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The Mad Documenter!
3,299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1994's big story was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway holding a race for the first time ever. Previously, they had held only open wheel racing. The Brickyard 400 would become the second most important race in NASCAR. I remember the first one well. It was the first time I saw Jeff Gordon win a race- he won his first at the Coca Cola 600 earlier in the year, but I didn't get TBS at the time, so I didn't see it. The 94 Brickyard was also the first time I can remember seeing the on-board telemetry show a car going over 200 miles per hour, it was Bill Elliott's.

Dale Earnhardt scored his 7th and final Winston Cup in 1994.

The rookie class of 1994 was massive- the largest in NASCAR history. Many of the drivers who would play a major role in NASCAR for the next decade plus joined the circuit full time in 1994. In alphabetical order- Loy Allen, John Andretti, Rick Carelli, Jeff Burton, Ward Burton, Steve Grissom, Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Nemechek, and Mike Wallace. Rick Carelli planned to run the entire circuit, but DNQd for all the early races, and eventually only ran Sears Point and IIRC, Phoenix. Still, he was considered a Rookie of the Year Candidate. It was also Todd Bodine's first full year in Cup, but he ran too many races in 1993 to run for Rookie of the Year.

1994 was a good year for diecast. All but three of the full time teams were made in scale, and only one of them had a standard paint scheme (The #29 Diamond Ridge Chevrolet of Steve Grissom. The other two are the #32 Active Racing Chevrolet and the #52 Jimmy Means Racing Ford). In the thread you may note that the #90 Heilig-Meyers Ford of Mike Wallace is missing. Revell issued it as a promo, and I have been unable to track one down. I've been outbid on Ebay twice in the last three years. (The only times I've seen it on Ebay). The big deal for 1994 in diecast was Action and RCCA. While Action had been around nominally since 1989, actively since 1992, before 1994 they did only historical issues, promos and marketed the Revell issues. In 94 they began doing the current season's cars, and the RCCA line of cars was also launched- and they were the first cars to feature opening hoods. Action would be the only brand left alive in the sport after NASCAR pulled the license from Racing Champions and Hot Wheels after 2005, and merged Team Caliber into Action after 2006. Since it appears Checkered Flag Sports is either done or only going to release Robby Gordon promos the year after they run, Action becomes "last man standing".

Matchbox went to a "rubber" compound in 1994, which they would use the rest of their time in NASCAR (1997). You have to really watch the Matchbox cars from 94 on, the tires tend to make the wheels melt. Cars that were left sealed have this problem much moreso than cars that have been open since new, but even cars I got back then I am starting to notice some melting going on.

Most of my 1994 cars were purchased much later, in the 2000s. At that point, if I had one example of the paint scheme I didn't get a new one despite the fact that the cars did change every year. You'll be able to tell which ones I got in 94- they are missing quite a bit of paint.

NASCAR Winston Cup

Rusty Wallace. Been told this was a prototype, and that the regular releases had the government-sanitized crap on them. I do have one of them, so perhaps it's true.

Dale Earnhardt Racing Champions Premier

Dale Earnhardt from Action 30 Years of Champions set.

Dale Earnhardt from Winner's Circle's 2003 Champions set. This Lumina tooling has been used only twice, and is the only Lumina tooling to have roof flaps- which were mandated by NASCAR for use beginning in 1994.

Dale Earnhardt from Dale the Movie line.

Dale Earnhardt "In Memory of Neil". Neil Bonnett was Dale's best friend, and was killed practicing for the Daytona 500. Dale ran this special marker on the right side of the car at the Daytona 500, and Action made it. Note the very poorly applied silver stripe.

Sterling Marlin

Terry Labonte, 1984 Winston Cup Champion joined Hendrick Motorsports for 1994, and won three races. It ended a four year winless streak, and would eventually see Labonte win races for another decade- and the 1996 Cup.

Mark Martin

Geoff Bodine

Jeff Burton

Dorsey Schroeder

Ricky Rudd. The version without contingencies was a promo, in a three car set with Darrell Waltrip's 1989 Bleach and Rudd's 1991 cars. I believe the first show car I ever saw was Rudd's in 1994.

Bill Elliott. When Bill Elliott scored his only win of 1994, it would turn out to be the last win for legendary driver/owner Junior Johnson...at least, so far. (Rumor is he'll be starting his own team back up when his son Robert comes of age to race in NASCAR)

Derrike Cope. Cope came to Bobby Allison's team late in 1994, and this paint scheme was used in only a handfull of races. I'm surprised it got made.

