At 39-years-old, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is no longer NASCAR's fresh-faced cover boy. He's a seasoned professional who readily admits that the strategy that won him the 2014 Daytona 500 (skipping a refuel and emptying the tank) was a gamble. That's the thing about experience, it teaches you when to go for broke. It also makes you a connoisseur and – though he'd use a different word – Earnhardt is precisely that when it comes to cars. Unsurprisingly, he's got a lot of them, but not the spit-shined sports cars and tricked-out Escalades one might expect. The man likes classic American muscle and models that remind him of his late, great father.
He may not be old yet, but Earnhardt is sentimental, prone to looking in the rear view. Cars are personal to him and it's clear he feels strongly about the ones he keeps.
’77 Oldsmobile Cutlass
"The oddest car I've got is a 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass, which is a boat," says Earnhardt. "Back in '78, '79, and 1980, that was the car to have if you wanted to be competitive in the Daytona 500." To give a notion of how dominant the car was, in 1980, eight of the top ten starters at Daytona were Cutlasses. Today? Not so much. Earnhardt doesn't particularly love the way the car drives or looks, but he's a NASCAR geek and he digs "the connection to the sport."