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Harris Leather and Silverworks Presents Richard Petty with a One-of-a-Kind 75th Anniversary Buckle

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From left – Richard’s daughter, Sharon, Richard Petty, Eddie Harris, and his daughter, Mary Gwyn Harris.

By Delores Kuhlwein

Petty Family Racing recently featured Harris Leather and Silverworks in their video of Richard Petty being presented with his new 75th anniversary buckle.  The one-of-a-kind buckle was made by silversmith Eddie Harris, who has been making Richard’s buckles and belts since 1979.  This particular piece, they explain, features solid sterling silver, two colors of 14k gold, and ten diamonds, which represent ten championships.

Eddie Harris explains that in the 70’s, when his parents, Mabelene and Ralph Harris, were running the company, his dad was making belts and other items for RJ Reynolds and their Winston Cup Series.  “RJ Reynolds was headquartered here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and they had a big presence in NASCAR, and North Carolina was the birthplace of NASCAR.”

Then when Richard Petty won his record seventh series championship in November 1979, Eddie reveals, they began to create pieces for Petty, which established the longstanding relationship.  He adds, “Richard is great, and his whole family is great; we were acquainted with his son, Kyle, for decades, and we made saddles and riding equipment for Kyle’s daughter, Richard’s granddaughter, when they were in the horse show business.”

Eddie says that over the years, he has had some latitude in buckle design, but typically, Richard has the design figured out and he knows what he wants.  “He has some good folks working on his artwork over the years, and this last one was particularly tremendously well-done design, and you must start off with a good design no matter what.”

When he has met with Richard for each buckle, they sketch a bit, discuss all the details, materials, layers, and the size, and typically, Richard has it figured out. This buckle, however, was to be the highpoint of them all.

“When I sat down with Richard a few months ago on this, he told me he wanted this to be the finest belt buckle I had ever made him, over the top, and indicative of the ten championships he and his father had won since it all started in 1949,” Eddie explains. “He said, ‘This has to be the buckle and the pinnacle of all my buckles,’ so that was the starting point.  I knew I was going to have to pay a lot of attention to the detail and design.”

The handmade, hand engraved masterpiece Eddie created in their shop in North Carolina truly sparkles on Richard Petty, and it can be seen in this Petty Family Racing video:


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