Lake Speed

Ted Musgrave joined Roush Racing as his second driver in 1994, he would remain with this team until mid 1998. It was while driving this car that he became one of the drivers I rooted for. It's a shame Roush was not the powerhouse then like he is now- who knows how many Cup wins Ted could have gotten.

Darrell Waltrip

Dale Jarrett

Loy Allen Jr. I also have the basic, black window version of the car but I don't know where. Last seen circa 2004 when I made my excel collection chart...

Randy LaJoie. Buddy Baker also drove this car. Not a full time effort.

Morgan Shephard

Bobby Labonte

Hut Stricklin early season. This car was a production error, I guess, Even dusting it causes paint to fall off. I have another but it's still sealed inside the case it came in. I had to replace it when this one got to looking like it does now!

Hut Stricklin late season

Jeff Gordon

Steve Kinser

Jimmy Spencer. He scored his only two career wins driving Junior Johnson's second car in 94, at Daytona and Talladega in the summer. Actually, remember what I said about Bill Elliott? Jimmy's win(s) may have come later, I can't remember and don't want to risk pulling up my reference source-it has a tendancy to make my internet crash.

Ernie Irvan. Ernie was well on his way to his first Winston Cup before suffering devastating injuries in a practice crash at Michigan. He was given a 10% chance of survival. He was told he would be lucky to live, let alone racing. But he did both, returning to behind the wheel of a NASCAR Winston Cup car at North Wilkesboro in late 1995, 14 months after his accident. Not only that, but he even won again-ironically, his final win coming at Michigan in 1997, the track that almost killed him in 1994- and almost killed him again, in 1999. Ernie was my favorite driver at the time and still ranks very high in my top 5.

Michael Waltrip

Ward Burton. This car was a promo and very hard to me to find.

Bobby Hamilton

Joe Nemechek

Kyle Petty

Wally Dallenbach. Despite being a basic Premier release from Racing Champions, this car was incredibly hard for me to find. I didn't hunt one down until 2008 or 2009. Wally actually only ran roughly the first half of 1994 for the King, before he was fired and replaced by John Andretti, in Andretti's first of three stints with Petty. He would return in 1998, which lasted through 2003, then again in 2006. And then you might also need to count the fact that Richard Petty co-owns his Indy car...

Bobby Hillin Jr. Hillin started the year in the #90 for Junie Donleavy, but was fired early on. He drove this car for a few races beginning in the summer of 1994. It was co-owned by Bill Elliott and was the forerunner of Elliott becoming an owner-driver in 1995.

Neil Bonnett. Neil Bonnett was truly a legend in the sport, although perhaps more for his personality than his on track success-although he had plenty of that, too. Bonnett suffered severe head injuries at Darlington in 1990, seemingly ending his career. However, he made two starts at the end of 1993, and was scheduled to run at least six races in 1994, behind the wheel of the neon yellow and pink #51 from the Pheonix Racing stables. (The same Phoenix Racing that runs the #09 today). Practice for the Daytona 500 in 1994 was a bleak time for NASCAR, however. Neil crashed, hard, and was killed. The very next day, rookie Rodney Orr, who was attempting to make his first Winston Cup race, lost a tire and was killed instantly when the car hit the wall roof first. Bonnett's return carried much fanfare, and the Racing Champions versions, possibly the Action version as well, were released early in the year- before he was killed. Rodney Orr, carried little fanfare and is mostly forgotten today. He never had a diecast produced.

Robert Pressley drove this car in a limited schedule in 1994.

One of the many schemes that Jimmy Hensley drove in 1994.

One of the more obscure cars to be made, Andy Belmont. I'm not sure this paint scheme ever actually qualified for a Cup race.

Dave Marcis

Todd Bodine

Greg Sacks

Jim Sauter

Derrike Cope began the year driving Cale Yarborough's #98 entry, but was replaced mid season by...

Jeremy Mayfield. Mayfield started the season driving for the Sadler Brothers, and also drove for TW Talor, which, oddly enough, is where Derrike Cope went briefly after he was no longer in the #98, before moving to the #12 late in the year, which can be seen above. Mayfield would stay with the #98 team until late 1996, when he would swap rides with John Andretti. Mayfield's car was not made in 1995 or 1996.

