The Chevrolet model you most closely associate with the late NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt is likely the Monte Carlo. That would make sense. What makes less sense is a Chevy Lumina coupe dedicated to the Intimidator, but that’s exactly what we have for today’s Autotrader Find.
Why the Lumina?
There was a hiatus between 1989 and 1994 when there was no Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The Monte was Chevy’s go-to model for NASCAR since 1972, but it wouldn’t have made much sense to keep using the Monte Carlo name on the track when you couldn’t buy one at a Chevy dealer. For that reason, the Lumina coupe became Chevy’s representative in NASCAR starting in 1989 ahead of its debut for the 1990 model year. When the Lumina entered its second generation starting in the 1995 model year, the coupe version was named the Monte Carlo in a move that was likely at least a little bit influenced by the prospect of bringing the storied nameplate back to NASCAR.
What makes this a Dale Earnhardt edition?
The inspiration behind this car is little more than an attempt at selling a production car that looks like the racecar that Dale Earnhardt drove at the time. To give credit where credit is due, GM actually did a pretty good job making this look like the NASCAR car. We’ve seen Dale Earnhardt and Dale Jr. editions of Monte Carlo models from the 2000s and those didn’t look much like the real racecars. This Lumina, however, has enough hyperbolic decals on it with names like Goodwrench, Snap-On, and of course the number 3 and Dale’s signature to make it look pretty close to the real deal. We’re not saying anyone will actually mistake this for a real racecar, but it’s doing a pretty good impression.
Mechanically, this is no different from a regular Chevy Lumina Euro coupe. It’s powered by a 3.1-liter “LH0” V6 engine linked to a 3-speed automatic transmission. It’s front-wheel-drive and makes rather unimpressive performance numbers of 140 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. To be fair, that’s a notable improvement over the standard inline-four that came in the Lumina.
#23 of 25
There are also a few interior touches that make this Lumina a Dale Earnhardt edition. The Indimidator’s signature is embroidered in the headrests of the front seats and there’s a plaque near the shifter. The plaque shows that this is #23 out of only 25 Dale Earnhardt Luimnas produced. The Chevy Lumina is a pretty normal car, but the super limited production of the Dale Earnhardt edition makes this a very rare car.
Did we mention that there are only 4,129 miles on the clock? Some huge Dale Earnhardt fan bought this car almost 30 years ago and almost never drove it. There are only 25 of these cars in the world and there’s a good chance that this is the lowest-mile example of the bunch. Since it’s difficult to pin down the value of this rarity, the dealer selling it in Great Falls, Montana does not list a price on Autotrader.
We’re not promising it will be a great track car, but you could bring home one of the rarest GM W-body cars out there.