Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

Dale Earnhardt won his 6th Winston Cup Championship in 1993, and to acknowledge that feat his Newton, NC-based Chevy dealership produced 25 custom Lumina Z34s. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe contender is one of the 12 of those to go the full Dale, but will you be intimidated by its price?

It's been the case for decades now that NASCAR rides be festooned with sponsorship graphics making them into rolling billboards for certain beers, laundry soaps and erectile dysfunction drugs -eeewww. On the track that's expected and par for the course, while one the road, calling attention to one's bad self is more likely to cost you a ticket, or worse. That's why yesterday's 2006 supercharged GTO took home a Crack Pipe loss, as its respectable performance mods were matched in the loud and proud looks department, and the whole thing came with a price three-quarters of you deemed to be bat guano crazypants.

Dale Earnhardt was also crazy. . . crazy about winning, that is! The proof of that is in the seven total Winston Cup trophies he wore like virtual Flava Flav bling, tying Richard Petty's record. Had it not been for that freak accident at the 2001 Daytona 500 which spirited the Intimidator to the big winner's circle in the sky, he may have added even more wins to that number.


Earhardt started his Winston Cup career in 1975 driving a Dodge Charger, but may be best remembered for - from ‘88-on - putting GM's Goodwrench sponsorship past the checkered flag with regularity. He was so closely identified with Chevrolet that he even owned a Dealership in Newton, North Carolina, and that dealer feted him with a limited run of 25 homage Luminas (Lumini? Luminari?) in 1993, to celebrate his sixth Winston Cup title.

This Z34-equipped Lumina Coupe is one of those, and further one of 12 to have the full sponsor decal and revered forward-leaning #3 treatment - for better or worse. Other unique features include Dale Earnhardt signatures stitched into the headrests, and a commemorative decal applied to the top of the windscreen and a dashboard plaque. Depending on your affection for either Dale or stock car racing, this level of detail is potentially fap-worthy or vomit-inducing.


The car upon which this is based is GM's W-body, here in Chevy Lumina Z34 form. The Lumina replaced both the Celebrity and the Monte Carlo and the Z34 package was intended to extend the Monte's most NASCAR wins record, plus add some street performance cred. To that end the Z34 appended to the base Lumina an upgraded suspension featuring stiffer springs and re-tuned shocks, ground effects, spoilers and hood louvers, and most importantly, the Twin Dual-Cam V6.


The LQ1 is a 3.4-litre, double overhead cam six and is based on GM's workhorse pushrod L-block. The four cams are belt-driven (and are supposedly a bitch to change) and the original cam position in the vee well is now taken up by a balance shaft. Fuel delivery is via GM's tuned port injection and the engine puts out an impressive for its time, 210 horsepower. Transmission choices for the Z34 were a Getrag 284 five-speed stick, or, as in this Lumina's case, a THM 4T60-E four-speed auto. The autobox means not only the loss of a pedal down below, but also 10 horses, giving this car a total of 200, and making it a little less intimidating. As you might expect, that means acceleration is respectable but not neck-snapping (going to hell for that one) with a factory time of about eight seconds.

Inside, the red velour seats and matching acres of plastic are both lurid in appearance and generally well preserved, while the styling is septuagenarian pleasing. This being post mandated supplemental restraints but pre-airbags for all, the seatbelts are mounted to the doors and can be left buckled while still allowing ingress and egress. Fun. The exterior, including all the advertising that you'd be offering for free, looks to be equally as fresh as the interior, and that overall most excellent condition may be due to the car's relatively low - 12,085 - miles of mostly gay parade duty.


As I noted, Dale Earnhardt racked up NASCAR titles like they were Cracker Jack prizes, but that's not to say that every homage to his memory or achievements is equally full of win. This Lumina is very rare, and its connection to the Earnhardt name is genuine and verifiable, making it more than just some rabid fan's backyard-created shrine. But strip off all the Earnhardt and what you're left with is the prospect of buying what's basically just a really nice 18-year old Lumina. Meh!


That means that this car's $18,500 asking price is mostly for the purchase of the decals and embroidered headrests. Be that as it may, there are likely enough folks out there who would gravitate to this car's rarity and provenance to make that an equatable trade. What do you think, is $18,500 for this Lumina as super as a speedway? Or, is that price just too many chips for this Dale

You decide!


Springfield, MO Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears. H/T to ManInABlueShirt for the hookup!

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