Since Dale Earnhardt Sr. passed away, his son has spent years acquiring pieces of his father’s legendary career. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has made it a point to get items that his father used while driving for NASCAR. All that guided him down the path to spend $190,000 on one of his dad’s old cars.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. connected to father’s legendary career
Dale Earnhardt Sr. strung together a legendary NASCAR career that earned him the reputation as one of the sports greatest drivers.
Earnhardt Sr. achieved many accolades along the way in his nearly three-decade career in the sport before his tragic passing in 2001. In the years following the devastating accident, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has maintained his connection to his dad.
One of those pathways led him to spend nearly $200,000 to own a piece of his father’s career.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. spends $190,000 to retrieve his dad’s old car
Over the years, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has ventured into different avenues to keep a lasting connection with his father.
Among those ways is buying some of the things his dad used during his legendary driving career. During an episode of the Dale Jr. Download podcast in April 2019, Earnhardt Jr. voiced that he tracked down his dad’s 1984 Goodrich black No. 8 car that he used to win six NASCAR cup series races.
Dale Jr. revealed on his podcast that the car was originally a Pontiac Ventura that was transformed into a nova. Over the years, he kept track of the vehicle being used as a vintage racing car, which included a pair of races at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.
Things shifted into high gear after the car was placed in an auction in April 2019. After confirming with his uncle Robert Gee Jr., he dished out around $190,000 to purchase the vehicle.
Despite that, Earnhardt Jr. remained uncertain about the car’s validity until he found the floorboard with visual evidence of hammer pounding marks that his dad did to lower the seats. However, that wasn’t enough until he located a photo of himself in the car from 1986 that showed a radio box drilled onto the driver’s side door.
When he compared those uneven holes drilled into the driver’s side door, it confirmed all he needed to know.
“That’s it,” Earnhard Jr. said on his podcast. “I don’t need anything else. That to me, locks it down that I am holding the real thing…I ran back up to the house to tell Amy [Earnhardt]. I was almost in tears getting that type of confirmation that I have the car.”
It was a touching moment for Earnhardt Jr. by securing another piece of his dad’s career that holds a special place in his heart.
Another lasting connection to his father
The ability to acquire another piece of his dad’s career maintains a stronger permanent connection.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. may not have had the type of relationship with his dad that he would have preferred, but moments like that with the 1984 car are quite meaningful. The vehicle holds more profound emotions for him came into existence in a shop next to his grandmother’s house.
Earnhardt Jr. holds many fond memories of going to the workshop with his dad. It’s more than that for Earnhardt Jr. as it’s another way for him to have a piece of his father’s racing career.
“When dad died, I got a pair of boots that were his,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “Since then, I have been collecting more and more items that belonged to him. That’s been my own [mission].
“Anything that I have gotten was given to me by someone nice enough to give to me or something that I collected or tracked down myself. I know it’s a lot of money, but you can’t put a price on it.”
Earnhardt Jr.’s quest to own more of his dad’s items goes well beyond any monetary value.