2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition

There is no shortage of Special Edition Corvettes out there in the world. Everything from Anniversary editions to special trim packages, paint colors, and more means that there are lots of desirable combinations for car collectors. At the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2019 auction, I happened across a Special Edition Corvette that I had not heard of before. The GT1 Championship Edition Corvette was a special option package offered in 2009.

The GT1 Corvette started with a C6 Corvette 4LT, a fully optioned model with all the amenities such as Premium Stereo, Memory Seats, and a Heads Up Display. In addition, the GT1 package added the following special items:

  • Forged Chrome Aluminum Wheels
  • Z51 Performance Package (Large cross-drilled brake rotors, performance tires, stabilizer bars, springs, shocks, and gear ratios)
  • Dual-mode performance exhaust
  • ZR1 body-colored spoiler
  • Graphics inspired by C6.R Racing Livery
  • Driver Flags on Roof
  • Ebony Custom Leather Trim
  • Exclusive Yellow Stitching on Seats and Interior
  • GT1 Embroidery on Seats, Center Console, and Instrument Panel
  • Lower Door Script with GT1 Championships
  • Black Headlamps
  • Carbon Pattern Engine Cover
  • Specific VIN Sequence

The cost of the GT1 package added nearly $8,000 to the price of the car, making this a premium car aimed at collectors and true enthusiasts. The car could be ordered as a Coupe, Convertible, or Z06 model with black or velocity yellow as the only color choices available. A total of 600 GT1 Corvettes were produced in 2009 – that is 100 of each body style and color combination.

The car I saw at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale 2019 auction was a black coupe, and is the first of only 24 black coupes produced with the GT1 package.

Ten years ago, the car’s MSRP was $64,460 and this one had another $3,000 worth of options including the Navigation system and 6-speed paddle shift automatic transmission, pushing the final price to $68,310. During the past decade, the car has accumulated just 3,851 actual miles – a real low mileage gem!

The car sold at the auction for $34,100 (including the buyer’s premium). For reference, the Kelly Blue Book value of a similar car with the same options and mileage is valued at $25 to $28,000. While it may seem high compared to private party, I bet that the value on a regular Corvette will continue to depreciate, while this one will be an investment. With such limited production, I believe these cars will be much more desirable in the future. Whoever bought this one for $34k got a great deal, in my opinion.

Movie Cars Bring Excitement to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2019

You may not be a celebrity, but you sure can feel like one in one of these movie cars! Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale 2019 collector car auction is just weeks away. Browsing through the catalog, I noticed a number of interesting vehicles that have been featured in movies and television shows, as well as some tributes and re-creations of famous cars.

Each of these cars will be auctioned off in Scottsdale, Arizona starting January 12, 2019.


Excellent! This 1977 AMC Pacer “Wayne’s World” re-creation retains its original drivetrain and includes correct mismatched wheels and hubcaps, and 1992 “Wayne’s World” memorabilia.


This custom 1989 Jeep Cherokee was built in a “Jurassic Park” theme for promotional use when the movie debuted, but was never used. It was instead used as a daily driver by the builder. This Jeep is powered by a 4.0-liter EFI engine backed by an automatic transmission. It’s loaded with all power options, including the sunroof, oversized wheels and tires, 4-wheel drive, winch bumper and a 14” widened body. All of the “Jurassic Park” logos are still in place.


When Knight Rider debuted on NBC in 1982, David Hasselhoff and KITT became a big hit. Possibly inspired by the success of Knight Rider and other detective shows like Columbo, Kojack, and Matlock, NBC put together a show called B.L. Stryker which debuted in 1989. The series starred Burt Reynolds and ran for just two seasons.

This 1988 Pegasus was built for two episodes of the 1989 television series “BL Stryker” starring Burt Reynolds and filmed in Palm Beach, FL. Co-director Hal Needham ordered two of these cars for the show. This one is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 engine backed by an automatic transmission.


This 1968 Ford Econoline van underwent a body-on restoration and is styled after the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. It is finished in the correct movie exterior color combination along with the Mystery Machine livery. The interior is a custom blue, green and orange movie-style look and is complete with a Ghost Finder instrument panel. It is powered by a factory 302ci V8 engine mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission.


