For the first time, an original Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet Monte Carlo stock car from NASCAR team owner Richard Childress’ personal collection is headed for auction. The sale, held by Barrett-Jackson launches Friday May 8th and ends Saturday May 16th, with proceeds going to COVID-19 relief efforts.
“I’ve never parted with an Earnhardt Chevrolet from my collection, but with a global pandemic taking place and people in our communities suffering, it’s time to do what I can to help,” said Childress. The North Carolina-based businessman will use the entire sale price to support local and national first-responders and front-line workers, as well as the non-profit food bank organization Feeding America.
Childress owns 44 Earnhardt cars. “I’ve grown my personal collection of memorabilia throughout my career in NASCAR and have especially enjoyed the Dale Earnhardt cars in my collection because they each have such a unique history that bring back priceless memories of my years winning and racing with Dale.” Earnhardt drove for Childress from 1984 until his fatal crash in 2001, amassing 67 of his 76 career Cup wins and six of his seven Cup championships.
The Monte Carlo, designated “Chassis 22,” has a Cup Series win and two other top-fives to its name. The tube-frame stock car, replete with a 358-cubic-inch V-8 and a four-speed manual, was built for short and intermediate oval-track competition, campaigning at circuits like Bristol, Dover, and Darlington from 1996–1999. The car’s win came at Rockingham Speedway in 1996—during the closing laps of a 400-mile race, in classic “Intimidator” fashion, Earnhardt used his front bumper to root Bobby Hamilton out of the groove. The moment only added to the Earnhardt lore, and now some lucky bidder with a big heart can own a piece of it.
How much will the special NASCAR stock car set you back? “Since it’s an Earnhardt car with a race win to its credit, it’s obviously one of the most desirable stock cars out there,” says Hagerty valuation editor Andrew Newton. “Also, as a charity car, we expect to it sell for more than it ordinarily would, although I think the buzz of a live auction setting gets people more jazzed to bid on charity lots than they do sitting at their computer. It’s just not possible to recreate that kind of energy outside of an auction tent.” Recent Earnhardt auctions include the sale of his 1989 Lumina for $220,000 at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach in 2017, and a $190,000 no-sale of one of his 1994 rides at Mecum Glendale earlier this year.
If you don’t have the scratch for a full-size car from Richard Childress, no sweat: you can also bid on smaller items from his personal collection through eBay. Childress is offering a smorgasbord of rare collectibles from his years as a NASCAR team owner, when he employed drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Clint Bowyer. The collection features everything from pre-production die-cast models to racing-themed home decor to a helmet that doubles as a snack bowl.
If you’ve ever wanted to own a piece of the Earnhardt-Childress legacy, now is the time to bid. After all, it’s for a good cause.