Grandpa’s Collection Financing Namesake’s Education

Monte Mansfield picked up everything he could get his hands on. He didn’t get to enjoy it long into retirement but now his mammoth NASCAR collection is paying the bills for his grandson.

Four decades worth of NASCAR memorabilia sits in the Michigan home of Carole Mansfield. It all belonged to her–and her late husband– a General Motors retiree who passed away in 2007.

While Monte Mansfield’s death at age 68 wasn’t easy, there was a small silver lining. The hundreds of thousands of items he had acquired over four decades provided a nest egg for their grandson’s college education. The younger Monte is getting through his first year thanks to the online sale of mountains of "hero cards", 8×10 size driver pictures designed for autographs. While only some contain driver signatures, they’re a hit with NASCAR collectors who can pick up a couple dozen for less than $100. Some in the Mansfield collection date back to the late 1960s.

The cards that have been sold are a drop in the bucket. There are plenty more to move to keep young Monte enrolled. “I can’t slack off. This definitely adds more pressure,” he told the Flint Journal in this story.