About Trevor Freeman

Trevor is a real gearhead who loves everything from classic American muscle cars to high-performance exotics. When he's not reading about cars or taking photos at a car show, he's probably out cruising around. He is currently working on restoring a 1980 Chevrolet Monza hatchback.

Not Sold Here: Audi S1 Hatchback

If you want to see people go nuts at a car show, simply bring an Audi R8 supercar and watch as the crowd flocks around it like moths to the proverbial flame. Don’t get me wrong – I like the R8 – but I’ve been to plenty of car shows and seen plenty of them. At the Concours in the Hills car show, I saw an Audi that I had never seen before.

The Audi S1 is a hot hatchback based on the Audi A1 platform. It’s not sold in the United States, but it is sold in Mexico. You can think of it like Audi’s answer to the Ford Focus ST, the Fiat 500 Abarth, or the Mini Cooper John Cooper Works (JCW) edition. Hot Hatchbacks have long been popular in Europe, and are only recently starting to make inroads in the US market, where trucks and SUVs reign supreme.

Under the S1’s hood is a turbocharged 2.0L engine making 228 horsepower. Audi says it will accelerate from 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph – quite impressive for such a small car! It also has Audi’s permanent Quattro all-wheel drive system.

This car is incredibly rare to see in the US compared to the R8, but hardly anyone paid it any interest at the car show. Just goes to show what you might see when you keep your eyes open!

Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2018 Auction By the Numbers

Every year, I cover the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale. This usually means checking out the auction catalog and writing about some of the more exciting or interesting cars for sale. The 2018 auction featured plenty of interesting vehicles, but I wanted to do something a bit different this time around.

This post is about looking at the Scottsdale auction from a data-driven perspective. If you want to see a bunch of photos of the cool cars at the auction, check our Instagram or follow our blog for more in the future.

Now in its 47th year, Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale 2018 auction had a total of 1,752 vehicles consigned to sell, which was a new record for the company. The oldest car was a 1914 Rolls Royce, and the newest was a 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.

Here is a chart showing the distribution of vehicles in the 2018 catalog by year of manufacture. You can see that 1,095 out of 1,752 vehicles (62.5%) were manufactured between 1950 and 1979. The mean (average) year is 1970, while the median (middle) age of all cars for sale is 1968.

This chart shows the vehicles for sale by Make or Manufacturer. It should come as no surprise that American cars are the most popular, with 1,258 out of 1,752 vehicles (71.8%) for sale produced by Ford, GM, and Chrysler. Chevrolet was the top marque with 588 vehicles, followed by Ford with 314. While you can buy a Porsche or Ferrari at a Barrett-Jackson auction, it’s pretty clear that the bulk of the catalog is centered around American cars from the 1950s through 1970s.

Here we have a similar chart showing the most popular models of vehicle by name. The Corvette was the most popular model of car at the auction with 158 of them for sale (9% of the entire catalog!). The Mustang and Camaro tied for second place, with exactly 103 of them for sale for each car. The Chevrolet Chevelle came in third, with 49 examples for sale at this year’s event. The Ford Thunderbird came in fourth, with 39 cars for sale.

Here is the same chart but without the “Other” vehicles shown. I think it gives a pretty clear picture of what cars people are most interested in buying and selling.

According to the listing titles, just 405 out of 1,752 (23%) of vehicles at the auction were convertibles.

Pickup trucks were even less popular, comprising just 241 out of 1,752 (14%) of vehicles for sale.

Many sellers try to distinguish their vehicle from the others for sale by doing customizations. Analyzing the titles of auction listings, 458 vehicles or 26% of the entire catalog contained the word “custom.”

So what have we learned? Barrett-Jackson will sell whatever someone consigns to them, but we can see that the majority of sellers and buyers are interested in American cars from 1950 to 1979 and more specifically, Corvettes. If you’re in the market for one of these vehicles, Barrett-Jackson is where you need to be!

I hope you enjoyed this look at the numbers behind the auction. Stay tuned for more coverage of Arizona Car Week 2018!

1994 Chevrolet S-10 Custom Truck

During the 1950s and 1960s, the Kustom Kar scene in Southern California was in its heyday. Guys like Sam Barris, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Von Dutch, and Gene Winfield were customizing and modifying cars in extreme new ways. With chopped roofs, shaved trim and smoothed sheet metal work, these customized cars came to be known as “lead sleds.” A favorite vehicle of choice in the scene was the 1949-1951 Mercury coupe.

