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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sam Bass #92 Sam Bass Chevrolet

    It seems like mostly everything about NASCAR has changed since I started watching as a child in the 1980's~ One of the very few exceptions to that is Sam Bass and his artwork~ Sam has been a regular in the sport since he burst into the NASCAR scene in 1985, when he first got his artwork on the cover of the 1985 Coca-Cola World 600 Charlotte race program~ In today's post, I'll be writing about his time in the sport, along with some of his greatest accomplishments~

    Sam's first paint scheme design was done for Bobby Allison in 1988, when he designed the #12 Miller High Life Buick~ Allison's first race in the car came in the 1988 Daytona 500, and he won the race~ In 1992, he created what is arguably one of the greatest paint schemes of all time, the Rainbow Warrior car, driven by NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon~

    He also designed cars for Rusty Wallace, Sterling Marlin, Hut Stricklin, and Rick Mast, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and Dale Earnhardt Jr., among the many other art projects he has done for NASCAR in his 30 year career in the sport~

                      Sam's Rainbow Warrior paint scheme on Buddy Baker's #46 Dupont car~
Jeff Gordon #46 Dupont Buddy Baker

    In 1994, Sam was commissioned to create Lug Nut, the official mascot of Charlotte Motor Speedway~ By 1997, he was recognized as the first officially licensed artist of NASCAR~ For the 1997 Winston All-Star race, Sam designed the popular Wheaties car driven in the race by Dale Earnhardt Sr.~

   This scheme was used on Wheaties cereal boxes in a special series of cereal boxes featuring Earnhardt~ Sam was always a friend of Earnhardt, and when his son moved up to the Cup series, it was Sam who designed the famous #8 Budweiser paint scheme used in Earnhardt Jr.'s rookie campaign~

    In 2000, Sam opened an art gallery outside of turn 2 of Charlotte Motor Speedway, which to this day is still in operation as his current gallery~ In 2005, he was commissioned to design the cars, driver and crew uniforms, helmets, promotional art, and fan apparel for the movie Talladega Nights:The Ballad of Ricky Bobby featuring Will Ferrell~

                                            The man himself with one of his famous guitars~
Sam Bass guitar Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

     Sam is a severe diabetic, and lost the bottom half of his left leg in 2008, and was fitted with a prosthetic device~ The device rubbed his leg raw, and he developed sepsis, a severe blood poisoning~
 He underwent life threatening surgery on February 7th 2014, and was able to pull through by the grace of God~

    Twenty five percent of all people who have sepsis like this do not make it out of the hospital alive~ On crutches for 3 months after his release from the hospital, he spent most of the year healing, and only attended 6 races during the 2014 season~ He was able to make a full recovery, and continues to awe the NASCAR world with his amazing artwork~

                                                    Sam Bass #92 Sam Bass Chevrolet~
Sam Bass #92 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog age
                                                             Click pics to enlarge~
Sam Bass #92 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog age

    I'll start this review out by saying that pictures do not do this car justice~ This car is dayglo orange, and really pops when seen in person~ Sam created the design of this car, and as usual, did an outstanding job~ The first time I laid eyes on this car, I knew it had to be part of my diecast collection~

    I don't know if it's just me thinking this, but Sam looks younger now than he did in 1992~ I feel like the card could have been a bit more colorful, due to the bright, rich colors of the car, but all in all I give this car an A- on the Racing Champions quality scale~

    According to the back of the package, this was to be part of a planned series of Sam Bass cars~ For reasons unknown to me, this idea never materialized, as this was the only Sam Bass artist car ever produced by Racing Champions~ Below I have added some videos featuring Sam, feel free to check them out, and as always, I thank you all for stopping by the blog~ Stay tuned for the next post, which will feature Jimmy Means and his #52 Alka Seltzer car~ :)

                                      Sam Bass: First Officially Licensed Artist of NASCAR~

                                      Angie Ward talks with Sam @ Martinsville Speedway~

                                              Sam Bass signing autographs for the fans~

                                         Probably the rudest thing I've ever seen a driver do~


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