Have you ever dreamed of owning a race car? We mean, a real one. One that has raced on real circuits and seen competition. How about one that’s been driven by a motorsport legend, like Dale Earnhardt Jr. for instance?
Just such an opportunity is about to present itself. This coming October, a model driven by Dale Jr. on the NASCAR circuit between 2012 and 2014 will be put up for auction by RM Sotheby's. The car was driven a total of five times in competition.
Particularly interesting for a potential buyer is that this car was developed for road circuits rather than ovals – which of course will make things easier if the buyer wants to reserve a few days on the track with it.
As for the model's track record, Earnhardt guided it to a third-place finish at Sonoma in 2014. His other four outings were less successful, however; according to Sotheby’s the car placed 28th in its inaugural race at Watkins Glen in 2012, 12th at Sonoma in 2013, and 30th and 11th at Watkins Glen in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
The car was originally built with a Chevrolet Impala body, but it was later given the look of the SS variant (which was never sold here in Canada). The differences are mostly a matter of aesthetics, because NASCAR cars are pretty much all the same.
Once the car was taken out of competition, a complete restoration brought back the car’s former look. It also received a new V8 engine from Hendrick Racing, and a passenger seat was installed at the request of the current owner, though you doesn’t see that in the pictures provided by the auction house.
Speaking of that current owner, he used the car on a regular basis, so it’s no wallflower; the model has seen action and is ready to see more.
Now the question at what price this Impala will be sold. We do know that RM Sotheby's will offer it at auction without a reserve price. In the past, we’ve seen old NASCAR cars sell for as little as $15,000 or $20,000, though these were models owned by less standout drivers. A 1988 Buick Regal driven by the legendary Bobby Allison raised the bidding to some $55,000 US a few years ago.
It should thus come as no surprise to see the sale price of Earnhardt Jr.’s Impala reach six figures. We’ll update this news when the price is known.