What these builders would do is combine parts from different cars in order to make a truly unique creation. For example, a Kustom Kar might use a Ford grille and headlight trim rings, a Lincoln bumper, Cadillac taillights, and side mirrors from a Buick. Smooth chrome hubcaps and “lake pipe” side exhausts are other design elements common with these cars.

This is what a proper kustom build looks like. 1951 Kaiser

While the idea of building a “parts bin” hot rod has been around for decades, you don’t really see this happening with modern cars.

Perhaps there is just too much plastic or the labor involved is too intense, but people don’t really swap mirrors, door handles, taillights, and other parts on cars these days. That’s what makes this truck so interesting.

This truck appeared for sale on our local craigslist about two months ago. As you can tell, it looks very different from a conventional S-10 pickup. There has been a ton of body work done to this truck, with every panel modified in some way.

According to the listing, this truck has the HID headlights from a 2011 GMC Sierra with a custom front grille. The front bumper and hood are from a Ford Ranger Edge pickup. The side view mirrors are from a Suzuki Hayabusa sport bike!

Moving to the rear of the truck, the bed is also highly customized. A fleetside bed was turned into a dually-style bed, and taillights from a Chevrolet Colorado pickup were swapped over. The tailgate and rollpan have all been shaved and smoothed into one big seamless piece. The whole thing is riding on a set of 20-inch IROC style wheels, similar to what would have come on a third-gen Camaro but larger than the O.E. size.

Finally, we move to the interior which features the seats, dashboard, and center console from an Acura Integra. The listing states that the gauges are hooked up and that it has working air conditioning with a brand new compressor.

I’ve got to say that looking at the pictures of this truck confuses my brain. The headlights and bed make it look like a full-size truck, but it’s not. The cab and the taillights are both from a compact pickup, and the interior doesn’t look like it would be in a truck at all.

I’m really kind of wondering what kind of person would build this truck. It must be someone with access to a lot of late-model parts, who maybe works at an auto salvage or recycling center?

The idea of combining parts from Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, and Acura into one vehicle sounds like it just wouldn’t work at all, but somehow this person has pulled it off. In Phoenix, there is no shortage of lifted and Pre-runner/baja style trucks that never ever leave the pavement. This truck is truly original, and it doesn’t look like everything else out there.

 

GoodGuys 20th Southwest Nationals


For 20 years, the GoodGuys Rod & Custom Association has been bringing the excitement to Arizona. The Southwest Nationals is a huge 3-day event featuring a car show, autocross competition, swap meet, exhibitor displays, great food and live music, and so much more! We were fortunate enough to attend the 2017 event. Check out the video for some of the highlights of this year’s show!

SEMA 2017: 1969 Camaro by Chris Holstrom Concepts


There is no shortage of shops building resto-mod muscle cars, but Chris Holstrom Concepts from Puyallup, Washington has distinguished themselves from the crowd. They captured a GM Design Award for “Best Chevrolet Exterior” in 2015, and they were back at it in 2017 with a fresh new 1969 Camaro build. We caught up with Rick from CHC as he walks us through some of the features that make this car so awesome.

SEMA 2017: 1967 Pontiac LeMans by The Custom Shop


John Wargo from The Custom Shop in Flanagan, IL takes a few moments to show us around their latest build: a resto-modded, pro-touring 1967 Pontiac Lemans nicknamed “GTLS3.” This car is loaded with custom touches, from the LS3 engine swap to the unique paint and interior. This car was displayed at the Optima Batteries booth at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

SEMA 2017: 1963 Rambler American Wagon Custom Build

Generation: High Output was on scene for the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas! One of the cars that caught our attention was this amazing Rambler American Wagon owned by Suzy Bauter. She was kind enough to tell us about the car, which she built for autocross racing. From the LS engine swap to the massive fender flares, this is both a show car and a race car! Watch the video segment to learn more. Congratulations to Suzy on winning Best Hot Rod in the Gran Turismo Awards!

Ferrari 70th Anniversary Celebration Comes to Pebble Beach

If you were to ask a room full of automotive enthusiasts which car company is the most famous in the world, you can bet that Ferrari would be at or near the top of the list. No other manufacturer has produced quite the same number of iconic sports and racing cars as Ferrari. The company is celebrating its 70th Anniversary this year, with events planned all over the world.

From Edinbrugh and Belfast to China and Singapore, Ferrari’s 70th Anniversary is truly a global celebration of motoring. I was fortunate enough to attend the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours in Monterey, Californa, where Ferrari had assembled an amazing collection of 70 automobiles in honor of their big anniversary. Here is a selection of photos I took at the Monterey event that I wanted to share with you.