Classic cars are easily the closest thing we’ll ever have to a time machine. Step inside of any restored (or simply not beat to shit) car of yesteryear and you’re instantly transported to another time.. completely surrounded by the smells, sounds, and styles. Continue reading
One of the more interesting vehicles found at Barrett-Jackson this year was this Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2. Among the more high-profile G-bodies like the Monte Carlo, El Camino, Cutlass and Buick T-type, the Pontiac tends to become more of a forgotten offering. Couple that with this aerodynamic-enhancing body conversion by Auto-Fab for homologation purposes and you find yourself with one interesting piece of history.
Being one of only 1,225 Grand Prix models converted, it’s provenance is evident in it’s smooth Firebird/Camaro-esque rear windshield, revised front fascia and small fiberglass trunk lid. That’s correct: Despite it’s appearance, that window is static, not hatch.
And that lack of useful storage space is only one of the many issues that kept this production variant out of the General Motors limelight. The lackluster performance from the 150hp 5.0L carbureted v8 available only through the 2004r auto and a 3.08:1 rear end ratio didn’t help either. If you remember correctly, even the lowly Monte Carlo SS had an alternative 180hp variant during it’s run, not to mention the offerings from Buick and Oldsmobile.
Despite it’s shortcomings, aesthetically it’s a stud in the confines of it’s era. Which, along with it’s rareness, is probably why this well-kept, low-mileage example went for an impressive $11,000 at auction.
Barrett-Jackson returned to Scottsdale, Arizona for their 46th annual Collector Car Auction event, which was held from January 14-22, 2017. They sold a record number of cars, and raised nearly $2.2 million dollars for charity. In case you missed it, here are some photos that should give you a sense of what it was like to be there.
Approximately 320,000 people passed through this entrance during the eight day event. Continue reading
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.
There are a lot of hot rod shops all around the country that build show cars for SEMA, but none of them grab attention quite like the Ringbrothers. Based in Spring Green, Wisconsin, Ringbrothers was founded by brothers Mike and Jim Ring.
They’ve made a name for themselves as world-class car builders, and I had the priviledge of checking out one of their creations at the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. This is their take on a 1964 Ford Fairlane 500, which they have nicknamed “Afterburner.”
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.