Career-spanning No. 24 Chevys showcase how far sport has come
As part of the revamped Glory Road, set to debut Jan. 11, the NASCAR Hall of Fame announced the second of nine exclusive sneak peeks included in the exhibit. The 1994 No. 24 Chevrolet Lumina with which Jeff Gordon captured his first career premier series victory will join the 18 historic cars that will comprise the exhibit, which has been dubbed Glory Road 2.0. The reveal took place during the final Chase driver appearance of the season, which featured Gordon and Jimmie Johnson at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
Another big Gordon-inspired unveil occurred this week, which shows the modern side of his career, as Chevrolet showcased its 2014 high-performance concept cars at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. Gordon had a direct hand in influencing the re-styled design, style and performance of Chevy's all-new, rear-wheel-drive performance SS sedan. According to a General Motors release, the SS has a satin exterior finish that lends an all-business appearance to the car, complemented with No. 24 graphics, custom-finished 20-inch wheels, a carbon fiber rear spoiler and a custom front grille.
The car casts a more aggressive stance with a lowered suspension and features high-performance brakes and a Borla performance exhaust system. The interior is re-trimmed with perforated suede seat inserts and embroidered headrests and a racing-style flat-bottom steering wheel and Chevrolet Accessories pedal kit.
Under the hood beats the small-block heart of all SS production models: The LS3 6.2L V-8 rated at 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. It is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission with TAPShift.
Hip hop recording artist Nelly has rapped about Gordon and the SS before in his Billboard Hot 100 song "E.I." on his album Country Grammar. Nelly raps the lyrics "I drive fastly, call me Jeff Gord-on, in the black SS with the naviga-tion."
At age 22, Gordon was on track to become a NASCAR superstar. His first premier series win was the 1994 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the longest event on the NASCAR schedule. Gordon started the race from the pole position and led the first lap, but then sat back like a veteran. He bided his time and kept the leaders in sight realizing the length of the race would take a toll on his equipment. With the help of a two-tire pit stop call by crew chief Ray Evernham, Gordon was able to capture his first of 88 career premier series wins, beating Rusty Wallace to the finish line by four seconds. In Victory Lane, Gordon celebrated with team owner Rick Hendrick, Evernham and his crew.
About Glory Road 2.0
Glory Road, which features 18 historic stock cars encircling the Great Hall, has served as one of the Hall’s most prominent focal points since opening. Speedways from across the country are illustrated here as well, where guests can touch the texture of various tracks and feel the intense banking that drivers face week-to-week. Glory Road 2.0 will see 18 new cars that reflect the six generations of premier series race cars that have been driven and built by some of the sport’s most celebrated drivers, owners and mechanics.
To mark this major exhibit revamp, the Hall will provide an exclusive sneak peek of artifacts in the coming weeks via in-person and social media unveils. The nine debuts will culminate with a behind-the-scenes media preview of all 18 cars in January.
Oct. 12: Generation 1 (Buck Baker’s 1957 “Black Widow”)
Nov. 5: Generation 4 (Jeff Gordon’s 1994 Chevrolet Lumina)
Nov. 12: Generation 5
Nov. 17: Generation 2
Nov. 29: Generation 4
Dec. 3: Generation 2
Dec. 10: Generation 4
Dec. 17: Generation 1
Dec. 26: Generation 1