Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Ultimate Car Auctions

Sweet Rides and Hurricane Winds

Updated for 2014
For those that would like to see all prior Car Auction editions of this post see the following:
Roadway's Auction coverage in 2009 Click: Scottsdale January 2009
Roadway's Auction coverage in 2012 Click: Scottsdale January 2012
Roadway's Auction coverage in 2013 Click: Scottsdale January 2013
Roadway's Auction coverage in 2014 Click: Scottsdale January 2014

As Roadboy's friends all know January means a lot more than just a celebration on New Years Eve. It is the time each year when amazing wheels roll into the Valley of the Sun!

This year there were four collector car auctions in town running simultaneously. The Barrett Jackson auction is the biggest, but has kind of bogged down into an endless parade of Shelby Mustangs, Cuda's, and old Corvettes. Not that I don't love them too, its just that the one-of-a-kind cars seem to get lost in the middle-aged, chunky boy, drinkin-a-beer, muscle car extravaganza. 

Live, Internet, and Phone Bids
With Prices Scrolling in Multiple Currencies

In fact this year the top price for a car at Barrett was barely $500K. While over at the RM Auction they sold a 1963 Aston Martin for over $1M. The Gooding auction had the most highly sought after cars with a 1956 "D" Type Jaguar fetching $3.7M. In fact Gooding sold over seven cars that each bid well over $1M.

Russo and Steele this year suffered the effects of a terrible microburst wind storm that literally blew some of their tents away. So much wind that the tent debris closed the nearby 101 freeway for a time.

As is now my tradition here is my report from the "Big Boy", the Barrett Jackson. There were two new tents this year so the number of cars to be sold was much larger than previous years. They had some fun cars too. Sonny and Cher's matching pink Mustangs. Dillinger's getaway car (complete with bullet holes). A later replica of the Batmobile. One of the three original Ghostbuster Cadillac ambulance's. There was a wonderful Loewy Concept Car and a bunch of modern and antique racing cars. The highest bid this year wasn't even for a car. It was for a 1929 "Metalplane" H47 aircraft. 

That is Cher's Pink Mustang 
Complete With A fur Lined trunk!

Dillinger's Getaway Car

Because of the rainy weather there was a lot more action in the big auction tents this year. I think the jewelry and trinket vendors probably did better than usual. My favorite stuff is always the neon signs for sale. Neon reminds me of being a kid traveling through the southwest. As we drove at night we'd see the neon signs from miles away. Man I miss neon.

Give Me Neon!
Lots and Lots of Neon!

The race cars were fun this year. I especially liked the 1952 Watson Roadster. What a head turner that big silver bullet would be. The 1959 Cadillac El Dorado concept car designed by Raymond Loewy was very elegant. Loewy is probably America's most famous industrial designer having designed such icons as the blue and white paint job for Air Force One, the curvy coke bottle, the Greyhound Scenicruiser, and the "streamlined" trains. The car Loewy is most famous for was his 1962-63 Studebaker Avanti. The design of the Avanti was so timeless that the car itself continued in production by a variety of independent car makers well into the 1980's. 

America's Most Famous Industrial Designer Raymond Loewy 

The 1959 Loewy Cadillac El Dorado

The 1952 Watson

Course everyone knows my heart belongs to Jags. So I kept my eye on this one. It rolled across at about $71,000. I think somebody got a pretty good deal on that one. I doubt it could be restored for that amount today. When this model Jag was introduced it was the fastest production car available in the world!

How Could Anybody Not Look Great Driving A Jag Like This?

Over the next two weeks Roadboy will be posting from Barcelona, Granada, and Madrid!

Roadboy's Travels © 2010

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