Michael Dunlap has built a career out of making model race cars. After spending many years building cars for hobby or on commission, Mr. Dunlap was asked to start making the gold car model for the winner of the NASCAR Cup each year. The trophy is a gold model of the respective winner’s race car each year. This means that Mr. Dunlap sometimes needs to work on tight timelines or make multiple models in the event of a tight finish at the end of the season. His story is a remarkable example of what can be accomplished with fine craftsmanship and attention to detail, and the doors that can be opened with patience and commitment.

Though we haven’t been able to win an actual gold car model, Mr. Dunlap was kind enough to donate two NASCAR bodies for display. Along with several components for a Dodge body, Mr. Dunlap also provided this 1/12 scale unpolished copper electroformed body. It was modeled in similar fashion to the body used for the 2002 Indy 500 winning Penske Dallara car, which was driven by Helio Castroneves.

Exhibit added: January 25, 2008 - Last modified: June 22, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship