In a country where the black No. 3 car is about as recognizable as the stars and stripes themselves, it isn’t often that race cars driven by Dale Earnhardt Sr. himself are up for grabs. But if you’ve got some piles of cash sitting around and collecting dust—as most of us do, you know—this is your lucky week.
Three of Earnhardt’s former No. 3 race cars will be at Mecum Auctions’ Phoenix event this week, and all of them will go across the block on Saturday. That’s in addition to two of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s former No. 8 race cars, along with some old pace cars and street cars in a big Earnhardt collection at the auction.
Earnhardt Sr.’s cars include a 1994 Chevrolet Lumina, estimated to auction for between $200,000 and $300,000, along with a 1989 Lumina and a Monte Carlo listed as a 1993, both estimated to sell for between $75,000 and $125,000.
The 1994 car that’s expected to go for significantly more than the other two is the car Earnhardt Sr. clinched his seventh NASCAR Cup Series title in, according to the listing. The other two aren’t listed as winning cars, but have four-speed manual transmissions and 5.8-liter V8 engines inside.
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The two Earnhardt Jr. cars listed are in the famous red-and-white Budweiser livery, including the Monte Carlo he won the 2004 Golden Corral 500 Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in. The car has the original seat, headrest and other racing components, according to the listing, along with a four-speed manual and 5.8-liter V8. (NASCAR still uses a four-speed manual and a pushrod V8, despite most of the rest of the universe not doing that.)
The Atlanta car expected to go for between $125,000 and $175,000, while the other Earnhardt Jr. car was run on the Watkins Glen road course and is estimated to go for $100,000 to $125,000.
If your fun money is leaning more toward the five digits than six this week and you’d like to be able to drive your new toy on the street, the cheaper offerings in this collection are the street cars and pace cars from certain races. All of the Corvettes in pace-car liveries except one have automatic transmissions, but most of the special-edition road cars—mostly Camaro SS cars from various model years—are manuals.
Most of the street cars also have almost no miles on their odometers, and all of them except for the two 2006 Hummer H1 Alphas are estimated to auction in the $25,000 to $55,000 range.
It’s a solid collection, for anyone with between $30,000 and $300,000 to spare. And, since no American household is complete without a vehicular tribute to the No. 3 in the garage (or the living room), it’s about time to let go of that cash.
Update: Friday, March 15, 2019 at 1:08 p.m. ET: Earnhardt Jr. tweeted this on Friday, with “RC” seeming to stand for Richard Childress, the owner of Richard Childress Racing. That’s a huge claim, considering that an auction house should theoretically fully vet all of its listings before posting them.
Jalopnik has reached out to both the team and a representative for Earnhardt Jr. to try to get the full story, and we’ve also reached out to Mecum to ask about its vetting of the cars. We’ll have further updates when we hear back.
Update: Friday, March 15, 2019 at 9:10 p.m. ET: A representative for Richard Childress Racing told Jalopnik on Friday night that the Earnhardt Sr. No. 3 cars listed by Mecum are “not what they claim to be.” Jalopnik has asked about the two Earnhardt Jr. cars, reached out to Mecum Auctions for comment, and asked the race team whether the three cars might be other Earnhardt Sr. cars—just not the ones listed in the descriptions.
The full story is here. (The update line previously said 2018; it’s been changed.)
Clarification: Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 11:07 a.m. ET: An earlier version of this story said the Monte Carlo racer appeared to be a 1997 model, which was added sometime during edits; this is unclear, and has since been removed. The plural “team(s)” in the headline has also been made singular.)