Diecast Diaries: A look inside Mary Lou Briggs' collection

Women who love racing are among the most passionate sports fans you'll ever encounter. As Tony Stewart once said, "Female fans normally know more facts about what's going on than men do anyways. I'd say they're a more intelligent fan, on top of that. They normally know more about what we've done than we know about what we've done." Our newest column looks at a special group of female racing fans. Not only are they dedicated to their driver, able to spout off statistics and memories, they collect pieces of history that tell their story. These are the Diecast Diaries. 

Mary Lou's husband crafted custom built-in cabinets to house part of her diecast collection. 
Photos courtesy of Mary Lou Briggs

"I usually don't tell non-NASCAR people about my collection because they ask, 'Why do you want toy cars?'" says longtime race fan Mary Lou Briggs in regard to her diecast collection. For Briggs, these replicas of racecars aren't toys, they're memories. "I personally feel that each car is a work of art, and some of them remind me of special moments at the track," she says.

Those familiar with the second grade teacher can attest that she's a hardcore Denny Hamlin fan, but her passion for racing came long before Hamlin strapped into a Sprint Cup Series seat. "I have always liked fast cars and competition. When my mom finally took me to the 1971 Firecracker 400, I knew I found my happy place. I have been attending that race ever since along with many others around the country."

After having been given the opportunity to wave the green flag for Hamlin's 2007 Daytona 500 qualifying run, Briggs wanted something to commemorate the experience. Purchased at the speedway, the FedEx Express diecast started her journey as a collector. Today the Florida resident has roughly 100 cars in her collection. 

"I've probably spent more than $5,000... My collection is almost all Denny, but I have a few others. I have Bill Elliott, Chase Elliott, Richard Petty, Coy Gibbs and a collection of other drivers who drove the 11."

Briggs proudly displays the collection in her home - some in free standing cases and others in special built-in cases her husband installed in the walls.

Choosing a favorite car is an impossible task for most collectors, and Briggs is no different. "My faves are a FedEx Cup gold elite, two prototypes, a few customs and the Autism car with my name [and the names of many others] on it."

Briggs continues to add to her collection and would love to own race-win versions of each of her driver's wins, but to make that happen she will have to order customs from private dealers.

You can follow Mary Lou on Twitter where it's "always Denny time" under the username @totalsilliness

Are you a female collector? Skirts and Scuffs would love to tell your story. Contact Katy Lindamood for more information on being profiled in Diecast Diaries. 

Katy Lindamood has been an avid NASCAR fan since age 12 when she first saw racing on television. For more than 20 years, Katy has shared her love of racing with her family and friends. In 2009 Katy founded Skirts and Scuffs as an avenue for female fans to share their passion for 43 cars thundering through the turns. 

Katy resides in Ashland, Kentucky with her husband of nearly 11 years and their dog. When she's not talking racing, you can find her behind the jewelry counter at the local Wal-Mart. 
Diecast Diaries: A look inside Mary Lou Briggs' collection Diecast Diaries: A look inside Mary Lou Briggs' collection Reviewed by Katy Lindamood on Saturday, July 04, 2015 Rating: 5