Before I get into today's post, I made an error in the first post in this series. When I gave the list of special paint schemes before the silver #3, I totally forgot that for the final race of 1994 Harry Gant's Leo Jackson Motorsports team painted up his car to look like the 1981 car from when he first joined the team. It became one of the first throwbacks in NASCAR history (but not the first, that honor goes to James Hylton in 1969 running a throwback to Rex White's 1959-63 scheme)
The Special Paint Scheme I've chosen to highlight is again from the 1995 season, and one of my all-time favorites. This car was run for three races, beginning with the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte, just one week after the silver #3 highlighted was run, then skipping Dover and appearing in Pocono and Michigan.
It was the first paint scheme to promote a movie, in this case Batman Forever. It was the first time DC Comics properties ever appeared on a race car. As a lifelong DC reader I thought that was pretty darn cool.
The best result for the car came at Pocono where Elliott finished 6th. A crash at Charlotte relegated the Thunderbat to 39th, and Michigan saw a finish of 14th, a lap off the pace.
The car was fairly popular on cards. It appears on at least 14 cards- the one shown, two more from the same set, the Racing Champions card, and a 10-card "Bat Chase" insert from 1995 Maxx. Unfortunately none of the Bat Chase cards appear in my collection, but I do have the Racing Champions card and the Action Packed cards, shown below.
Note that the car in the photo is lacking roof rails. That's highly curious because they have been mandated to be on all cars sine the 1989 season. Since this one was in 1995, it should have had them. I don't have an answer for that one.
This was the second time that Ford had allowed one it's teams to change the name of their Thunderbird. In the final race of 1992, Alan Kulwicki removed the T to make the "Underbird" to celebrate his underdog status (he won the title that year by 10 points over Elliott). This time they allowed the Thunderbird to become the Thunderbat. The usual bright red and yellow McDonald's colors were changed to black and dark blue with green accents for this special event. The McDonald's sponsorship would lead to many special paint schemes, Elliott would run several every year until 2000, the last year they sponsored him. Currently sponsoring Jamie McMurray, they have already run a special paint scheme in 2017!
The other Action Packed cards are lenticular and don't really show the card in scan, but you can see it in hand.
The Racing Champions card shows a photo of the 1/24 diecast, as shown below.
The Maxx Bat Chase cards show actual race photos, at least on some of the 10 cards. I'd like to hunt them down at some point.
Thanks for reading, March's post will not be from the 1995 season, although I have not determined which scheme to highlight yet, these were the only two of the season so the proverbial well has run dry for 1995.
I'm posting this during this year's Daytona 500. The Truck race was decent, the Xfinity race was actually very good, here's hoping that the Daytona 500 itself will be a good one also. It's the 25th Daytona 500 I've seen live (on TV), all consecutively, so that's a bit of a big deal to me. I've seen 1986-91 as well but a copy of the 1992 race still eludes me, I've never seen that one.
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