This custom-made VW bus was made specifically for the 1996 movie “Sunchaser” starring Woody Harrelson, and is still in movie condition. The look and feel of this bus was created by artists for the desert scene where Woody’s character is stranded and is picked up by a hippie character, who saves him. It’s powered by a 4-cylinder engine and a 4-speed manual transmission.


This Mercedes-Benz 300TE Station Wagon was purchased new by Shirley Temple-Black in 1989. Shirley Temple was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and she appeared in dozens of movies. She has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and she remains an American film icon today.

Not only was she known for her work on the silver screen, but also as a United States ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. This vehicle was her actual diplomat vehicle and still has the Czech flag receptacle installed on the fender. This Mercedes has its original paint and bodywork, and is powered by a 3.2-liter inline 6-cylinder engine offering 217hp, backed by an automatic transmission. It’s equipped with 4-wheel power-assisted hydraulic disc brakes with ABS. It is well-optioned with a tan interior, air conditioning, sunroof, power seats, power doors and power locks.

An unusual option is the electric rear window shade. It is also equipped with the optional Acceleration Slip Control for secure traction. This car was in Mrs. Temple-Black’s care until her passing in 2014. Included with the car are copies of the registration documents in Shirley Temple’s name.


This custom pickup was previously owned by, and built for, actor Bruce Willis. Bruce Willis had the truck built in the early 1990s. Bruce sold the truck in November 2014 to a friend in Santa Monica, CA, and it was then sold and moved to Alberta, Canada. This truck is equipped with a 350ci 8-cylinder engine, 4-speed manual transmission, headers, high rise intake with Holley carburetor, dual exhaust, Nova front clip with power disc brakes, Nova rear differential with drum brakes. The custom interior features leather power seats and air conditioning.


Note: This is not the actual auction car. Image from IMCDB.

This was one of three Firebird Formulas provided by Pontiac Motor Division to the TV show “The Rockford Files,” and was used from 1978 until the series ended in 1980. With a special Solar Gold exterior and tan interior, the factory Formula 400 model was modified to look like an Esprit for the show. This car was the sound car, used for close-ups while driving, and still has the original mic box, holes drilled to run recording wiring, and a skid plate to protect the engine and transmission from damage during stunts.

It’s powered by a 6.6-liter V8 engine mated to an automatic transmission, and features air conditioning and Rally gauges, as well as power windows, steering and brakes. This car, which was purchased by actor James Garner at the conclusion of the series and driven by him until May 1981, was the only one used in the show that had power windows and an AM/FM radio. It was recently frame-on restored by noted Pontiac restorer Mike Flaherty and presents just as it would be to start a season of filming “The Rockford Files.”

Included is a copy of the dealer invoice showing the car was delivered to Pontiac Motor Division in Sherman Oaks, CA (the location Vista Group/Product Placement used to get their vehicles from GM), as well as a letter from James Garner’s production company identifying the car as an actual screen-used Firebird Formula 400, and that he drove this car during the filming of “The Rockford Files.”


This is one of the original cars from the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds.” This car was used in the street scenes in the movie, and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from Cinema Vehicle Services signed by Ray Claridge, President of Cinema Vehicle Services. Also included is license plate that was on the car in the movie. This Mustang is powered by a 351ci Ford Motorsport crate engine mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission and is equipped with Total Control suspension.

Not Sold Here: Honda Beat

In today’s edition of Not Sold Here, we are featuring the Honda Beat. The Beat is a special class of super small vehicles for which there is no equivalent in the United States. Smaller than a subcompact, these cars are often called “kei cars” in Japan. I featured another Japanese vehicle, the Subaru Microvan, a few years ago. The difference is that the Subaru was actually imported to the U.S. while the Honda Beat was not.

I ran across this Honda Beat at the monthly Cars and Coffee gathering in Scottsdale. It is unbelievably small in person. Although it’s hard to visualize, the Honda Beat is nearly 10 inches narrower and 400 lbs lighter than the original Mazda Miata. It really is like a street legal go-kart. The philosophy behind these kei cars is to have small, efficient transportation for the narrow streets and crowded cities of Japan. As such, they were not designed to be particularly sporty. The inline 3-cylinder engine displaces 656 cc (40.0 cubic inches) and puts out a whopping 63 horsepower. The Honda Beat was only available with a 5-speed manual transmission.

