10 Must-Have Dale Earnhardt Cards

10 Must-Have Dale Earnhardt Cards

Dale Earnhardt Sr. is one of the most beloved men in all of sports. He's one of NASCAR's true legends and remains one of the most collected people on the racing side of the hobby. Collectors have lots of Dale Earnhardt cards to choose from, ranging from the very cheap up to some that cost several hundreds of dollars.

Earnhardt won a record-tying seven Winston Cup Championships before a tragic accident claimed his life in 2001. He won a total of 76 races. Earnhardt finished in the top ten of 428 of his 676 career NASCAR races. Not surprisingly, he was an inaugural inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010. Earnhardt is also a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

The first Dale Earnhardt cards came out in the early 1980s. These were promotional releases that didn't see wide distribution. As NASCAR started licensing out full sets in the latter part of the decade, Earnhardt quickly became a key part. Collectors can trace the evolution of racing cards through Earnhardt. In the late 1990s, several bigger manufacturers stepped into the previously niche market. Although this led to an extremely crowded marketplace that didn't last long, many of these sets produced some extremely striking cards.

View Dale Earnhardt cards with the most bids on eBay.

Below is a list featuring some of the best Dale Earnhardt cards ever produced, spanning the scope of his career. New Dale Earnhardt cards continue to appear in new products, including some extremely rare memorabilia cards.

Perhaps you have also heard of Dale Earnhardt Jr., the accomplished driver and son of the elder Dale Earnhardt.

10 Amazing Dale Earnhardt Cards

Shop for specific card singles or check values using the eBay links below. 

1983 UNO Racing Dale Earnhardt #27

This promo card has the notoriety of being the first Dale Earnhardt card. Given out as a promotional item and in giveaways, it's a modern oddball card with a lot of importance behind it. The front features Earnhardt celebrating victory at a Daytona qualifier. The back looks like a traditional UNO game card.

10 Must-Have Dale Earnhardt Cards 1

1988 MAXX Charlotte Dale Earnhardt #87 Winston Cup Champion

1988 marked the debut for MAXX, who helped elevate racing cards into more of a mainstream position. While the set has several Dale Earnhardt cards, most feature his car. However, this particular card shows the legendary racer alongside his team. Earnhardt may not be named on the front, but this is clearly a Dale Earnhardt card.

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1988 MAXX Charlotte Dale Earnhardt #99

Technically, this card was never released on the open market. MAXX had the card printed and ready to go but couldn't come to an agreement with Dale Earnhardt. Still, it managed to reach the open market and remains extremely popular with collectors. MAXX did later release some copies via redemption in 1994. These have a gold sticker attached to the front that acts like a serial number. In 1997, Upper Deck released 100 autographed buybacks, all of which are numbered on the back.

Collectors should beware for fakes that have Earnhardt's hometown of Kannapolis misspelled (it's spelled "Kannapolils"). Here's a good resource that documents the card's history and different versions.

10 Must-Have Dale Earnhardt Cards 3

1989 MAXX Dale Earnhardt #3

The 1989 MAXX Dale Earnhardt card is widely regarded as his rookie card. It uses the same image as the 1988 card noted above, but with a bright orange and yellow border, a red and white checker pattern at the bottom, and a green nameplate. The design looks like it was done by the same people who did the Saved by the Bell opening credits (which also debuted in 1989).

10 Must-Have Dale Earnhardt Cards 4

1992 Traks Autographs Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty #A1

Not only is this the first Dale Earnhardt autograph card, but it also pairs him with another member of racing royalty, Richard Petty. For those looking for a Dale Earnhardt autograph, this card has extra significance as the first option and it's dual-signed.

10 Must-Have Dale Earnhardt Cards 5

1996 Press Pass Burning Rubber Dale Earnhardt #BR3 Race-Used Tire #/500

1996 Press Pass Burning Rubber is one of the hobby's most ground-breaking inserts of all-time. All game-used memorabilia and screen-worn costume cards can be traced back to here. Incorporating pieces of race-used tires into the cards, they are the hobby's first cards to have used memorabilia. Cards fall 1:480 packs and are numbered to 500. The 1996 Press Pass Burning Rubber Dale Earnhardt uses a picture of his car on the front.

10 Must-Have Dale Earnhardt Cards 6

1996 Press Pass VIP Dale Earnhardt Firesuit

This is actually a two-card set. It's the NASCAR equivalent to a game-used jersey card. Unlike the Burning Rubber memorabilia cards, this card pictures Earnhardt and not just his car. Both come in four versions based on their foil color: Silver (1:384 WalMart packs), Gold (1:512 packs), Blue (1:2,048 packs) and Green (1:6,144 packs).

10 Must-Have Dale Earnhardt Cards 7 10 Must-Have Dale Earnhardt Cards 8

1996 Zenith Dale Earnhardt Seven Wonders #/94

A preview of the high-end shift coming to the Hobby, this commemorative Dale Earnhardt card has seven small diamond pieces embedded directly into it. It honors Earnhardt's record-tying seventh Winston Cup Championship. Inserted 1:6,025 packs, it is hand-numbered out of 94 on the back and very difficult to track down.

10 Must-Have Dale Earnhardt Cards 9

1997 Pinnacle Totally Certified Gold Dale Earnhardt #3 #/49

With the late '90s came a surge in low-numbered parallels. For Dale Earnhardt collectors, one of the top targets for many is 1997 Pinnacle Totally Certified Gold. Numbered to 49, the wild etched foil design seems appropriate for racing. Another trend at the time was protective peeling on high-end sets. Whether the peel is intact or not shouldn't really matter. This card is so tough to find that the overall condition is what should be considered most.

