GRANDVIEW, Mo., Sept. 5, 2008 — NASCAR fans and racing collectors now have the opportunity to own an exclusive piece of racing history — the actual hood from the late Dale Earnhardt’s famous black No. 3 Monte Carlo, which he crashed in the final laps of the 1997 Daytona 500.
The story of Earnhardt’s 1997 Daytona “Crash Car” is one that truly personifies who Earnhardt was as a person and a racer — tough and determined. He never gave up, no matter how much the deck was stacked against him. In the closing laps of the race, Earnhardt had maneuvered into second place and was battling Jeff Gordon for the lead when he lost control of the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. The car smacked the wall at close to 200 miles per hour and rolled several times, before somehow winding up on its wheels in the infield.
Earnhardt was being escorted to the ambulance when he realized that the car could be restarted. “I looked back over and said, ‘Man, the wheels ain’t knocked off the car yet,’” Earnhardt said. “So I went back over and told the guy in the car to fire it up. He hit the switch and it fired. I said, ‘Give me my car back!’”
With hundreds of thousands of fans going wild, Earnhardt refused medical attention and climbed back into his wounded race car. He drove it back to the pits for repair and a new set of tires, and finished the race five laps down in 31st place.
After the race, the hood was removed from the car, autographed by car owner Richard Childress and crew chief Larry McReynolds, and displayed at Richard Childress Racing (RCR) before being purchased by private collector Charles Ross. Ross kept the hood under lock and key as part of he and his wife’s massive NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt collection. After years of enjoyment, Ross has decided to let other collectors have a chance at ownership.
Ross commissioned GoMotorBids.com, the authority for authentic racing collectibles and automotive memorabilia, to auction his entire collection piece-by-piece, including the one-and-only “Crash Car” hood. “We call the Crash Car hood the ‘Holy Grail’ of NASCAR collectibles,” said Russ Dickey, director of marketing for GoMotorBids.com. “Honestly, I can’t think of a more significant piece of sheet metal for a more significant driver in all of NASCAR history. It’s one of those pieces that you’d think you’d only see in a museum, or maybe even the future NASCAR Hall of Fame.”
The hood is being auctioned off to the highest bidder with no reserve price. Collectors and enthusiasts can see pictorial and video imagery, along with more information about this rare hood, by visiting the http://www.GoMotorBids.com.
GoMotorBids.com is an online auction house that specializes only in automotive and racing collectibles and memorabilia. They are the official online auction for many professional race teams, drivers, and charitable foundations, and their anti-fraud and bidder-protection policies have made them a trusted source amongst collectors.
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