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The Mad Documenter!
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1991 saw Dale Earnhardt win his 5th Winston Cup. In the early 1990s it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Dale would win!
Bobby Hamilton defeated Ted Musgrave for Rookie of the Year. Other rookies were Wally Dallenbach, Stanley Smith and Bill Venturini, all of whom were running limited schedules.

1991 also saw the hobby start to expand, as Funstuf and Matchbox both entered the sport. Funstuf had all their cars feature a full interior and clear windows- even though they only were around for two years, they were the first company to have that on every release. 1991 also saw the first ARCA and Winston West cars produced.

NASCAR Winston Cup

Action issued Rusty Wallace's car in the early 2000s.

Matchbox's first issue was Dale Earnhardt's Lumina. Sorry for the blurry photo.

The rubber tires on the early Matchbox issues tells me this was from one of the "Convoy" sets, where Matchbox issued a race car, something else (ranging from another race car, a test car, or a 1970s Chevrolet Van with NASCAR graphics on it) and a fantasy 1970s style flathauler that was only accurate for JD McDuffie. but I got this one loose and don't know what exactly it came with.

Winner's Circle Lifetime series of Dale.

QVC 30 Years of Champions Dale.

Ernie Irvan from Funstuf. This may be a 1992 issue, I am not sure.

In 1991, Tide moved to the #5 from the #17, both Hendrick cars. Ricky Rudd had begin driving the #5 in 1990, with Levi Garrett sponsorship. In 1991 alone, the hood had blue corners. It was made by Racing Champions in 1994 in a Tide Promo 3-pack with the DW Daytona 500 Winner and the regular 1994 #10 Ford.

Mark Martin's Folgers car, from Revell. This was issued as a promo, and unfortunatly, it's not too accurate. The real car was a dark metallic red, and had something on the trunk both years- in 1990 two smaller sponsors, in 1991 one large sponsor. The gold striping also ran over the side windows.

At the 1990 Daytona 500, five unsponsored teams were sponsored by RJ Reynolds Tobacco, but instead of putting their various brands on the cars, they put all five branches of the US Military on the cars in support of the first Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm. During 1991 most all cars carried We Support our Troops somewhere on the car, usually on the C pillar.

Alan Kulwicki's Army car. I have two other versions of this car as well, the Racing Champions Premier version issued in 1993, and an Action version. Can't find the Action one at this time. This RC issue was produced in a 5-pack in 1991.

Alan started 1991 without sponsorship, running a blank white car with the AK Racing logo on the hood and red numbers. Hooters started the year sponsoring Mark Stahl's #82 Fords, however, Stahl was unable to qualify for a single race. Alan Kulwicki put his blank Ford on the pole at Atlanta, and Hooters came on board for that race. They liked working with Kulwicki and stayed on with Kulwicki for the remainder of his shortened career, winning the 1992 Winston Cup title in the process!

Matchbox issued Alan's Hooters car in 1991, they were the only company to do so. The very early Matchbox issues (excepting Dale Earnhardt, for some reason) had made up contingencies. I'm pretty sure the 7 should be brown, and not black, though.

1991 was Bill Elliott's last year with Harry Melling, who had purchased the Elliott Family team in the late 70s or early 80s. This this one year only, Coors moved the sponsorship to Coors Light and ran a blue scheme, instead of the regular red. Elliott didn't have a very good year, by his standards at the time- he only won once, at Daytona in July. RCCA and Action versions of the car.

Derrike Cope's Bob Whitcomb owned car. I got this one loose.

Hut Stricklin's Bobby Allison owned Raybestos Buicks. RC didn't have the 1991 Buick body ready at the start of 1991.

Morgan Shephard issues from Racing Champions, Funstuf and Matchbox.

Greg Sacks drove this Navy Chevrolet in the Daytona 500. Sorry for the extremely poor angle of the photo.

Chad Little ran the full schedule for the first time in 1991, driving these Fords owned by his father. I got this example of the car at Lloyd's Department store in Newburgh, NY in the spring of 1993...I remember it like it was yesterday. I have another version hanging on my wall, as I've done with many of my early cars that are in really lousy shape.

Dale Jarrett stepped into the Wood Brothers Fords in 1990 after Neil Bonnett was hurt. He earned his first win at Michigan in 1991. Racing Champions and Funstuf versions.

Junior Johnson brought out a second team for the first time since 1987. Sterling Marlin drove the Maxwell House Fords in 1991 and 1992, and while he did not win, he got very close on multiple occasions, and also won several poles driving these cars. Racing Champions and Matchbox examples.

