A 2007 Chevrolet Impala SS race car driven by NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson is heading to auction with RM Sotheby’s. It will be offered at the company’s Phoenix, Arizona, sale on Jan. 26.
Johnson won seven NASCAR Cup Series championships during his full-time career with Hendrick Motorsports, tying Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for most titles in NASCAR’s main series. That included a record five-season championship streak between 2006 and 2010.
This car, chassis number 48-461, is part of that history. Wearing the blue and silver Lowe’s scheme and number 48 most associated with Johnson, it was driven to victory at Martinsville and Phoenix during the 2007 season. Johnson drove this car seven times from 2007 to 2009, according to the auction listing.
While labelled an Impala SS, this race car’s tube-frame chassis and rear-wheel-drive system are quite different from the front-wheel-drive Impala sedan of the time. This generation of Impala road car did at least feature a V-8 in SS guise, giving it a threadbare connection to the NASCAR Impala.
This car was built to the then-new NASCAR “Car of Tomorrow” rules, characterized by a protruding front spoiler, deck-lid-mounted rear wing, and a more upright profile than the previous generation of Cup cars. The Car of Tomorrow was replaced by NASCAR’s sixth-generation chassis after the 2012 season, which in turn was succeeded by the “Next Gen” car for the 2022 season.
After retirement, chassis 48-461 was restored by Hendrick Motorsports, according to the auction listing. Presented in its 2007 Phoenix-winning guise, the car is expected to sell for $150,000 to $200,000 at auction. That’s comparable to the $165,000 asking price for a 2011 NASCAR Car of Tomorrow chassis driven by Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon, which popped up for sale in late 2022.
Johnson retired from NASCAR in 2020 and spent the following two years concentrating on an IndyCar campaign with Chip Ganassi Racing. He didn’t find much success, and announced that he was retiring from racing in September 2022, but quickly reversed that decision. In November 2022, he confirmed his return to NASCAR as a part-time driver and part owner of Petty GMS, alongside fellow seven-time champion Richard Petty.
He plans to run a limited schedule in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series, starting with the Daytona 500, scheduled for February 19. Johnson won’t be driving the number 48 car, though, as that number is now being used by Alex Bowman at Johnson’s old team, Hendrick Motorsports.
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