10 Must-Have Dale Earnhardt Cards 10

1999 Press Pass Signings Dale Earnhardt #14 Autograph #/400

1999 Press Pass Signings cards have emerged as one of the most popular NASCAR autograph sets of all-time. They have a clean design and a strong checklist covering active and retired racers. The Dale Earnhardt autograph card comes numbered to 400 copies. There's also a gold ink version numbered to 100, which commands a high premium. Overall, the 1999 Press Pass Signings cards fall 1:48 packs.

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10 Must-Have Dale Earnhardt Cards 12
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Ryan Cracknell

E-Mail Author | 
Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff.   His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.

User Comments

  1. i have thousands of 1980 nascar cards some of them not even cut yet could you please guide me as to how i could find out what these might be worth or how to sell some of these? thank you, anne

  2. I have Dales card where he won the 2 nd brickyard 95 and he started 13 what is it worth.And i have another 95 shades card that tells about his glasses .What are they worth they are mint in hard cases

  3. I have a complete 100 card set of 1996 Zenith, plus a 38/94 Dale Earnhardt Seven Wonders card. All the cards look Nm-Mt to me—just saying. Need to know how to locate someone to give me a grading and a selling price in Ga. if possible.Thanks

  4. I have a picture of dale earnhardt Sr. racing his last night race large picture in frame it’s number 113 of the 300 sold that night for sale best offered call Me at 9208529993


  6. i have a full set of 12 cards that i cannot find anywhere. they are nascar i call them movie cards because you move them and they show like 4 sec of race footage like one shows gordon passing rusty on the last lap at bristol and some have crashes and cars leaving the pits you can actually see the smoke coming from the tires. i would say they were probably around sometime from 1995 to 98 maybe. they also cost 10-12 for a pack with 1 card inside any help would be appreciated ty

  7. I have a dale sr 1988 Winston cup race 14kt gold plated wanting to know how much its worth I’m 27 yes old thanks

  8. how much does a hand signed autograph add to the price of a nascar card depending on
    almost stars
    super stars
    these are autographs I personally got when I was associated with MB@ racing in the 90s and early 2000s

  9. It’s tough to get much value from stuff like that unless it’s authenticated by a third party like PSA/DNA or JSA.

  10. MB2 RACING Irvan-Irwin-Schrader-Jarrett and many others. also have top line action and elite autos 1/24 and 1/64

  11. I have a dale Earnhardt 7 diamond card there were 300 made and I have the137th one can’t find this card any were was wandering if there is some wher I could find info on it thanks

  12. One key card you are missing from the list is the 1986 SportStar Photo-Graphics Dale Earnhardt. The card is a short print (SP), super rare and $$$$$.

  13. I have a 1997 pinnacle card of Dale Earnhardt, one side is printed upside down. MINT condition.
    Any ideas of what its worth?

  14. Hey there. I have a 1999 gold signature card of dale 91/100 how much would be a high premium on it?

  15. i have two medal dale sr cards winston cup era and and autographed poster of him with north carolina state troopers where in alabama can i find what they may be worth

  16. 1948 -1997 50th anniversary nascar cards

    goodyear value?

  17. I have a braille Dale Sr.card. Everywhere I’ve taken it no one has ever seen one like it. I’d like to find a value for insurance purposes. If you could point me in the right direction I’d be a happy camper.

    . Paula

  18. I have an autographed DE Sr card with Cert of Authenticity. Classic is printed in the upper right corner. Race Chase is printed in lower left. It states
    Dale Earnhardt
    Has the word “Promo” on windshield. He is wearing a black/red hat with the red flames on front.
    Can you tell me if there is any value to this card? Or where I can find info on the web on it.

    Thank you
    Mary Ann

  19. 1000’s of NASCAR Cards also. Just want to sell all I have. And NASCAR memorabilia.

  20. i have a misprinted dale earnhardt sr. card with rusty wallaces car on it

  21. I have a question as to the value of one of Dale Earnhardt’s 1995 Chase the Champion card #1 . What is it worth . Its made by Maxx Race Cards,Inc. Any info on this would be appreciated.
    thank you

  22. i have a porcelian dale sr card that i cant seem to find a value on any ideas

  23. I have a 35 collectable race car cards dale earnhardt,mark Martin,Jimmy Martin,Phil parsons-wc driver care have foil packs complete set collector set special team set Traps 1992 trans race cards products Items#09201 with the car 92

  24. What about the Daytona Press Pass Auto Promo RaceDay version? Ive seen less than 5 of the 200 that exist in the last 10 years.

  25. I have 2 gold n bears dale earnhardt number 3 and dale earnhardt jr and a great white 1997 card number 308 of 500 and upper deck company welcomes 1996 upper deck just looking to see if they are worth anything

  26. Information needed please?? I have a black plaque with a picture of Dale Earnhardt Sr. standing beside The Wrangler Chevy. Dale has a blue short sleeve button up shirt and black pants. In the bottom right-hand corner of the picture is a silver racing reflection sticker. Under theright side of the photo there is a gold wreath companied with a flag, steering wheel and helmet, then on the left side under the photo a metal plate thats engraved with this
    ~ ~

    Is this a home made photo plaque or were they sold at one point in time??

  27. I have the press pass signings gold ink autograph, very nice card, had it graded to keep it nice! Only graded at an 8.5 though :(


  29. I have two 1986 Dale Earnhardt Sportsstar Graphics cards…cannot find one anywhere to compare the value. Thanks

  30. I have a Dale Earnhardt 1982 Wrangler Thunderbird card with a picture of the yellow and blue no.# 15 car as a lifetime series card, encased and in mint condition, any offers?

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