Tha Sports Junkies 101

New Sam Bass Studio Is A Work Of Art

Frank Velat


Many artists have a unique style that is instantly recognizable and entirely all their own. Their instruments move in a way that only they can maneuver them. Any art aficionado can instantly identify a Picasso or Rembrandt. Whether it be color pattern, design, tools, or creative twist, the characteristics are unmistakable. The same can be said for NASCAR’s first ever officially licensed artist, Sam Bass.

Sam’s extensive library of art and memorabilia has been on display for years at a gallery in Concord across from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. But road construction and redesigned traffic patterns left him worried that fans were missing out on the chance to see it all. Never one to be content with “good enough”, Bass decided it was time for a change.

Now, Bass has moved his massive collection to a new (and more visible) home and he’s ready to share it with the world all over again. But thinking that it’s just rows of framed artwork on these walls would be a massive understatement.

From an early age, Sam was smitten with several lifelong loves. He would lose himself in a world of superhero fantasy, spending hours reading comic books. These books would be some of his early inspiration, as he attempted to recreate the artistry he saw on the pages.

Then at the age of 7, Sam attended his very first NASCAR race in Richmond, VA. From the moment he left the track, he knew that he wanted to be a part of NASCAR. The dream was to combine his love of art, comic book superheroes, and classic music with NASCAR racing. The hard work and dedication he put into making that dream come true can be felt in every detail of the new Sam Bass Art Studios.

From the life sized superhero greeting guests at the door to the four windows overlooking the outside adorned with Sam’s work, no effort was spared to transform the experience from being museum-like to a complete pop culture immersion. Guests can sit at tables complete with guitar shaped tops or in chairs built with actual car rims. Sam’s musical influences are visible from every angle of the 7,000 sq ft building, whether it’s custom designed guitars for some of rock, pop, and country’s biggest names or the classic tunes featured on the multiple speakers strategically placed to entertain but not overwhelm visitors. Classic toys, timeless memorabilia, and even decor related to Sam’s favorite holiday, Christmas, can be seen for the first time even after several walks through.

Naturally, the attraction for many fans will be the staggering array of racing history. Driving gloves, helmets, firesuits, and enough diecast cars to do laps around the building are more than enough excitement for both casual fans and lifelong diehards alike. Over 500 pieces of art adorn the walls as part of a rotating inventory of better than 3,000.

For Sam, the road to success hasn’t been easy. But it’s clear to see that it has most certainly been worth the effort. “This has been 35 years of treating people as kindly as I can and working as hard as I can.” Sam says. He goes to add that while the last few years have been difficult for him, things are looking up. “I finally think I’ve got all that in my rear view mirror and I’m ready….just looking forward to all the new stuff.”

The new Sam Bass Art Studios is an absolute must see for race fans in and around the Charlotte area. But even for someone who may not be a NASCAR supporter, the chances are high that it won’t diminish the experience of all that the studio has on display. One would be just as intrigued if they had a love of music, pop culture, superheroes and more.

After all, that’s what the guy who made it loves as well.

Visit Sam Bass Art Studios at 4030 Concord Parkway South in Concord, NC. For more information, go to