Barrett-Jackson only runs four of its world-famous collector car auctions each year. The final auction is one of its newer ones. This week is Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas auction which appropriately takes place on The Strip at the Mandalay Bay Resort. Every year, millions of people drop billions of dollars in casinos looking to win the big jackpot. At Barrett-Jackson, car buyers will spend millions of dollars hoping to hit the jackpot by buying the car of their dreams or a collector car that will increase in value. So here are ten of my favourite cars from this week’s auction that will at least be cool for the lucky buyer that hits the auction block jackpot.
19th Century Covered Wagon (Lot 7)
I didn’t know that the world’s greatest collector car auctioneer sold covered wagon. This thing only has as much horsepower as you could strap to the front of the wagon. In all seriousness, the seller estimates that this wagon was built between 1880 and 1900 and can transport up to 7,500 pounds depending on the design and quality of construction. It was also noted that these wagons are similar to the ones that would have traversed the Oregon trail. It’s a perfect buy for American history buffs, museum curators and video game fans.
1969 Mercury Cougar Convertible (Lot 34)
The first year the Cougar was offered as a convertible was in ’69. This particular one is a good example of the breed because it has a 351 Windsor V8 under the hood and everybody knows that Windsor always made the best engines. This car also just had a thorough restoration in 2009 so it’s going to be in good shape to pull out of the garage for a cruise around the back roads. The car also has all matching numbers (VIN numbers identical on all parts) and original documents which is important for its resale value.
2008 Dodge Charger Race Car (Lot 84)
Ever wanted your own race ready NASCAR Sprint Cup stock car? Well, this isn’t just a race ready car but a poll-winning race ready car. This is Kasey Kahne’s 2008 road course car which scored the pole at the Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway in California. The car isn’t quite up to 2010 specs so you can’t technically bring the car out to run the next race but you have all the parts you need to run it elsewhere. The car comes with all the required parts to put it on track including 830 hp V8 engine, 4-speed gearbox, rear gear, and 17-gallon fuel cell. This would definitely be better to have in your driveway than a Prius or Tesla.
1992 Acura NSX (Lot 332.1)
If NASCAR race cars aren’t your thing, perhaps you’d like a race car for the road. The NSX was Honda’s plan to build a sports car that was just as good as what the Germans and Italians were producing. That set the wheels in motion for one of the more underrated sports cars of all-time. It has a mid-mounted 3.0 L V6 tuned to 270 bhp (at the time, Japan’s car manufacturers had a self-imposed horsepower cap of 276 bhp) which pushed all of the power to the rear wheels. The NSX can credit most of its success to the input of F1 legend Ayrton Senna who insisted that the chassis be stiffened. What resulted was a sports car that could get through the corners better than its European contemporaries.
1939 Graham-Paige 97 (Lot 344.3)
Never heard of the Graham Brothers Company? You probably wouldn’t be the only one. Three brothers from Indiana bought the Paige-Detroit Motor Company in 1927 and grew the company based on success in motorsports and building a high-quality car. Then the Great Depression hit and the company stopped production by the end of the ’30s. The company did survive but as a real estate company that eventually owned Madison Square Gardens. Anyway, this car was billed as the “Spirit of Motion” by G-P and later nicknamed the Sharknose because of the shape of the front of the car. The 97 won the Concours D’Elegance in Paris in 1938 and this particular 97 was invited to Meadowbrook Concours D’Elegance in 2006. Apart from that, little history is widely available on the 97 but it would probably be a fine example of a museum car.
1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS Indianapolis 500 Pace Car (Lot 359.1)
Something you used to be able to do was by replica pace cars from your car dealer. That’s a practice that has long since ended but thanks to collector car auctions, you can still pick them up. Take this one of 3,675 1969 Indy 500 pace car replicas. This was something that Chevy started with the 1967 Camaro (which just happened to be the first year of the Camaro). I would assume this one looks pretty close to original because I don’t think anyone would voluntarily reupholster a car in orange. But if you’re looking for that Indy 500 experience without a nomex firesuit, this would be a decent place to look.
1956 Austin-Healey BN2-100M Roadster (Lot 641)
The 100 series was a sort of joint venture between Jenson Motors (who would build the chassis and bodies) and Austin-Healey (who would finish the car). The 100M was a special high performance edition of the 100 series developed to run at Le Mans (back when the rules made the cars a lot closer to factory stock than the cars running today). There were scads of upgrades over the stock 100 series to make it ready for 24 hours of racing and the list is far too long to go over here. Suffice to say that the 100M was faster and handled better than a standard 100. The 100M was only produced for one year in 1956 and only 640 were produced. This is a textbook example of a collector car.
1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 (Lot 644.1)
Pontiac had The Judge. Ford had The Boss. For two years, Ford produced two high-powered versions of the Mustang. The more powerful one, but slightly less popular, was the Boss 429 Mustang. The other was the iconic Boss 302. Like the name implies, this car has a 302 cu. in. V8 that was specially developed 290 horsepower which was 70 bhp more than the 302 would come with in the standard Mustang. While the stock 302 was a Windsor engine, the Boss 302 V8 had a Windsor block and Cleveland heads to make one of the great hybrids in history. The car was recently restored so you’re going to see a fine example of the breed rolling across the block.
1958 Chevrolet Impala (Lot 672.2)
The Impala was introduced in the 1958 model year. So what we have here is an example of one of the first Impalas to roll off the line. The Impala was also redesigned after the 1958 model year so this car is, for all intents and purposes, a one year only car. This particular example went through a five-year concourse quality restoration. (For those of you wondering, concourse is a competition where you are scored based on how close to factory original your car is. This car was restored to be as close to as it was when it rolled off the line as possible.) It also has the rare 348 cu. in. V8 which makes this a pretty good collector buy if return on investment is your thing.
2008 Bugatti Veyron (Lot 6580)
When the fastest car of the world is up for sale, you have to take notice. This is #80 of 300 Veyrons and it retailed for about $1.8 million new. I don’t think that it’ll go at nearly $2 million at auction but for the chance to pick up this car, I would think that this is an easy seven-figure car. It has 1,001 horsepower and can do 253 mph. That’s all you really need to know about the Veyron. Sure, the Veyron Super Sport does a new record 268 mph but who wouldn’t want the original ridiculous hyper car.