Few drivers are as closely associated with a specific car as Dale Earnhardt is with the Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The majority of #3’s highly successful NASCAR career was spent at the wheel of one, after all. In homage to his career, Childress Racing and the Earnhardt family partnered with Chevrolet to produce the SS Intimidator edition of the 2002 Monte Carlo. In total, 3333 cars were produced and quickly snatched up by NASCAR fans; this example, showing a minuscule 10 miles, which just surfaced on Bring a Trailer at no reserve is one example clearly cherished as a collector’s item.
The basis for the Intimidator is the sixth-generation Monte Carlo, which resurrected the Super Sport package in 2000 following a 12-year hiatus. The package includes ground effects, NASCAR-inspired ducktail spoiler, 16-inch wheels, sport suspension, and an upgrade from the standard 3.4-liter V-6 engine to the bulletproof, 200-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6. In addition to the standard features on the SS package, the Intimidator Monte Carlo came standard with the same black-and-silver paint scheme as Dale’s car: his number 3 with his signature underneath on the C-pillar and his nickname, “Intimidator” spelled out on the deck lid.
While a clean Monte Carlo SS of this era can be had for $8000–$12,000 depending on miles and condition, the Intimidators can can easily bring close to double that. That’s a sizable premium, especially considering the love-it-or-hate-it perspective that people tend to have with regard to Monte Carlos of this era. Longtime Monte Carlo enthusiasts balk at the front-wheel-drive layout, but the 3.8-liter engine is dead reliable and makes great power. It isn’t, however, an overly special engine for a car bearing the Super Sport name. A 240-horsepower, supercharged version of the V-6 existed at the time and was even offered in the Grand Prix, which shares the same platform. A supercharged 3.8 was not available until 2004 in the Monte Carlo SS.
The SS Intimidator is a sought-after collector’s item for NASCAR fans, and its success paved the way for the launch of additional special editions celebrating Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. Regardless about how you feel about GM’s choice in platform choice for the Monte Carlo, these are desirable cars and racing enthusiasts have considered them collectible for some time.
At the time of publishing, this car has four days to go and has been bid up to $20,000. Given the condition, insanely low miles, and paperwork, this car is bound to draw out some fans of The Intimidator who are willing to dig deep into their wallets to bring this baby down the home stretch.