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.
"I went to Australia about five or six years ago and was really impressed with their auto industry," says Earnhardt, who was particularly taken with the Holden Commodore, a model unavailable in the States. Holden, the down under alias for Chevy, only produces cars with wheels on the right side so he had to buy a Pontiac G8 and send it to Australia to be made over with a Holden shell. "It's one of my favorites," he says, clearly proud of his subtle standout.