There is a law in the United States that allows vehicles 25 years or older to be imported and driven on the roads, even though the vehicles do not meet US Federal crash test standards. This “show and display” law is the reason why you might be seeing more R32 Skylines and other right-hand drive Japanese vehicles at your favorite car shows. It is very likely that this Honda was imported under that same law.

About 34,000 of these cars were built during the production run from 1991 to 1996. It is unknown how many of them have made it to the U.S., but I’m certain the number is quite small. The car drew a huge number of curious onlookers at the show – much more than some of the brand new exotics and supercars that cost many times what this vehicle is worth.

This is a very unique car and I’m glad to have run across it at the Saturday Motorsports Gathering put on by Scuderia Southwest.

Gold Rush Rally: GRX 2018 in Scottsdale

Pagani Huayra at the Gold Rush Rally in Scottsdale

The origins of the automotive rally date back more than 100 years to 1895 in France, when early motorsports enthusiasts came up with a point-to-point race using public roads, as there were very few race tracks at the time. Today, the tradition of a city to city road rally is as popular as ever.

One of the most elite in the United States is the Gold Rush Rally, now in its 10th year. For 2018 the route covers ten cities in ten days, stretching more than 3,500 miles from Boston to Las Vegas.

The event is open to those who can afford the steep price tag of $22,000 for the full route, or $11,000 for half of the journey. The cost includes VIP parties, lodging in first-class accommodations, and the experience of being part of a rolling party of automotive mayhem. As you might imagine, the entry fee attracts a certain type of individual with a preference for exotic, high-end supercars and luxury cars. These cars are often modified with body kits, aftermarket wheels, and exotic wraps. Think of it like your local car meet, only far more expensive.

Over 20 teams registered for the 2018 event, which has also attracted a number of high-level corporate sponsors including Barrett-Jackson, Michelin Tires, Lexus, and Vorsteiner just to name a few. The rally features support vehicles, police escorts, and private track experiences along the way.

While I am not part of the Gold Rush Rally nor am I a sponsor or a vendor, I do have an appreciation for exotic cars and for the lifestyle, so I decided to head out to Scottsdale to check out the cars and the teams on Day 9 of the ten-day event.

Vorsteiner Ferrari

Sunday, June 1, 2018
The cars rolled into the parking lot at Luxury Auto Collection after spending the night at the 5-star Fairmont Princess Resort. LAC was the host of this event, with breakfast for the teams and a chance to see the GRR teams for the public. I arrived half an hour early and was greeted by a crowd of 30-40 car spotters already in place, lined up along both sides of the road. Telephoto lenses, stabilizers, and DSLR cameras were the order of the day. Continue reading

Intermeccanica Indra 2+2 Coupe

Now HERE’s something you don’t see every day! In fact, I would be quite surprised if you had heard of an Intermeccanica Indra before. I certainly had not, until I was standing in front of this one at the monthly Cars and Coffee car show in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was vaguely familiar with Intermeccanica because of the Italia, the car which took me years to figure out what it was.

Founded in Torino, Italy in 1959, the company began producing small numbers of sports cars such as the Apollo GT. I think the design of the Indra is very representative of what was happening in Italy in the 1970s. You can see a little bit of everything in this car, yet it doesn’t look like a carbon copy of a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or DeTomaso. The Intermeccanica has some distinct design elements, like the shape of the quarter windows, the flares over the wheel arches, and the vents on the front fenders.
The Indra is an exceptionally rare car, with only 127 examples completed between early 1971 and mid-1974. According to the website intermeccanica.org, the breakdown was approximately 60 convertibles, 40 coupes and 27 two plus twos. That makes this yellow 2+2 the rarest of the rare! This one is well-equipped with an automatic transmission, power windows, air conditioning, a stereo, and a full complement of gauges.With a Chevrolet 350 under the hood, maintenance is both affordable and easy on the powertrain. I spent a few minutes chatting with the owner of this wonderful and unique car. He told me the car has had a complete restoration on the paint and body, with everything sorted out. Standing next to it, I can attest that for a 1970s Italian car, this one was in stunning condition.

