Former NASCAR Driver Morgan Shepherd Purchased His First Car for $12.50, 3 Squirrels, and a Shotgun

Morgan Shepherd’s life has always revolved around motorsports. He owns one of the longest and most consistent racing careers in the history of NASCAR, and he still spends his days around the track serving as a team owner in his old age.

When Shepherd was first getting into the sport as a child, he purchased his first car before he could even legally drive it on the road. The price? $12.50, three squirrels, and a 20-gauge shotgun.

Morgan Shepherd’s NASCAR career

Former NASCAR driver Morgan Shepherd | ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images

Morgan Shepherd knew he wanted to be a race car driver from the moment he learned how to drive. He started to show real promise as an up-and-comer in the late 1960s. While racing in a Hobby division at Hickory Motor Speedway in 1968, Shepherd won 21 of the 29 races he entered that season.

Two years later, Shepherd made his NASCAR debut in the Winston Cup Series. He was able to compete in just three races as a rookie in 1970 and didn’t make it back to the Cup Series for seven more years. In 1981, Shepherd finally became a full-time driver in NASCAR driving the No. 5 Pontiac for Cliff Stewart, and he took advantage of the opportunity right away. He won his first career Cup Series race early in the season at Martinsville and finished the season ranked 13th in the final standings.

Shepherd didn’t earn his next win until his age-44 season in 1986. Another four years later, he had a career year with 16 top-10 finishes, seven top-fives, and another win. Shepherd finished the 1990 season a career-best fifth in the final Cup Series standings.

The talented driver continued to compete annually in the Cup Series until 2006, but he never lost his need for speed. In 2012, Shepherd returned to NASCAR and became the oldest driver to ever suit up for a Cup Series race at 71 years of age. He finished just 41st at the Camping World RV Sales 301, but he made history along the way.

Shepherd competed in the Cup Series for 32 years in total, and he finished his NASCAR career with four wins.

Shepherd purchased his first car for $12.50, three squirrels, and a shotgun

Most of Morgan Shepherd’s legacy in NASCAR comes from his older years competing in the Cup Series, but his love of racing began when he was just a child. In 1954, Shepherd lost his father, and he was left to fund his racing career all by himself. A few months after his father’s death, Shepherd purchased his first car, a 1937 Chevy, with the most bizarre list of items imaginable.

In 2005, Shepherd told the Greensboro News and Record that he paid for the car with “12 dollars and a half, two flying squirrels, a grey squirrel and a 20-gauge shotgun.”

What a bargain!

Morgan Shepherd is still involved with NASCAR today


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Shepherd is now 79 years old, but he doesn’t plan on walking away from NASCAR any time soon. He continued racing all the way through 2019, and he still serves as the co-owner of Shepherd Racing Ventures. Shepherd failed to compete in any of NASCAR’s three top series in 2020 for the first time in 52 years.

Last year, he was also diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, but if you think that will stop him from being around the track going forward, think again.

All stats courtesy of Racing Reference