NASCAR Busch Grand National
I generally don't give much historical info for the lower tiers, but one of my favorite anecdotes about Busch happened in 1994. At Bristol, the race was being dominated as usual by Mark Martin. Then, the caution flew, the race was going to end under yellow, a common occurance before the last few years. However...Mark thought that the race was over, and went for the garage area (en route to victory lane). But, the race was not over! There was still one lap to go! David Green ended up winning the race, and it turned out to be the only race he won in 94...but it was enough, as he won the title! Although I didn't see it live, (I started watching Busch regularly in 1998) the race was included in the group of some 180 races I purchased circa 2006/07, and it's much funnier to see it happen than see it written.

Johnny Rumley. Technically this should be in the close thread, as the production numbers are on the TV panel, but since you can't see them in the picture, I figure, close enough!

Ricky Craven

Sterling Marlin

Tommy Houston

Harry Gant

Kenny Wallace

David Bonnett (Neil's son)

Terry Labonte

Chad Chaffin

Morgan Shephard

Chad Little

Hermie Sadler

Sammy Swindell

Ernie Irvan (was also driven by Mark Martin, after Ernie's accident)

Phil Parsons

Phil Parsons

Tom Peck

Dale Jarrett

Mike McLaughlin

Elton Sawyer

Rodney Combs

Shawna Robinson

Ken Schrader

Robert Pressley

Dennis Setzer (Mid season driver chance, as I recall)

Mark Martin. To be honest, the version with yellow numbers may be from 1993.

Jim Bown

Tracy Leslie

Johnny Benson Jr.

Dave Rezendes

Larry Pearson

Joe Bessey

Phil Parsons

NASCAR Supertruck Series
Now, I know you are going to say "What? The Trucks started in 95!" and that is indeed true. However, in late 1994, several exhibition, non-points races were run. A select few of those trucks were made. There are two key ways to tell the trucks from 1994 from the 1995 trucks, which was the best year for Trucks in scale. In 1994, they had white letter tires without the #1, just like Cup and Busch ran in 1981-92. Secondly, there is no Craftsman band across the windshield. Craftsman appears on the door over the number. The window band began in 1995. The very few 1994 trucks issued, there is at least one more I don't have, but have seen online- were all issued in 1995.

Mike Bliss

Rob MacCachren

Tobey Butler

TJ Clark

ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America)

Billy Ogle Jr.

Frank Kimmel

Jeff McClure

ASA (American Speed Association)

Johnny Benson Jr.

Jody Ridley

NASCAR Goody's Dash Series

Mickey York. Note the rear wheel melted, as mentioned above.

Sherry Blakley

Late Models

Kelley Earnhardt

Premium Member
1,988 Posts
I also found the 31 easily. However, it looks like it says 'Hard Burton' and not 'Ward Burton.' Am I imagining that?
Mighta been an in-gag with the sponsor being Hardees.

I see your No. 7 Exide and No. 28 Havoline cars both have that significant paint chipping and flaking. My No. 21 Citgo and No. 19 Hooters cars have done the same. Most of my pre-1995 cars are showing significant chipping and flaking, which is unfortunate because a hobby of mine is "running" vintage races. Getting harder as the cars become less usable.

The yellow-numbered Winn Dixie Ford was a 1995 Winn-Dixie promo, I remember getting mine and being aggrivated that it was on the old body, like the '95 preview cars.

The T.J. Clark truck was my first (and until I got Jack Sprague's 1999 truck, only). Totaled I only have three, the 2006 Bobby East State Fair promo that's on the 1999 body is the other one.

And you are right, Bill's Southern 500 win was the last one for Junior Johnson and Associates. Spencer's wins both came in July.

The Mad Documenter!
3,299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You guys are lucky. I didn't even know the #31 existed until the mid-2000s (circa 2005) and didn't track one down until 2007. I had the #2 Buick since the 1990s.

Some of RC's quality control was not great...I think it was probably poor paint application, the paint should not come off as easily as it does!

1,324 Posts
I found a huge collection of 1994 season Racing Champions cars at my local NASCAR store in about 2008 and I got them for almost 20 bucks worth of stuff I had.

1,324 Posts
Notice #16 Chad Chaffin's car. For his sponsor's logo, they took the Dr. Mario logo from the videogame Dr. Mario and took the moustache off of Mario for this logo. Just noticed that.

98 Posts
I had an old diecast price guide that referenced a 1994 dave marcis olive garden car made by racing champions. I don't think it ever existed - or maybe it was planned and prototyped but never made (every once in a while on ebay some cars that look like prototypes have shown up)
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