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‘Bubba’ Carter continues to seek Guiness record for NASCAR memorabilia

December 30, 2018 GMT

Why you know him: Armand “Bubba” Carter and wife Cathy, Mechanicsville residents, are in the process of establishing a Guinness World Record for the largest collection of NASCAR memorabilia. When we caught up with Bubba shortly before September’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway, roughly 4,200 unique pieces had been documented for the collection with hundreds — if not more — left to go. The qualifying number set by Guinness is 5,000 unique pieces, all requiring written and photographic documentation. Cathy carefully maintains a notebook with each item’s description. Bubba’s collection, which started with a model of one of Ricky Rudd’s cars that was found in a child’s sandbox, is on display in one of three separate garage spaces behind his home.

The story in The Times-Dispatch was picked up by NBC Sports Network, which featured the Carters on their pre-race show.

What he’s up to now: The process of getting into the record book is long, and Bubba and Cathy are still plugging away. The number of items they have counted and documented for the collection is now closer to 6,000, including a couple of new pieces — more than enough to establish the record. However, they anticipate needing to go back through and make sure nothing is duplicated in their hand-written records. Once they’re confident, the notebooks Cathy has kept must be typed into a computer and all pictures burned on to a DVD. The collection must then be certified by someone with NASCAR expertise and all entry forms notarized.

The documentation process, Bubba said, is the most difficult part of the process. “Some people don’t think 5,000 is a lot. But if you have to document and take 5,000 pictures, that’s a lot,” he said.

Since the collection became publicized, Bubba has received recognition from people all over the state, and has received at least 15 phone calls or letters from people as far away as Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee interested in adding to his collection, or simply learning the value of their own.

“They all congratulated me when we talked,” he said. “Every one of them we talked to, I spent at least 45 minutes to an hour with them. It was back-and-forth about NASCAR, what they had, what I had, and what it’s worth.”

Bubba said he is confident his record will have staying power due to the amount of work the documentation process takes. He has no plans to build upon the collection for the purposes of the record, unless someone were to beat him.

“I know nobody is going to break that record, but if someone else comes along and breaks it, I’ll have to do it just to keep it,” he said.

With the end in sight, he now has his eyes on other collectibles. He is starting to put together the Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Car Collection with the hopes of passing it off to a grandson one day.

“He’s always got to be collecting something,” Cathy said.