This week is the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s the premier classic and rare car auction in the world. It’s the sort of thing that rich people go to for buying new status symbols and where real men go to drool over what basically is automotive erotica. It’s basically a week-long celebration of the car where gearheads are king. So to celebrate the year’s biggest car show where the cars and not the manufacturers are the stars, here are some of the best cars going on the auction block this year.
1932 Ford 3-Window Custom 2-Door Coupe (Lot 89)
This hot rod looks stock on the outside but has all the comforts of today hidden away. The old-school cream-coloured steel body covers up front and rear independent suspension, a five-speed gearbox, and a fuel injected engine. This car is also an award winner as one of the Top 10 hot rods of 1996 as selected by Hot Rod Magazine. I love a modern car in a vintage outift. It’s cool enough to pull women while not scaring them off because the car wants to drive off a cliff.
1956 Messerschmitt KR-175 (Lot 52)
Messerschmidt is too long write out too often but what else to you expect from an old German company. This car was one of their famous bubble cars. You aren’t going to get much passenger or luggage space in this thing. Creature comforts are almost non-existent. But that’s not the point of a bubble car. It’s a novelty which helps you stand out in the crowd. It’s got a small engine that helps the environment (and remember that liberal women are better in bed than conservative women before you call me a hippie). It’s got a reverse gear which were rare on KR-175s which should make you glad that your other Messerschmitt is so small. And car companies are moving back to smaller cars from giant minivans and SUVs. It’s basically the car of tomorrow from 50 years ago.
1969 Triumph TR-6 Convertible (Lot 316.1)
This one is a more unspectacular pick that I’ve made. The only reason that this is on here is because I’ve always wanted to retire to the British country side and drive around in a 60s British roadster. The TR-6 has always been at the top of my wish list for that dream. This isn’t a bad example of the breed either. Sure, it’s in white instead of my preferred British Racing Green. It’s a fully restored version of the car that’s supposed to run great. Since it’s British, if the electrics hold up more than 50% of the time, then you’ve got one of the best restoration jobs money can buy.
1957 Mercury Monterey Highway Patrol Car Re-Creation (Lot 405.2)
And now for something completely different. This California Highway Patrol car recreation was a long-time pet project of a retired California Highway Patrolman. I don’t know what would possess someone to spend years travelling the country but it’s paid off for this car. The patrolman found working vintage parts that were originally equipped on the Monterey Patrol Car. There are vintage lights, antennae, a radar gun, a special speedometer that was equipped solely to these patrol cars and a vintage police radio unit. The paint job and decals have also been recreated from archival photos of the original Monterey Patrol Cars. There’s even a notebook full of restoration details for the really hardcore buyers. Really, though, if you’re looking for a fun little head turner, this is what you need.
1974 Volkswagen Thing (Lot 634.1)
Sometimes picking one of the best cars at a show means going a bit off the wall. Take this Volkswagen golf cart and/or senior citizens vehicle that is appropriately called The Thing. This particular Thing was an Acapulco edition Thing which meant that it had running boards, special upholstery and a canvas top. This car was completely restored over 800 hours. The seller says its one of the finest examples of a Thing available. And it’s called a thing so how could you not like it.
1957 Chevrolet 210 (Lot 723)
It’s hard to think of a car that’s more iconic or recognizable than the 1957 Chevy. I remember seeing one in the middle of downtown Toronto and stopping mid-conversation to gawk. I’m a Ford guy and I have no problem admitting that a ’57 Chevrolet is one of the best looking cars ever made. This example is more of a custom than a straight-up restoration. It has a 350 c.i.d. engine rated at 350 bhp which wasn’t available back in 1957. It also a digital dash and a custom stereo system. For some reason, though, it has the original heating and air conditioning system. I guess some modern comforts are a good thing.
1989 Ferrari Testarossa (Lot 934.2)
Finally, I’ve stopped looking at classic cars or novel cars and looked for power. The Testarossa was a symbol of the fun that was the 1980s. It was a big, loud, and bright car that stood out no matter where it went. You also had a V12 strapped to your back so you got a piece of pure Italia along with the 80s flash. The car was just serviced before the auction so it will be in fine running order. The current owner is also a proper Ferrari guy. He has the original tool kit and jack that came with the car in ’89. Proper Ferrari-nerdness that.
2011 Cadillac CTS (Lot 1032)
Let’s add to the variety tally with a yet to be sold to the public production car. This brand-new Caddy CTS is the first third-generation CTS to roll off the production line. I suppose, then, that the winning buyer will own a piece of automotive history with this car. The CTS is the current flagship of Cadillac and with GM dropping assets left and right, this car is gaining value as a museum piece by the second. Also, in addition to being fully equipped with all of the top of the range extras, this CTS will also come with a tax receipt. Proceeds from this sale above market price will be donated to the College for Creative Studies so you can get a charitable donation tax receipt for buying the car. It’s a real win-win.
1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Fastback (Lot 1232)
The GTO has The Judge and the Mustang has The Boss. Ask any Ford guy and their favourite cars of all time is likely to include the word Boss. There’s also the Boss 429 big block that Ford used to wage war in NASCAR but I prefer the 302. Some of that is the better handling of the smaller engine compared to the 429. Part of my reasoning is that the Boss 302 V8 used a Windsor built block and the big block headers from Cleveland. Ask any self-respecting Ford man and they’ll tell you that Windsor engines were better than Clevelands. Anyway, this particular Boss 302 Mustang is one of better one’s you’ll ever find for sale. It recently won a gold medal award in the Mustang Club of America’s concourse event. The concourse is like a dog show for cars with points awarded for being as close to original spec as possible. So this car runs and looks like new but new would be late 1970 in this case.
1992 Ford Thunderbird NASCAR Race Car (Lot 1266.1)
This race car isn’t just any old Winston Cup car. It’s a Daytona 500 champion with Davey Allison. Since it ran before the time of the museum impound for the Daytona winning car, this car went to Talladega in May and won there. In the nine points races this car was in, Allison finished in the Top 10 seven times and had a pole in the 1991 Daytona 500. I should mention it’s only being sold on a bill of sale. I have no idea what that means but I assume that means you can’t exactly drive it off the lot.
1966 Yamaha YDS3-250 Batcycle (Lot 1524)
Motoring motorbikes, Batman! It’s the Batcycle. More or less. It’s not actually a Batcycle used on the original TV series and it’s definitely something that was used in any of the movies. The original Batcycle was actually based on a 250cc Yamaha motorbike. The same model bike was used as the basis for the custom restoration to recreate the Batcycle. I don’t think that there are any gadgets on the bike which is a downer. Now only if someone at the Scottsdale show would put a version of the Batmobile on the block.