Mickey Gibbs drove the Team III Racing entry at the Daytona 500 with Air Force sponsorship. Racing Champions issued these two cars both in the Daytona Military 5-pack. I got one in 1993, and at some point I purchased another due to the overall poor condition my cars were in. When I took it out for the first time in several years earlier this year, I noticed that the Gibbs car was actually on the next 91-92 bodystyle! It makes me wonder if there might be a version of the set out there with the Buddy Baker Marines car on the new body as well. Both of these cars are actually wrong, though. They have white on them, where the real car was gray.

Once again, Brett Bodine's car had white on the real car.

Michael Waltrip and the Bahari team picked up Pennzoil sponsorship in 1991. They would stay with Michael until 1995, and until 1997 with Bahari, before moving to DEI in 1998. Note that the metal is cracking on this example. I also have a version without the contingencies.

This Harry Gant car could actually be from any year from 1988-92. This is most likely a bootleg.

Bill Venturini drove this Chevrolet on a limited Rookie schedule in 1991.

Bobby Hamilton won Rookie of the Year in this Oldsmobile for the Tri-Star team. While this was produced by Racing Champions, it actually has Kraft on the chassis.

Kyle Petty and the Sabco team picked up Mello Yello sponsorship in 1991. It was during this time that Kyle's biggest success came. Racing Champions for some unknown reason chose to do the hood and sides, deck and TV panel as stickers, instead of paint.

Bobby Hillin drove this car in 8 races during 1991 when Kyle Petty broke his leg.

Richard Petty's car from Racing Champions and Funstuf. Sorry the RC image is out of focus.

Both of these Ted Musgrave Pontiacs were issued in 1992, but are actually closer to the 1991 car. The Funstuf car in particular is closer to 1991.

Dick Trickle started 1991 in the Cale Yarborough Pontiacs, but left after 4 races. Cale put a variety of drivers in the car starting with Lake Speed. Chuck Bown, Dorsey Shroeder and Randy LaJoie also drove the car during the latter parts of the season. A little known fact is that Cale offered the ride to Jeff Gordon for a one-race deal, but Gordon turned it down.
For some reason Racing Champions decided to put Cale's name on the roof. The Funstuf issue has extremely large contingencies- they scale out to be about 1/24 scale!

This JD McDuffie car is one of my Originals. On 12/26/92 my uncle gave me a big box of Racing Champions issues, and this one was one of them. That's why it's in terrible shape. It was issued in 1992, to commerate JD McDuffie, who was killed tragically at Watkins Glen in August 1991. I'm sorry that the image is so blurry, I will re-shoot it next time I get the car out.

Dave Marcis had the Coast Guard on his car for the Daytona 500.

Although this is a replacement, one of these cars was one of my originals as well. When I was younger RC got this Lumina body so bad, I wasn't able to actually ID it as a Lumina! Hey, I was 8!

Joe Ruttman reunited with Rahmoc to run the 1991 season, and they mostly used Oldsmobiles. But they did run a Chevrolet at 5 late season races, which is the car Funstuf made.

Lake Speed's owner-driver Ford.

Buddy Baker's career was winding down by 1991, but he drove this Marines car at the Daytona 500. The real car had gold foil numbers.

Wally Dallenbach drove this car at the first Talladega race in 1991, but crashed out. As far as I know the only way to get this car was from a Ford Racing 5 pack.

Terry Labonte returned to Billy Hagan's team for 1991-1993, driving these Sunoco Oldsmobiles.

Jimmy Spencer drove Travis Carter's Chevrolets in 1991.

NASCAR Legends Race
In 1991, at the Winston, a Legends race was held, where various retired drivers competed against each other in modern cars made to look similar to cars they drove during their careers. Funstuf issued a 5-pack of the cars, which I got in 1993. Most of my cars are in lousy shape, especially the Tim Flock car, which I used to carry around in my pocket just because it was three digits. Being 8 years old...I was a little weird, what can I say? Somewhere I do have another example of the set, with all the cars in great shape. Hot Wheels also made the winning car. When I got the Funstuf set, I thought it was a failed attempt to make historical cars, I didn't find out about the historical race for several years, but I had learned of it by 1995 at the latest. The real cars did have the driver's names on the hood.

Donnie Allison

Junior Johnson

Cale Yarborough

Elmo Langley

Tim Flock

NASCAR Busch Grand National
1991 saw Busch cars start to be produced in some volume.

Various Jeff Gordon issues, despite running a limited schedule, he ran several paint schemes.

Jay Fogleman

Phil Parsons drove this unsponsored Oldsmobile in two 1991 races. I believe it is the only unsponsored car to ever be made. I got mine in early 1993.

