When we think of mid-70’s Mercurys, performance is not a word that usually comes to mind. The 1960’s were the highpoint for performance Merc’s, and anything after that was pretty much a bloated pseudo-luxury barge. Yet miracles do happen, and in 1976 David Pearson, piloted the Wood Brothers ’76 Montego to victory over Richard “The King” Perry.

Classic Gateway Mustang built this tribute Montego and donated it to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation reports Hemmings Auto Blog, which is auctioning off the car at January’s Barrett-Jackson auction.

The 1976 Daytona 500 is considered to this day one of the best finishes in the history of the sport. On the last lap of the race, Richard “The King” Petty was leading (as usual) when David Pearson in the #21 Wood Brothers Mercury passed him on the back stretch. When Petty went to turn under Pearson and cut him off, the cars made contact and spun out not far from the finish line. Petty’s car didn’t start, but Pearson’s stayed running and he managed to limp over the finish line. Pretty epic stuff.

Under the hood of this replica legend is a 521 cubic-inch Ford engine with aluminum Super Cobra Jet heads, 10:1 compression, a mechanical-roller camshaft, 609 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque. The car has been completely rebuilt and painted in the original Wood Brothers colors. The proceeds of the auction will go towards the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, which was founded in 2002 after drag racer Darrell Gwynn was paralyzed during a race. The foundation helps promote awareness of paralysis and operates a Wheelchair Donation Program. Great car going towards a great cause.