The Best of Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas 2012

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 be a cool ride for the lucky buyer that hits the auction block jackpot.

1950 Hillman Minx (Lot 15.2)
I always like finding rare and forgotten cars for these Barrett-Jackson posts and this Hillman Minx certainly fits the bill. After all, not even I had heard of Hillman before this. The Minx was a long-lived model with the name being put onto cars from 1932 to 1970. The 1950 Minx was the second year of the Mark IV version of the model. This included a 1265cc engine which produced a whopping 37.5 horsepower which pushed the car from 0-60 MPH in a blistering 39.7 seconds.

1965 Ford Econoline Mystery Machine (Lot 42)
And sometimes I pick cars to put on this list solely for my own amusement. I’ve never been a fan of Scooby-Doo but anyone willing to put together a custom Mystery Machine is alright in my books. This van has a rebuilt V6 engine with a new water pump, belts, hoses and radiator to make sure the Machine is reliable. The colour scheme and theme of the van carries into the interior with custom upholstery. To bring it into the 21st century, it has a freezer, DVD player, flat-screen TV and power locks all plugged into an upgraded electrical system so you don’t drain the battery.

2009 Robby Gordon Motorsports Street Legal Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Car (Lot 82.1)
This car is a Robby Gordon Motorsports show car which was converted into a street legal car for the premiere of Fast Five. It’s your standard Sprint Cup car but with some necessary additions to allow it to actually be legal to run on the road. They’ve added slightly important things like headlights, tail lights and turn signals. The best part might be that RGM didn’t give the car a street engine or road-going exhaust which means that you’ll make your presence known when you drive around.

1929 Oakland All-American Six (Lot 322)
How rare is the Oakland All-American Six? It doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. Not that I get all my info from Wikipedia. Just for the more common cars where info is readily available. Oakland was part of General Motors from 1909 onwards and built Pontiac branded cars from 1926. The All-American Six was the more luxury version of the equivalent Pontiac. This particular Six was restored twice, most recently in 2005, and has placed third in a concours event in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

1955 Buick Special Riviera (Lot 344.1)
By 1955, the Buick Special was one of the best-selling lines in America. It’s easy to understand why because the Specials were Buicks entry-level full-size cars and pretty good-looking too. The Special on sale at Barrett-Jackson is from The Frank Collection and has recently undergone a complete restoration, including a completely redone exterior and rebuilt Nailhead V8.

2009 Smart Fortwo Brabus Cabriolet (Lot 610)
When you see the Brabus name on a car, you think of Mercedes sedans so overpowered that the traction control system shut the car down because there was too much torque. However, you can earn the most sensible car in the Brabus lineup with their tuned Smart car. The standard Smart Fortwo has 70 horsepower. The Brabus Smart Fortwo has 97 horsepower and a power-to-weight ratio of 7.8 kg/hp. If you get this particular car, you’ll get a low mileage city runner with all the bells and whistles that can dart quickly through rush hour traffic.

2011 Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak (Lot 653.2)
What happens when Mopar decides to sell its own factory-built track-only drag car? You get a Dodge Challenger with an 8.4-liter V10 from the Viper under the hood. The seller lists this car as having 900 horsepower which is put to the ground through a Powerglide transmission. The official literature about the car lists horsepower at closer to 600 horsepower and 70 versions rolling off the line instead of 50 on the seller’s listing. Regardless of the potential mistakes in the listing, Hagerty put the Challenger Mopar Drag Pak on its 2011 list of 10 future classics. If you’re looking for an investment, even Hagerty thinks this might be a good time to buy.

1953 Chrysler New Yorker Wagon (Lot 687)
The New Yorker is one of the longest running nameplates in American automotive history. The first New Yorker rolled off the line in 1946 and ran until 1996 for a 50 year life span. This particular New Yorker has a first generation Hemi V8. The original Hemi was a 331 cubic inch V8 that produced 180 horsepower called the FirePower Hemi. The car listing didn’t have a lot of details but it reads as though most of the car is original and in mint condition. That would make it a good find.

1955 Chevrolet 210 2-Door Hardtop (Lot 2004)
A quick history lesson. The Chevy 210 replaced the DeLuxe in Chevrolet’s range and was replaced by the Biscayne at the end of its run. Anyway, this 210 is almost completely original. That’s understandable as it only has 8,600 miles on the clock. Only five parts have been changed over the years. While I included this on the list because we haven’t featured a 210 in our Barrett-Jackson previews before and because it has so many original parts, the seller’s description is a bit disconcerting. It refers to racing driver Davy Jones as a NASCAR champion. He was the overall winner of the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans as part of Team Joest.

1967 Shelby GT500 SE Super Snake Continuation (Lot 6600)
This isn’t an actual ’67 GT500 but a modern recreation of the GT500. That means you get the looks of the classic Shelby but the functionality and build quality of a modern car. The car is billed as a street-legal race car with an adjustable suspension, Shelby Racing brakes and a functional roll-bar. All that doesn’t mention the 800 horsepower 382-cubic inch supercharged V8 under the hood. That sort of power will remind you of yesteryear.

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