Steve Grissom ran the Roddenberry's Olds in some 1991 races.

Todd Bodine drove this car in 1991. I believe this was the first Buick in my collection.

Kenny Wallace drove these Pontiacs that were owned by Rusty.

Robert Pressley's Olds. I'm sorry the picture is so blurry.

Tracy Leslie drove this exact same paint scheme in Busch in 1991, and also in Winston Cup and ARCA, too!

Mike Wallace drove this car in the fall Charlotte race, his 8th career Busch series start.

Racing Champions' early issues have a tendancy for the metal to shatter on it's own accord. This used to be Tom Peck's #96 Oldsmobile.

Here's the replacement of the Peck Olds.

Peck's car on the new Olds body.

ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America)

Greg Trammell drove this car out of the Melling shops in several races, I have a tape of a Pocono race where he puts it in the wall.

Phil Parsons drove this car in the Atlanta ARCA race, he also crashed it.

NASCAR Busch North

Ricky Craven won the 1991 Busch North Championship in this car.

NASCAR Winston West
The West series debuted in the 1950s, and is still going strong although under a new name. 1991 saw the first car made from the series.

According to the card that came with this issue, Bill Elliott drove this car at the Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington on July 14th, 1991. According to Racing-Reference, he crashed out and finished 12th. For some reason there were 4 Winston Cup regulars in the race, and more than half the field has/had done some Cup racing as well. Geoff Bodine won the race.

The Mad Documenter!
3,299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Added Busch #93 Mike Wallace and Busch North #25 Ricky Craven


I had heard it came in the bottom of a mug, but I've never seen one. I do have one of the Tiny Lund error roof cars in the mug, and I have at least one more that I got new that's probably covered in dust in the very top of my closet, lol. Can't recall which car but I think it may have been one of the Winston Cup showcars.

The Mad Documenter!
3,299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yep, they did. It was with Richard Lasater as the driver and is in the 1992 thread :)

They have their logo on the car, I'm not sure if that was on the real car but it may have been. It's too bad Funstuf only lasted for those two years.

1,324 Posts
Greg Trammell worked at the Ernie Elliott engine shop, I guess he realized that he was better suited working on the race cars than racing them as he abruptly retired at age 25. During the 1991 Motorcraft 500k ARCA event, they mention that Trammell works in the engine shop in the opening laps of the race, because Phil Parsons is in the car in place of Greg.
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Billy is active on FaceBook, but like lot of the old timers here, I suspect he's mostly given up on this site. I know he's not as passionate about the NASCAR stuff as much any more, but I think he's still into modeling and stuff like that. I don't interact with him much over there, but I do see him post a lot.

Premium Member
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Billy is active on FaceBook, but like lot of the old timers here, I suspect he's mostly given up on this site. I know he's not as passionate about the NASCAR stuff as much any more, but I think he's still into modeling and stuff like that. I don't interact with him much over there, but I do see him post a lot.
thanks for that update "old timer":waving:

1,324 Posts
A few notes
* 1991 Race cars used mainly Racing Champions tires on their entries.
* The 1991 Championship Lumina for Dale Earnhardt is a bit inaccurate as it has Goodwrench on the rear decklid and AC Spark Plugs has a different logo. It appears to be his car from 1990, but since Earnhardt's car went unchanged in this time, it really doesn't make much of a difference.
* Matchbox made Dale Earnhardt's car but it only has Mac Tools and contingencies. It doesn't have Western Steer until his 1992 release.
* There are some variations of Racing Champions diecasts, some of the 1991 cars have window straps and silver rims, while later in production those silver rims went away and went to black rimmed tires. Then towards the end there were no window straps.
* There are two versions of Bill Elliott's #9 Ford Thunderbird, there is the standard version and then there is a version that is blue and white which is the Earnhardt back version.
* Obviously in this set Harry Gant, Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace and Ken Schrader all had their sponsors blank but Geoff Bodine's is the most interesting as he just has a red 11 car with no logos whatsoever. Baby Ruth appears on the Funstuf version however.
* There were many body variations in 1991 as well. The early toolings don't hold up well and can easily break apart from hard contact. The body styles would improve towards the end of 1991 and this set up 1992 which was a hell of a diecast year.
* Greg Trammell's car can also have Mobil 1 stickers in some packs. Greg Tramell was a shop worker at the Ernie Elliott engine shops and while he did post an ARCA victory in 1991, and he got a ride in Elliott's car in 1992 for one race. Greg must have decided that the best place for him was in the engine shop and he never raced again.
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