Chevrolet Monte Carlo Winston Cup Jeff Gordon
Since he first appeared on the Winston Cup scene in 1992, Jeff Gordon has become one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR, accumulating not only four Winston Cup championships and over 80 victories, but also three Daytona 500 wins and countless awards and distinctions. He enlivened an enormous fan base and was in no small part responsible for the growing popularity of NASCAR as “America’s fastest growing sport” in the 1990s. As Gordon and his famous DuPont “24” Chevy Monte Carlo entered the 1997 season, the young 26-year old driver had already won a Winston Cup Championship two years earlier.
As the season began, Gordon was as strong as ever. Not only did he win the Busch Clash on February 9 but he also won the Daytona 500 and the Goodwrench 400 at North Carolina the following week. He fared quite well in the following races, won again at Bristol in April, Martinsville the week after and the Winston All-Star race on May 17. But he didn’t stop there. He also won at Charlotte, Pocono, California Speedway, Watkins Glen, Darlington and New Hampshire. He ultimately won the championship for his second time, narrowly beating out Dale Jarrett and Mark Martin, who were both in contention at the season finale in Atlanta.
As confirmed by a certificate of authenticity from Hendrick Motorsports, signed by the Team Manager, the car presented here, chassis 2422, is confirmed to have been driven by Jeff Gordon. In contrast to the converted circle-track cars of years past, this car was purpose built for the road courses in the season.
According to notes in the car’s file, it was first raced at Watkins Glen on August 9, 1996. Gordon finished a very respectable fourth. The car returned the following year in May at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, where it was raced once more, with Gordon starting in third position and coming in second, behind Mark Martin.
Its third and final race, however, is certainly its most important – Watkins Glen on August 10, 1997. Prior to this race, Gordon had achieved victory in every NASCAR venue. A road course win proved elusive, however, and despite his many victories, he was derided by certain NASCAR fans for his lack of road course ability. It was at Watkins Glen that he finally answered the naysayers, winning the race outright, after starting in 11th place and leading the race for 32 of 90 laps. With his detractors silenced, Gordon went on to win numerous races at road courses and is considered one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers.
This car was purchased in 1999 directly from Hendricks Motorsport, just the way it left the racetrack. It has never been raced since but did attend various shows and even participated in the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed, which was aired on Speed Channel.
As presented, it is entirely original and it should be noted that a proper Hendrick race motor can be sourced for the new owner. Please speak with an RM specialist for further details. In contrast to the growing number of imitation NASCAR race cars available, this #24 Monte Carlo is not only authenticated as having been driven by Jeff Gordon, but was also responsible for the first road course history in his Winston Cup career. An amazing piece of NASCAR history!
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in September 2009 at the Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, California.
Est. 650 bhp, 358 cu. in. Chevrolet V8 engine, four-speed transmission, road course-prepared suspension and brakes.
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel