This car caught my eye while I was walking around the tents at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale this past January. The window sticker revealed frustratingly few details about this cool custom roadster.
From what I could tell, this car began life as a 1951 Cadillac DeVille and was at some point turned into a chop-top roadster. The engine has been swapped out for a Chevrolet LS V8 power plant with a 4L60E automatic transmission. The interior has been redone in tan leather while the exterior has been resprayed a laser red metallic color. Continue reading
To most people my age, the 62, 63 and 64 Chevy fullsize cars are more closely associated with the rap or hip culture and low riders. However this particular Impala is pretty strong evidence to the contrary and hopefully a wake up call that the full size cars can be just as interesting as their midsized brethren when it comes to moving fast.
What I like about this car:
1. 340hp W-series big block. Nice.
2. 4-speed manual transmission, a requisite for hauling ass before drivers got lazy.
3. Paint/interior color. Blue, green and metallic. Perfectly 60s.
What I dislike about this car:
1. As much as I like any 348 or 409, this really isn’t “the” 409 that we all know from the Beach Boys’ song of the same name.
2. I feel for a top trim fullsize, the hubcaps leave a bit to be desired. From what I understand, they’re correct for the car, I just don’t care for them.
Having written about nearly every other type of neoclassic car, I was excited to see my first Zimmer at the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction. Like other neoclassic cars, the Zimmer combines the reliability of a modern, fuel-injected powertrain with classic styling. The prominent waterfall grille, exposed headlamps, full-length running boards, and bustleback style rear end are all design characteristics of pre-war American cars.
While there have been many companies that produced cars in this style, Zimmer was one of the most successful. Founded in Florida, the company built over 1,500 cars during their peak years of 1978-1988.
Just take one look at the Barrett-Jackson catalog and you’ll notice that there are plenty of Mustangs, Thunderbirds, Camaros, Corvettes, Chevelles, and Impalas in lovingly restored condition. That’s great if you like mass-produced cars, but does little to tickle the fancy of hot rodders.
If you are of the “built not bought” mindset, you will appreciate the ingenuity of cobbling together a car from whatever parts can be sourced or scavenged. With that in mind, I present 3 awesome hot rods that I saw at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2015.
1932 Ford Custom Roadster “Dicey Duce” – Lot #376.1
Sold for $25,300
The Dicey Duce is exactly what you want in a period-correct hot rod! This 1932 Ford is powered by a Grancor Flathead V8 engine coupled to a Granatelli 3-speed manual gearbox. It has a Grancor intake manifold, MSD ignition, and an electric cooling fan. A few other upgrades make this nice to drive such as a rear coilover suspension, steel braided brake lines, and a dual exit exhaust system with muffler bypass outlets.
As I was going to the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2015 auction, a thought occurred to me: I have been going to this event for over 10 years! During that time, I have seen the auction grow and change with the collector car market.
In case you are not familiar with Barrett-Jackson, their annual Scottsdale auction is THE collector car event of the year. It’s like the Super Bowl of cars – no other auction has more cars, more attendees, or more media attention than this one. For car guys, visiting is a sacred rite of passage to worship at the altar of speed. It’s hallowed ground, like the Bonneville Salt Flats or Daytona Beach or the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Now this is a gorgeous example of what could be a great daily driver vehicle. Grabber blue paint, tastefully sized wheels (albeit still a tad large for my tastes at 18″) and an engine upgrade that does this vehicle a favor, substituting the likely 289 powerplant for a 5.0L and stick shift 5 speed. All of this attention to detail and this car went for $17,000 – a real bargain price as compared to some items here at the auction. I hope you enjoy stacked headlights just as much as I do.
As a seasoned attendee of SEMA, Barrett-Jackson and other car shows, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at resto-modded muscle cars. I can tell you that Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, Chevelles, Novas, GTOs, Chargers, and similar cars are by far the most popular models that people restore. At these events, a car like a first-generation Mercury Cougar would be a real stand-out for the sheer novelty of being something different that you haven’t seen a hundred times before.
This 1969 Mercury Cougar convertible scores points for originality and hits a home run for being an extremely well done build. Nicknamed the “Cool Cat,” it was built by Hot Rod Express out of Blue Springs, Missouri.