Model: 1983 Buick Regal
Release: Bobby Allison Miller Lite #22, Action Collectibles Platinum Series
Ebay link: Bobby Allison Buick 1/64
Why I am featuring it: With all the buzz around the new Hot Wheels ’87 Buick Grand National casting, I thought it would be fun to showcase one of the cars that earned the Grand National street car its name – Bobby Allison’s 1983 NASCAR Regal.
Allison is a bit of a hero of mine. Inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011, he competed in stock car racing’s top tier (Grand National, later Winston Cup, now the Cup Series) during 25 seasons 1961-88, often in underfunded machinery, sometimes for his own team. Having come second in the championship on five occasions, he finally secured the title in 1983 in this Miller-sponsored Buick, although he drove a Chevy for the first three races that season.
Born in Florida but forever associated with his adopted home of Hueytown, Alabama, Allison often felt he was treated as an outsider by NASCAR’s power brokers, never seeming to enjoy the favor of great rivals like Richard Petty or Darrell Waltrip. At one point he even helped Buick stylists to develop a more aerodynamic nose for their race car, only to watch company executives hand it to a rival driver!
He also overcame almost unimaginable personal tragedy. His son Clifford and protégé Neil Bonnett were both killed on the track and eldest son Davey died in a helicopter crash just as his own NASCAR career looked set to eclipse his father’s. Bobby himself spent years rehabilitating from a career-ending accident in 1988, just months after he had won his third Daytona 500.
This Miller Lite model is from the Action Collectibles Platinum Series and was issued in around 1996. The detail and finish are terrific, and it comes mounted in a plexiglass display case. The bottom fell out of the NASCAR market some years ago so it’s not an expensive piece, especially because Allison’s cars are generally less well collected than those of, say, Petty or Dale Earnhardt.
To finish, I’ve pulled out some other NASCAR models from my collection. First up, here’s the ’83 Regal with Allison’s 1985 Monte Carlo – another Platinum Series model.
Next we have the Miller Regal with Darrell Waltrip’s similar ’82 Mountain Dew machine.
And finally, here it is with two more models of The Alabama Gang’s race cars – Davey Allison’s 1993 Thunderbird (Matchbox/White Rose) and Neil Bonnett’s 1994 Country Time Lumina (Racing Collectables). For more about the Gang, I recommend Peter Golenbock’s excellent book, Miracle: Bobby Allison and the Saga of the Alabama Gang.