DuPont Performance Coatings, Inc. produces and researches advanced automotive coatings and finishes products. In 1993, capitalizing on the growing popularity of NASCAR racing, DuPont sponsored famed driver Jeff Gordon (1971-), whose #24 was adorned with the DuPont logo. The collection consists of advertisements and memorabilia collected by a DuPont employee who followed Jeff Gordon on the NASCAR circuit.
DuPont Performance Coatings, Inc. produces and researches advanced automotive coatings and finishes products. DuPont Performance Coatings was created in March 1999 by the merger of DuPont Automotive Finishes, a business unit of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, and Herberts GmbH, the coatings subsidiary of the German chemical firm Hoechst AG. Automotive Finishes had once been part of DuPont's Automotive Products Department, and DuPont had a long history in automotive finishes. In 1993, capitalizing on the growing popularity of NASCAR racing, DuPont sponsored famed driver Jeff Gordon (1971-), whose #24 was adorned with the DuPont logo. Gordon and his car became the centerpiece of a DuPont advertising campaign showcasing its automotive finishes. DuPont chose well in their sponsorship of Gordon. In 1993 he was named the Winston Cup rookie of the year. In 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001 he was crowned the Winston Cup Champion. Throughout the span of his NASCAR career Gordon has raced his #24 car with the DuPont name printed very prominently across the hood. Aside from the car, DuPont sponsored the “Contingency Finish” program. This program gave bonuses to winning cars painted with DuPont products. The cars that wore DuPont paint were tagged with a sticker on the contingency panel, an area near the driver’s side door.
To further their marketing efforts, DuPont created a variety of different material. They produced stand-up displays featuring Jeff Gordon and DuPont’s ChromaPermier Champion’s Choice Paint to be put in DuPont product distributors and body shops. A number of posters were printed with various combinations of Jeff Gordon, the #24 car, paint schemes, color samples, other DuPont drivers, and even non-motorsports figures like Hot Rod builder Boyd Coddington. DuPont created special paint jobs to celebrate NASCAR’s 50th anniversary. Superman was featured in a special edition comic book with many major Motorsports figures including Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1974-), John Force (1949-), Matt Hines (1972-), Steve Kinser (1954-), and Jimmy Vasser (1965-) that was linked with a special paint job for the #24 car featuring the Man of Steel. Autographed pictures of Jeff Gordon in the #24 were given out as promotional gifts and sold to collectors. DuPont worked with the Kellogg Company to have Jeff Gordon and their car featured on the front of a Wheaties box in celebration of Gordon being named rookie of the year in 1993 and in 1995 for being the NASCAR champion. Other marketing efforts included the production of Jeff Gordon trading cards and post cards.
DuPont Automotive finishes looked outside the world of NASCAR racing to sell and advertise their product. Automotive finishes were marketed to carmakers of all types. DuPont put together media packets and set out color samples popular in a given year. The Automotive Finishes branch even tried its hand at painting and finishing helicopters, creating a color packet for the Robinson Helicopter Company.
As of 2013 the company name changed to Axalta Coating Systems.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of advertisements and memorabilia collected by a DuPont employee who followed Jeff Gordon on the NASCAR circuit. They include posters, trading cards, stand-up displays, pictures, a comic book featuring Superman and Jeff Gordon, a Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats box with Gordon on the front, and other promotional material for DuPont's line of Performance Coatings for NASCAR, all featuring images of Gordon and his car, #24. The marketing efforts featured DuPont's brand of ChromaLusion Paint, a special finish developed for automobiles.