The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Dale Earnhardt tribute Lumina describes the car as being a “head turner.” Let’s see if its audacious looks and rare five-speed stick can turn it into a deal.
Chevrolet likes to give their trucks outdoorsy names like Sierra, Tahoe, and Colorado. Sometimes they like to anoint them aggressively so, giving us Avalanche and Denali. The latter of those is named for the granitic pluton that is presently considered the highest peak in North America. Aggressive!
Then there was the LUV. Aww, the LUV, short for Light Utility Vehicle and as benign as you could imagine. We looked at a 1981 Chevy LUV 4X4 yesterday. That partially restored truck carried a diesel engine with such modest power it should probably be better counted in chickens than in horses.
That meager portion under the hood had a lot to do with the truck’s $11,300 asking price earning a massive 95 percent Crack Pipe loss. In the end, no LUV was lost and now it’s time to move on to… another Chevy.
When you think of Dale Earnhardt what immediately springs to mind? Is his impressive litany of NASCAR wins? Maybe it’s the aggressive driving style he employed throughout his venerated career. Or perhaps it’s the image of his tragic death on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 that’s seared into your memory. For me, it’s his mustache. For anyone who has earned the nickname “the Intimidator,” wearing that goofy cookie duster was the height of joyous irony.
Of course if anybody could have pulled it off, it was the late, racing great Dale Earnhardt. The question for today is—could you see yourself pulling off driving this 1991 Chevy Lumina Z34 with its iconic NASCAR livery that pays homage to Earnhardt’s legendary track exploits?
Homage cars are a bit of a niche. I doubt that statistics exist, but I’d bet that the percentage of DeLorean DMC12s that have been turned into Back to the Future tributes is substantial. Few racers have been feted in such manner, but Earnhardt had both the following and the series (NASCAR) to make his track persona easily replicated on the street.
That’s just what we have here, with “Man in Black” paint, the iconic #3 emblazoned on each door and a Pep Boys worth of auto parts decals filling each fender. It’s extroverted in every way a Lumina can, and honestly pretty well done for what it is. The driver’s side crash curtain is an especially nice if impractical touch.
The car underneath is pretty interesting too. The Z34 package started with the Lumina’s FE3 heavy duty suspension and then piled on the 24-valve LQ1 V6 engine. Here that V6’s 210 horsepower is employed via a cable operated Getrag 284 five speed manual, a rarely spec’d option on the Chevy mid-sizer.
The two-door coupe body features extended sills and aero aids on both ends. By the way, it pisses me off that these days I have to denote that it’s a “two-door” coupe and can’t just say coupe since apparently the auto industry hates tradition.
Performance was pretty good for a ‘90s family car with zero to sixty times of just over 7 seconds and handling that, while obviously evidencing its FWD limitations, wasn’t like trying to maneuver a drunken hippo.
This one looks to be in pretty good nick too. As noted, the Dale Earnhardt bits seem well cared for and the seller claims the car to be from California and hence is rust free beneath.
The interior shows some wear and staining on its cloth upholstery, but honestly it doesn’t look like anything that couldn’t be addressed in the driveway. Mechanically, the seller says it comes with a new clutch among other parts, and that it drives like new. If you’re going to buy a car with an LQ1 you will want to make sure you get one that’s in primo condition as these motors are well documented drama queens. The seller says this one has had some bank put into it.
There’s 106,000 miles on the odo and the seller notes that the car comes with extra parts and a car cover. I don’t know why you’d want to cover up all the Dale Earnhardt love however, so maybe that’s just for when the car is in the garage.
The title is clean and the asking price is a recently reduced $4,500. That’s probably more than Earnhardt made in is first win, and it’s now incumbent upon you to decide if it’s a win for a potential buyer.
What do you think, could this Earnhardt homage Lumina bring that big a purse? Or, is that price a black flag ensuring this Chevy will DNF?
H/T to Cole O’Shaughnessy for the hookup!
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