Earnhardt car takes a one-way trip

Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross intends to auction off this Chevy that Dale Earnhardt raced from 1988-91.

Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross flew to Arizona on Thursday to sell a car, but it wasn't just any car and it wasn't a typical sale.


Cross intends to auction off his genuine GM Goodwrench No. 3 Chevy race car driven by the late Dale Earnhardt today at the Barrett-Jackson auto auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"It's the car he raced from 1988 to 1991," Cross said. "It's a road race car he raced at Watkins-Glen (International Raceway) and at Sonoma (Calif.).

Famed for specializing in auctions of rare and classic vehicles, Barrett-Jackson regularly conducts auctions in Scottsdale, Las Vegas and Palm Beach, Fla.

An avid car collector, Cross has purchased two vehicles from Barrett-Jackson auctions in Florida, but this is his first trip to an event in Arizona to sell a car.

"I hate to give it up, but I need to unload some stuff, so I'm going to take it out there and see what happens," he said.

One-time race cars driven by such drivers as Jeff Gordon regularly sell for $40,000 to $100,000, Cross said.

He expects his Earnhardt car to fetch more.

"These cars have a broad range, but there's not going to be another one like Earnhardt's car," he said. "It could go from $75,000 to $200,000.

"If you get two people, who are really intent on having it, it could go for any amount."

Cross owns 18 to 20 vehicles, but most are cars he can drive, unlike the car once driven by Earnhardt.

"It has 750 horsepower with the black No. 3 on the side," he said. "It's only to look at because, of course, I can't take it on the road."

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.



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