Last week, a car claiming to be numbered as the first DEI chassis was sold at the Mecum Auctions; Dale Earnhardt Jr comments
Last week, the Mecum Auctions rolled into Houston, Texas. Across the red carpet came a car advertised as DEI chassis #01.
Dale Earnhardt Jr had a bright future in the late 90s and early 00s. The team was owned by Dale Earnhardt and his wife Teresa Earnhardt. Dale Earnhardt Jr, son of Dale Sr, was taking their equipment and parking it in victory lane.
The car claimed to be a 1998 chassis fielded by Dale Earnhardt Inc in the NASCAR Busch Series. The team claimed the series championship with Dale Earnhardt Jr in 1998 and again in 1999.
As for it’s history, the car was sent to Michael Waltrip by Dale Earnhardt Sr to be raced int he NASCAR Busch Series. It was then owned by Brad Baker of Baker Club Racing before the chassis was retired in 2003.
The car rolled across the auction block with no reserve. It was sold for $50,000.
Mecum has sold many NASCAR race cars, just in the last year that have raised eyebrows in the NASCAR industry. Last year, three Dale Earnhardt cars went to auction.
The Earnhardt machines brought pure confusion to Richard Childress as he’s kept almost all cars driven by Dale Earnhardt. One of those cars specifically listed at the auction as a championship winner was still sitting in the Richard Childress Racing museum, clearly a fake machine.
After the most recent auction, Dale Earnhardt Jr notes that DEI didn’t start building chassis until they entered the NASCAR Cup Series. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t numbered as DEI chassis #01…
Dale Earnhardt Jr comments on auction
“Saw this and thought it was so weird,” Dale Earnhardt Jr commented via Reddit.
“Ok, so they say it’s chassis number 1. I’m assuming Cup chassis since we didn’t build our own Busch chassis. Why did they put that 1998/99 Busch paint scheme on this 2000/2001 body when it’s not a Busch chassis and I never drove it.”
“When all these incorrect things happen with these restorations it really makes me skeptical of the legitimacy of the car entirely. And Mecum has sold or promoted auctions on multiple bogus restorations of mine and dads in the past.
“If it’s really chassis 1 and either Park, me, or Waltrip drove it, then fine. Restore it to the correct raced scheme.”
“Edit: interesting thought popped in my head also about DEI and car numbers. When Park drove for the Busch team they did number the cars even though they purchased the chassis from outside the company. I drove their car number “5” as a rookie in select races in 1997. So if it’s a Busch chassis with the shorter wheel base and it truly was DEI owned Park probably drove it in 1997.”
Steve Park drove for the team in 1997-98. He piloted the No. 3 machine.
So is it really DEI #01? Who knows? My head hurts.