The one custom touch the owner made was to have the Intermeccanica logo embroidered on the seats – he said it didn’t come that way from the factory, but he really liked it.

I really enjoyed learning about this interesting piece of automotive history, and I hope that you enjoyed reading about it!


1975 Lamborghini Urraco – One Odd Bull

Readers who remember the 70s will recall the gas crisis of 1973 and the long-lasting effects it had on the global market for high performance cars. In response to the uncertain economic times and skyrocketing fuel costs, supercar manufacturers began to produce “budget supercars” like the V6-powered Ferrari Dino and Maserati Merak. Lamborghini was still producing the Miura, but they also rolled out a budget supercar of their own: the Urraco.

The Urraco is an extraordinarily rare car, with total production of just 791 vehicles between 1973 to 1979. Of those, just 21 were manufactured for export to the United States market. This car is one of them. I had a chance to get up close and personal with this 1975 Urraco P111 at the 2018 Russo and Steele Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The basis of Lamborghini’s cars has long been the V12 powerplant, but not with the Urraco. Because it was intended to be a more affordable supercar, it conceals a V8 engine under the rear hatch making 217 horsepower – significantly more than the Dino 206 and 246 GT and the early Merak (non-SS models).

This car was advertised as being in excellent mechanical condition, with an engine rebuild and major service completed in 2016 at a cost of $36,000. Other perks include the original owner’s manual and spare assembly, service history with records and receipts, and a 40-hour detailing job.
While a modern Lamborghini interior looks like the cockpit of a fighter jet, the cars of the 1970s were much more spartan. This Urraco sports a full suite of gauges, a stereo, and even factory air conditioning! I’m not sure if this was standard on US market cars or an option, but it would certainly be essential for an Arizona car.

I have to say that this 1975 Urraco was one of the more interesting cars at the Russo and Steele Scottsdale 2018 auction, and I am very glad I went. It’s definitely the odd bull of the herd as it doesn’t have the famous Lamborghini V12 or the amazing looks of the Miura, but it’s a part of the company’s history nonetheless. Collector car auctions offer a chance to see those rare and unique vehicles that you just don’t see every day, and Russo and Steele did not disappoint in that regard. I am very glad I went and would recommend that you do the same, if you are in the market for a unique collector vehicle.

Cadillac LSA-Swapped 1968 Buick Riviera

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of resto-mods, as I cover plenty of them every year at the SEMA Show. The combination of timeless styling and modern turn-key reliability is a formula that many people find appealing. But as is so often the case, people tend to overdo it.

I understand that if you’re going to upgrade the engine and build a car, you’re also going to do better brakes, suspension, and fix up the rest of the car. As a matter of personal opinion, I am conflicted when I see an old car with 20-inch billet wheels, fender flares, and massive disc brakes. Are you trying to build a muscle car or a modern race car? It looks a bit odd to me to see carbon fiber air dams and projector headlights on a 1960s car.

With this 1968 Buick Riviera, they really got it right.

I spotted this car at the monthly Cars and Coffee gathering in Scottsdale, Arizona. The original engine has been swapped with a supercharged 6.2L LSA V8 from the Cadillac CTS-V. With 556 horsepower, it certainly packs more power than the original engine.

And again, there is that turn-key reliability. Modern engines can run on ethanol-blended fuels with no problem (ethanol blended fuels are sold in Maricopa County). Modern engines don’t need to have the valves adjusted every 30,000 miles. You don’t need to let it warm up on a cold morning. You don’t need to worry about vapor lock on hot summer days. You just get in, turn the key, and cruise.

This car appears to be set up as something of a sleeper/cruiser. It doesn’t have a wild paint job, crazy wheels, or anything to indicate that it’s packing a serious wallop under the hood. From the outside, it just looks like a clean, restored classic car. Even the exhaust tips with stock-looking turndowns are present.

I’ve got to hand it to the owner on this Rivera for doing it right by not over-doing it. Well done.

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!