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.
"It's just a huge old bird," Earnhardt says of the Nomad. "My father had one in his collection, and that was probably my favorite car, the one I always gravitated to when I went and looked at his cars." It's not as though this is a sleeper model that collectors clamor for. To the contrary, he explains its appeal with his trademark honesty: "It's a cheap car, you know, because I'm a tight ass. I don't like to spend a lot of money." He says that it's the car he'd drive to Daytona if he was going down to watch the race instead of trying to win it.