Peter Coors to Spark Spirited Bidding; Proceeds Benefit the Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toward the Prevention and Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries
A meticulously replicated 20th Anniversary Coors Extra Gold Special show version of former NHRA Champion Darrell Gwynn’s famed 1990 Top Fuel dragster will go on the auction block, lot # 1247, Jan. 23 during the 2010 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event in Scottsdale, Ariz. Tune in to the Speed channel to watch the live auction take place.
Peter Coors, Chairman of the Molson Coors Brewing Company and MillerCoors, will join Gwynn on stage to help generate spirited bidding for the car. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, a Florida-based nonprofit that supports individuals with spinal cord injuries and other debilitating illnesses and an official charity of Barrett-Jackson.
The Darrell Gwynn Foundation has brought unique vehicles to previous Barrett-Jackson events in Scottsdale, West Palm Beach, Fla., and Las Vegas, Nev., including two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart’s former #20 Home Depot car, which brought in more than $300,000, and a replica of Richard Petty’s championship 1970′s Superbird that "The King" himself drove on stage to help boost the bidding to more than $500,000.
Mirroring Gwynn’s 1989-90 dragster, the 300-inch wheelbase 20th Anniversary Coors Extra Gold Special was rebuilt on an actual dragster frame and sports the same paint scheme and 16-inch Goodyear tires as the racing version. The only difference – this one is for show only.
In addition to this one-of-a-kind showpiece, the winning bidder will take home the original fire suit, shoes, gloves and helmet from Gwynn’s personal collection.
"That was a wonderfully fantastic and enjoyable time in my life," Gwynn says. "Rebuilding this car let me re-live it by bringing back so many great memories."
"The Coors sponsorship was a big reason why the original dragster set three NHRA elapsed time records and I am thrilled that Peter Coors will be on hand at Barrett-Jackson to help celebrate this 20th anniversary version and help raise money for our Foundation’s outreach," he added.
That outreach will be immediately apparent when Gwynn and Coors present a custom motorized wheelchair on stage to three-year-old Phoenix resident Lewis Taylor. Lewis was born with a rare metabolic disorder and suffered a stroke at 10½ months, resulting in cerebral palsy. The new wheelchair will greatly increase Lewis’s independence, mobility and cognitive development.
"I admire Darrell for what he accomplished on the track, but even more for what he is doing today through his Foundation," Coors says. "I can think of no better way to thank him for how well he represented the Coors family during his competitive years than to join him at this terrific event and help expand his mission."
Gwynn won 28 national events and made the quickest run in drag racing history at the time. In his famed Coors Extra Gold Special, Gwynn won the 1989 U.S. Nationals and 1990 Gatornationals, among other races, and, on March 2, 1990, set an elapsed time record of 4.909 seconds at Houston Raceway Park in Texas. Just one month later, his career was cut short by a tragic Easter Sunday crash at England’s Santa Pod Raceway, which left him paralyzed from the chest down.
Through the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, he now is committed to raising awareness and money to help children and young adults who are living with spinal cord injuries and debilitating disease. His organization spearheads spinal cord injury education programs, donates custom wheelchairs, supports long-term healthcare services for new spinal cord injury patients, and helps decorate pediatric hospital units to make them more inviting for young patients.
The Foundation has raised more than $3 million to help provide long-term health services for spinal cord injury patients, fund paralysis research and education, and present custom wheelchairs to more than 80 deserving recipients since its creation.
"My thanks to Barrett-Jackson for its support throughout the years," Gwynn said, "and to the generous participants in the auction who I know will help set another record for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation in Scottsdale!"
About Darrell Gwynn Foundation
The Darrell Gwynn Foundation is a Davie, Fla.-based non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization established by former National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) champion Darrell Gwynn to support individuals with spinal cord injuries and other debilitating illnesses. The Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness about spinal cord injuries, preventing paralysis, providing support for those living with paralysis and, ultimately, finding a cure. To expedite specific cures, the Foundation assists in the funding of targeted research.