All for the want of a set of decals - Petty's '71 43 Car

When I was a kid I built MPC’s Richard Petty '71 Road Runner. It was one of the NASCAR kits I built and the only one as an adult I remember building.

For old time sake I decided I wanted to build that kit again. So I started looking for a kit of it. I finally found one in a model shop, behind the counter. Great, I open the kit and all of the parts are there …along with a $149 price tag. ? ? ? Why would a simple MPC kit cost that? So I said Oh well until I found out JR Salvos made the upgrade of the same kit. Great!
Well That kit runs $250. Have I stumbled onto the holy grail of model cars? The kit was about $40 originally. Richard Pettys 72 Road Runner is $38.
New plan. This is like going to Home Depot for a part and not finding it. Instead you have to buy 4 items to coble together a fix.
I saw Richard Petty’s 72 Roadrunner and to my eye, the bodies were the same as the 71.

In fact the 72 kit (for $38) is molded in the same color blue.
I bought the '72 figuring I could do a work around. I just needed a decal sheet.
I called the Jr Salvinos company and asked If I could buy a decal sheet. Sorry they were out. Well, when did he think they would make another run of the kits. He said they had no plans to. They make a run of about 2500 and that is it. If they made more, it would devalue the kits the collectors have, I was thinking no brainer just change the box art and run another batch…nope. ( If you sell your kits for about $25 to distributors, why would you care what the collector’s market was doing?)
I found a company that made a decal sheet of that car and spent about $20 on ebay.
They arrived today and what a waste of $20. The registry of the decals was terrible and the white was not opaque.

What do you guys do in a situation like this? No one on this site gives up and we always come up with a solution.
So does anyone have a suggestion or solution, other than a $250 decal sheet?

Just to add insult to injury, here is a site I can get the Jr salvino 71 kit for $29… minus decals.
1971 Road Runner Salvino’s JR Models - Salvino’s JR Models - Dodge - (


The same online store sells the corresponding decal sheet :



It is the '71 I am looking for. The Decals varied year to year and race to race sometimes.

This is the '70 Roadrunner.


I guess this sheet should fit the bill, judging by the picture included in the decal sheet web page, which is the same as the MPC box art in your first post (or maybe I’m missing something here…) :



The textual description:
" #43 STP Plymouth driven by Richard Petty in the 1970-71 season. Sheet includes graphics for several versions of the Petty cars including the 1970 Superbird, 1971 Daytona Winner Road Runner and the Riverside STP Debut car. Also has graphics for the Pete Hamilton 1970 Daytona Winner."


Make a photocopy of the decal sheet. Place the large white decal copies over a piece of white decal sheet. Cut out with X-Acto knife. Apply your cutout first, then the kit decal over that. The white portion is now opaque.
Alternately, cut out the white portion, but use the OUTSIDE of the it as template. Place on model, spary white paint. After curde, apply white decals. These work. I used to have to do it on motorcycle kits.
Of course the third option would be to superimpose one decalset over the other. Those “Southern” and “Plymouth” decals will be impossible to do my way. I was speaking more to the larger ones,


My mistake. That was a twofer decal sheet both 70 and 71. Thanks! I am going to dive on that now!

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I like the ad for Southern of High Point! Used to live there, and a drive south into Archdale (Petty country!) always made me tingle with childhood excitement. Can’t wait to see your tribute to the great man’s car!

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I applaud everyone’s efforts, special thanks to Frenchy, to help me get these decals. I just ordered them.


You’re welcome Greg. Glad I could help.


Reporting back on my decal finds. I will start with actual photos of the restored Petty 71 roadrunner.

Now, here is what I received. The first set which I was not happy with.

The black edges along the 43 shadow are not well done and the white on the decal, is not opaque. You can see through the decals and see the color of the paper backing.

The second set I ordered had a better 43 number, but the “Southern” decal was the wrong text type and came with a blue background that may not match the blue I use.

The last set from Mikes decals were best, however…

The quality of the print is great, it is a set of cartograph decals. Yea… but they printed the 43 shadow in dark blue instead of black…The same blue as on the Pepsi logo. It is not like they saved money by not using an extra color because there is black in other locations on the decal sheet. :slightly_frowning_face:

The shadows around 43 don’t like black to my old eyes

This is where reality and perception collide. I have JR Salvinos Richard Petty’s '72 Roadrunner (same body or they ran a '71 in the '72 season) and the shadow around the 43 is the exact same shade of dark blue as on the '71 decal sheet. However, I do not think the possible blue shadow in this picture is the same shade as the blue on the Pepsi logo…but maybe it is.

This is where it gets really tricky. Photos can’t really be trusted. I found another photo where the shadow looks closer to black.

Have you seen this collection of photos?
Only a few of the Roadrunner though. The shadow around 43 on the hood of another car is a lot lighter …
This is not the car we are looking for …

In the end it comes down to what you can accept as ‘good enough’.
Another alternative is to visit the museum anfd get photos of the numbers
and the Pepsi logo with the same light conditions.

Will the logo and 43 be close to each other?

I think that Robin hit it right on the head, that you just can’t trust photos, especially digital photos as the camera’s sensor, the computer’s graphic card, and monitor all influence what you eventually will see. There’s a good chance that most of us don’t quite see what you’re seeing up close and personal.
It’s basically up to you to decide if it’s close enough to what you want, or maybe go to a custom decal printer and hope that he would be willing to use graphics on that sheet but correct the color of the shadow.


In this photo the wheels look closer to the Pepsi label.
The Pepsi label color is close to the decal number shadow color.

This is the previous years car.

and in the sideview I posted the wheels are not too different from the shadow around 43.

In your comparison above my eyes insist that the Pepsi logo is closer to blue and the rims have a faint tint of purple BUT it could be caused by the shadows inside the rim.
In the photo I posted the rims look like, to my eyes at least, Humbrols Midnight Blue (#15) but the shade tends to shift with the light.

I would call it close enough and carry on.