Yes, the $2,000 Dale Earnhardt No. 3 Casket Is a Real Thing for NASCAR Fans Who Have Everything … Except Maybe Good Taste

What do you get the NASCAR fan who has everything? Well, there’s a guy in Tennessee who’ll sell you a Dale Earnhardt No. 3 casket, which probably assures you one way or another that it will be the last time you ever see the gift recipient.

Face it: As gifts go, it’s probably not what even the most ardent racing fans are, uh, dying to find under the Christmas tree, no matter how many freighters with other gift ideas remain stacked up off the shores of Long Beach.

Yes, the $2,000 Dale Earnhardt No. 3 casket is a real thing

Dale Earnhardt drives his No. 3 Chevrolet during practice for the Daytona 500 | Getty Images
Dale Earnhardt drives his No. 3 Chevrolet during practice for the Daytona 500 | Getty Images

Dale Earnhardt most definitely attracted a loyal legion of fans during a 27-year NASCAR Cup Series career during which he won 76 races and seven series championships. He spent his final 19 seasons in the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevy, with the black paint job adding to Earnhardt’s persona as “The Intimidator.”

According to Outkick.com, a man by the name of Joe Stacey in Hendersonville, Tennessee, will sell you a Dale Earnhardt No. 3 casket for $2,000. Pictures from Facebook show logos for Goodwrench, Goodyear, GM, Chevy Monte Carlo, RCA, and Snap-on tools on the side of the coffin. And, of course, the white “3” is outlined in red.

Stacey touts his pricing as competitive with more conventional casket suppliers. “During situations where a money pooling, fundraising, or Gofundme page are set up … saving money is especially important,” he says on the social media site. “We not only sell custom caskets and urns, we also sell non-custom. These are the same caskets from the same manufacturers but for about 50% less.”

The coffin isn’t as tacky as the Dale Earnhardt hearse

Around the time of the 2011 Daytona 500, which unheralded Trevor Bayne won, Craigslist ran an ad for the hearse that purportedly carried the body of all-time NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt during his funeral. That 2011 race marked the 10th anniversary of Earnhardt’s death at the track.

The listed vehicle was a 1996 Lincoln Town Car hearse with 115,114 miles on it.

The ad, titled “The Last Ride of #3,” according to Jalopnik.com, included photos of the vehicle and a brief, indisputably insensitive description: “The ultimate in NASCAR memorabilia. … Super condition for the actual hearse used on the funeral of NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt.”

The seller was North Carolina resident Bill McKeithan, who said he purchased the hearse a year earlier. He ended up reselling it for $8,800 but regretting the entire episode because of his spur-of-the-moment decision to run the ad after seeing multiple remembrances of Earnhardt upon the 10th anniversary of the driver’s death.

“I am remorseful to the fact I sold it,” he told the website. “I should have just kept it.”

Racing and morbidity have a history together

There has not been a death in any of NASCAR’s three major national series since the Dale Earnhardt tragedy in 2001, but the risk remains there as well as in IndyCar, which has seen the deaths of Paul Dana, Dan Wheldon, and Justin Weldon since 2006.

The inherent danger of racing led to a famous and controversial 1966 column by Jim Murray, indisputably one of the greats in the history of sports journalism.

Purportedly previewing the 50th running of the Indianapolis 500, Murray referred to the race as “the world’s fastest traffic jam.” He added that “the driver in Car No. 5 will just have had a fight with his wife. The driver in Car No. 7 will be color blind, the driver in Car No. 11 will have an IQ of 12 or exactly 490 points below his horsepower.”

Murray added: “Now, ordinarily, for tests like these, automotive research uses articulated dummies to study crash effects, but today instead of articulated dummies we’re using race drivers. Gentlemen, start your coffins!”

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