up of a series of circular and square tubes of different gauges. The thicker tubes that surround the cockpit are referred to as the “roll cage.” The body is hand-made from thin steel to NASCAR tem...