There aren’t many things cooler than race cars, but some variants are cooler than others. Safe race cars? Cooler than unsafe race cars. Open-wheel race cars versus race cars with fenders around their wheels? That’s a personal choice. Former race cars that have been made street legal? The coolest of them all.
Barrett-Jackson has a 2003 NASCAR race car heading to its Palm Beach auction this weekend, alongside a 1977 Dale Earnhardt Sr. car that a representative for the auction house assured Jalopnik is actually the real thing. Jalopnik has asked Barrett-Jackson for details about the street-legal car that aren’t in the auction listing, like whether it regularly raced or was just a show or backup car, whose race car it was, and how it got to a private owner for its street-legal conversion. We’ll update this story if we hear back.
What we do know—at least, according to the listing—is that this car was once a Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet with a V8 engine and a four-speed manual transmission. The listing says the Chevy body was replaced with a steel Ford one at some point, but remains on the Gibbs chassis.
The 2003 car then went to Ohio shop Magic Customs for a conversion to become street legal, and has driven 1,600 miles since it was finished, the listing said. (Barrett-Jackson didn’t list when it was finished.)
Here are some more details, from the listing:
This wasn’t an easy task, but after thousands of dollars and hours invested, that goal was accomplished. [...] The body is extremely straight and was finished to simulate the #88 UPS car driven by NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett. [...]
Many exterior modifications were made to make it street legal, including LED headlights, taillights, parking lights, reverse lights and blinkers. A front glass windshield with wiper and mirrors were also added. [...] The painted interior was tastefully done and well-organized for easy operation. The cage was modified to fit the passenger seat.
Just like your local Craigslist ad, the listing makes sure to note that the V8 under the hood “runs excellent.” Nothing to fret with this one, folks.
But no matter how well any car like this one might or might not work, it’s a street-legal race car, in the most theatrical of ways—covered in sponsor logos of years past. And, really, that’s all anyone ever truly needs in this life.