<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179

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Lot 299
Ex-Dale Earnhardt
1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National

Sold for US$ 53,000 inc. premium
Ex-Dale Earnhardt
1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National
Chassis no. 179

358ci OHV V8 Engine
Single Holly 4-Barrel Double Pumper Carburetor
750bhp at 4,500rpm
4-Speed T-10 Gearbox
Independent Front Suspension with Solid Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Disc Brake

*Restored to race-ready condition
*From a noted private collection
*A rare opportunity to acquire a piece of Earnhardt history
*Enormously charismatic piece of Americana


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Dale Earnhardt's prowess as a racer made him one of the most respected and revered of any NASCAR competitor. His relentlessly aggressive driving style propelled him to the top ranks of the sport and the nickname given by other drivers, "The Intimidator". Dale Sr.'s talent behind the wheel was complemented by an intimate relationship to the machinery that came only from long hours spent in the racing shop.

This particular car was first fabricated in 1982, and the car's bodywork was first styled as a Pontiac Ventura. By the 1980s the era of Nascar being a stock series in any way was long gone. Cars were typically rebodied after every race, with body panels being fabricated on English wheels. This car and other team Venturas were clad in the blue and yellow livery of major sponsor Wrangler Jeans and were campaigned by Earnhardt in the 1982 and 1983 seasons.

In 1984 and 1985, Earnhardt put the Venturas aside, racing only six times during each of those seasons in other cars, and winning once, while competing full time in the Winston Cup, where he won twice in 1984 and four times in 1985, finishing 8th in the final standings. Despite his growing success in NASCAR's top tier, Earnhardt's effort in the Busch series continued in 1986.

According to Earnhardt lore, these car's transformation from Pontiac to Chevrolet began after the 1985 season, when Earnhardt decided to alter the Ventura's bodywork to that of Chevy's Nova, which was thought to have better aerodynamics. Dale Earnhardt was legendary in his ability to quote on quote "See the air" and find the fastest way through the air currents that were created by a pack of racecars on an oval circuit. On the faster tracks such as Daytona and Talladega, the more slippery shape provided a decided advantage.

In the 1980s it was quite common for racing drivers, like Earnhardt, to also work within the racing shop. Earnhardt with his race shop crew along with Robert Gee, Jr., son of the car's first fabricator, converted this and other Ventura's to Nova's, replacing the Ventura's nose, quarter windows, hood, grille, and bumper with parts styled after the Chevy Nova. All cars were readied for the1986 season. At the season opener, the Goody's 300 at Daytona, Earnhardt qualified eighth in a Chevy Nova, but in a classic Earnhardt charge, rallied to win the race in the last laps. This was also the first time that Earnhardt ran cars with the GM Goodwrench livery that would become synonymous with his race team and also with the number 8 made famous by Dale's father and racer, Ralph Earnhardt, and later by his son Dale Earnhardt. Jr.

Today's beautifully restored Chevrolet Nova clearly demonstrated Earnhardt's feel for the nuances of racing, for the strategies to victory that extended beyond planting his right foot to the floor. Earnhardt would also run in the Late Model Sportsman seasons at the same time he was running the Bud Moore Engineering Ford Thunderbird in the Winston Cup series. Earnhardt competed in nine of 29 rounds in 1982 and in five rounds in 1983 of the junior series, yet he came away with wins at Daytona and Caraway in 1982 and at Rockingham and Charlotte in 1983, in the process garnering eight top-tens and a pole.

After retirement, this car first appeared in vintage races in 1998 and has competed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as well as being class winner at 2009's Celebration of NASCAR-Daytona's 50th Anniversary. In 2012 it underwent restoration to race-ready status by a noted racing shop in preparation for the invitation-only Rolex Monterey Historic Races, where it thrilled the crowds with its familiar paintwork and roaring NASCAR 358 Chevy engine. Other notable restoration touches included a period MSD Ignition system, a glass windshield, and a driver's seat said to have been used by Earnhardt himself.

It is common to find ex-race cars for sale. It is rare to find one that was driven by Dale Earnhardt. To have the opportunity to own an ex-Dale Earnhardt team car that he also helped develop is unique.

Saleroom notices

  • Offered on a Bill of Sale
Contacts
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
<b>1977 Chevrolet Nova Grand National</b><br />Chassis no. 179
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, number VI/1087220/1