Collector’s Corner for July 2016: Michael Bauer

Several months ago, we decided to do a monthly article where we highlight a die-cast collector and his/her collection.

Every month, we provide a collector a questionnaire about their NASCAR fandom and, of course, his/her die-cast collection. In addition, we invite the collector to share photos of his/her collection for the entire world to see.

July’s collector is Michael Bauer from New York. Michael is a long-time NASCAR fan who started pulling for Dale Earnhardt before moving to Dale Jr. When he’s not watching NASCAR races, he works as a defense contractor and has worked on many programs, including the space shuttle and Mars Rover.

Watch the slideshow below to see photos from Michael’s collection.

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When did you become a NASCAR fan? I started watching NASCAR with my dad back in the late 70’s, early 80’s and really got hooked on NASCAR with Dale Sr.

Which drivers/teams/car manufacturers do you pull for? Favorite drivers are Dale Jr. and Chase Elliott. Hendrick Motorsports is my favorite team and Chevy is my favorite manufacturer.

What tracks/races have you been to? Which drivers have you met? I have been to Daytona, Watkins Glen, Richmond, Dover and Martinsville. Have been to two Daytona 500s and three Pepsi 400s.

What is on your NASCAR bucket list? To attend All Star and 600 week in Charlotte and make it to a RCCA members event. To go to any track I haven’t been to so far — mostly the Bristol night race.

How many die-cast are in your collection? All together, I would ballpark my collection at over 1,000 pieces. 1:64s? Easily 400 pieces dating all the way back to 1997 and the old club cars, total views and ELITE series. 1:24s? Well over 500 die-cast, including every Dale Jr. ELITE produced with the exception of a couple of the fantasy cars made. I have also started quite the Chase Elliott collection and of course Dale Sr. I am also a big fan of Raced Win die-cast and have quite a collection of those. 1:18s? I have a few, most notably the 1/18th-scale Corvette raced version of the car that Dale Sr. and Jr. ran in the 24 Hours of Daytona.

What year did you start collecting die-cast? What year did you become a RCCA Member? I started collecting back in 1997, which is the year I joined RCCA. I am also just about to hit my 25K lifetime ePoints award.

What was your first die-cast? Most recent? The die-cast I bought was the Jr. and Sr. Coke cars from the Japan race. I was able to recently acquire a prototype of the Jr. Coke Polar Bear car, which makes a very nice set. Most recent that I got was the Jeff Gordon Final Win from Martinsville in the Liquid Color finish.

What is your favorite die-cast? Why? I would say my favorite die-cast is actually two-fold. I am a proud owner of both Dale Jr. 1998 24kt Gold and 1999 Platinum AC Delco ELITEs, which were produced in honor of his Busch Series championships. There are only a 100 of the gold in existence and 300 of the platinum.

What die-cast would you love to add to your collection? Why? What I would love to add to my collection is a Dale Jr. door number ELITE. I haven’t been selected for one yet. But it’s the missing piece to my collection as I have all the ELITEs and I have the one prototype — now just missing a door number.

What die-cast would you love to see produced? Why? Dale Jr.’s first win in Texas. It was before Raced Win die-cast really became as big as they are now. It would look great in my display case of Dale Jr.’s Raced Win ELITEs.

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