It was so unthinkable that even the Vegas Mantra couldn’t quell the news. Within hours the world knew that something very terrible had taken place in Las Vegas. But within the tragedy were also stories of heroism, compassion, generosity and resolve. This is, after all, America – home of the free and the brave, blogs Jim Palam.
That this 10th Annual Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction would have a record attendance of over 74,000 people, total vehicles sales of $30.68 million, automobilia sales over $640,000, and donations of $1.64 million to seven special charities is a testament to the people of Las Vegas. And to the remarkable spirit of the hobby and collector car communities around the world. I’m proud to bring you this report. #VegasStrong. Some kind of Voodoo: This ‘15 Porsche 918 Spyder is magical indeed as it is the only one in the world painted to code in Voodoo Blue at Porsche, and, it was the auction’s top seller at $1,760,000!
Love Story: Lyle and Esther Brown have been happily married for 48 years. They have an undying love and respect for each other – and for the masterfully built customs they produce in their modest garage – the So-Low Rod Shop. This old school ’33 Plymouth five-window coupe was built in less than a year. I wanted this gem. They wanted $45K. It sold for $66K. You gotta love it!
Size Matters: There was no shortage of big and long cars in the 1950s, but this “stretch-of-the-imagination” ’57 Mercury Monterey certainly goes beyond form-follows-function. Powered by a 312-cubic-inch V8 mated to a push-button Merc-O-Matic transmission this massive Merc isn’t for the limited parking skills crowd.
I’m not sure when it happened – this growing interest in C3 Corvettes. Check out this numbers-matching LT1 beauty with factory air, 4-speed, Posi rear, 48,000 original miles and this delicious, let me take a bite of it now, Elkhart Green paint job. Oh yeah, I’m interested…
OK, I got distracted. We’re here for the cars, right? A special thanks to the Twin Peaks ladies for posing exclusively for CarGuyChronicles! What’s that, they’re were posing for everybody? Well, OK. We’re beer for the bars, right?
I was at Woodstock. Yeah, that muddy, miserable mess of a Hippie experience. I can brag about it now, but hey, no sleeping bags, no tent, no food and no relief from the rain. We planned poorly. What we needed was this 21-window ’64 VW Microbus. We would have been trippin’, Man! To trip today in this bus will cost you $132,000 – the hammer price at Barrett-Jackson. The times they are a-changin’!
It was so bright and bejeweled I didn’t see it coming – the hammer price of $110,000 that is! I doubt you’ll see this ’56 Porsche Speedster (Outlaw Re-Creation) battling it out in the Reunion races at Laguna Seca, but you have give props to the builders (Aston-Garrett Carreras) and the artist (Crystal Ninja) for the audacity of it all: 247,000 Swarovski crystals were hand-applied in 462 hours, within 39 days. By the way, it feels really neat!
Bronco Wallet Buster: It may be a ’72 but this sure ain’t Grandpa’s Bronco. If you want to hop in this saddle, get ready to pony-up $108,750 for title to a Gateway Restomod Fuelie ‘72 Ford Bronco. This healthy prairie companion comes with a 347-inch Ford Stroker, EFI, a 5-Speed manual trans, Eaton Electronic Locker, 4 wheel disc brakes and an all-leather custom interior. This fully re engineered First-Gen truck may cost a lot but the build quality suggests it’ll deliver a rich and rewarding driving experience.
You had me at Ford GT. Then you just had to go and do it – unveil a limited edition ’67 Heritage Edition Race Red tribute car for 2018. The GT already had the Go and enough Show to be a winner, but the gloss red, white stripes, carbon accents and 20-inch forged aluminum wheels – plus wicked interior accents – are ass-kickin’ awesome! What an exciting way to pay homage to Gurney, Foyt, the ’67 Mark IV and Le Mans victory!
According to Steve Darnell, owner of WelderUp car shop and star of the reality TV show Vegas Rat Rods, his shop built this rat rod “ugly” – because that’s how cancer presents itself. The metal roses surrounding the 392-inch Hemi represent a hopeful journey for the 2-year old cancer patient the “Cancer Car” honors. All of the $60,000 hammer price went to the TGen Children’s Cancer Fund.
Looking Good, Getting Nasty! There’s a delirious dichotomy, an impetuous polarity to this ‘17 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Custom from Kao Autostyling. It’s got the power and the bones to go off-road, to get muddy and get lost. And yet I feel like a reincarnated Ricardo Montalban will show up in it impeccably dressed in a white Tux – with his sidekick Tattoo strapped to the powder-coated modular front bumper with a 5-point harness. But what do I know? It hammered at $68, 200.
Baby Zoomers! I had a great time this year at Barrett-Jackson. Everyone I talked to was polite, excited about being there, anxious to share their stories and Car Guy dreams. There were some from the Silent Generation, many Millennials, and not surprisingly, an abundance of Baby Boomers – like Bill & Ted here on their electric carts. Now I don’t really know that these racers were actually named Bill & Ted – but it works so nicely in wrapping up this excellent adventure!
Words & Photos: Jim Palam, http://www.jimpalam.com/
For more information about the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction, please visit https://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Home/LasVegas-2017/6e440ea6-e9a3-4a21-ab06-379913994c45