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Scott Hunter | NASCAR

Treasures left behind endow Robbie Allison a unique bond with father

Sometimes when Robbie Allison goes golfing, or perhaps just when he’s missing his father, he’ll break out 1980s-style golf shoes to wear when he hits the links.

They are Davey Allison’s old golf shoes, still kept and maintained 25 years later.

They fit Robbie perfectly.

“I love that we have his stuff,” Robbie Allison says at his mother Liz’s home in Nashville, Tennessee. “Some of it means more to me than others, especially the things that we have in common like his golf shoes. Those fit me perfectly. … Those tangible things that you can wear and see and feel, those mean more to me than anything else.”

RELATED: Learn more about Davey Allison

The shoes are a tiny part to the many items the Allison family has kept over the years as a way to honor and treasure Davey’s memory and legacy following his tragic death after a helicopter crash in 1993.

Robbie Allison with dad Davey's race mementos
Scott Hunter | NASCAR Productions

The Allison collection of Davey’s possessions has grown over time, swelling with fresh material thanks to the outpouring of support from fans.

Over the years, Liz Allison, Davey’s widow, says fans will send pictures, clothing and more.

“I still get pictures,” Liz says. “People send me pictures still. Like they’ll come across, maybe they’re cleaning out their garage or something and they’ll find stuff. I actually had somebody send me a message recently and said, ‘Hey, I have an autographed hat that I’d like for the kids to have in the collection.’

“We so appreciate that people have kept all this stuff through the years, and that they would share it with us.”

A family favorite is something Robbie wears when the weather gets cooler. It’s a sweater, “clearly from the ‘80s” he says, with Bobby Allison’s 1988 Buick Regal on the front, styled in a classic 80s way that makes it almost look like graffiti.

It’s a compliment-getter whenever he wears it.

“It’s one of those things that you could wear it now and it would look like somebody had made it this year,” Robbie says. “I swear, I only get compliments from people that are like 25 and under. And they’re like, ‘Dude, that is sick, where did you get that?’ ”

Wearing that sweater, or the golf shoes, or perhaps using Davey’s old fishing rods or bows brings a sense of proximity to his father that Robbie otherwise might not experience.

He was not yet 2 years old when his father died, yet his favorite hobbies are exactly the same as his dad’s. That he can enjoy them while using his dad’s gear creates a bond between the two, even though Davey no longer is here.

“I love that we have those things in common,” Robbie says. “I love that we still have those pieces of him intact, and that we can hold onto those and I can pass those on to my kids, and it can be part of our family forever.”

MORE: Davey’s influence on Robbie Allison’s role as a dad