The Best Cars at Barrett-Jackson: Saturday
Narrowing down the list of today’s cars was nearly impossible, so located at the bottom of the main profiles are links to a few of the other cars being auctioned off. It seems like all the cars that make Barrett-Jackson famous will be surfacing between now and Sunday. So without further ado…
[*Sell price includes buyer’s fees]
#3016 – 2014 Chevrolet Corvette (Sold for $1,100,000)
More than half a year before the 2014 Corvette is slated to hit dealership floors, the very first C7 will be auctioned off today at Barrett-Jackson. The C7, officially unveiled less than a week ago at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, features an aluminum chassis, 450hp V8, and an upgraded interior vastly superior to the outgoing C6. A preview of the new ‘Vette can be found in the Downshift article covering its world debut at the GM press conference last Sunday.
#5001 – Mercedes 300SL Gullwing (Sold for $2,035,000)
The Mercedes 300SL is quite possibly the company’s most famous model, and the most coveted. Based on the successful 300SL race car (W194), the silver sports car features a fuel-injected 3.0L inline-6 producing 212hp that allowed the Merc to hit 161mph, making it the fastest car in the world at the time. The 300SL’s most prominent feature is its gullwing doors, which open up rather than out (this door type was later used by DeLorean in the production of the DMC-12), inspiring the Mercedes SLS AMG supercar of today.
The 300SL has always commanded a high price in collector car circles, but this particular model’s price will be inflated due to its Hollywood connections. This car was first bought by actor Clark Gable, who owned it until his death in 1960; the car has also been featured in an edition of Motor Trend Classic. It is unknown whether this car is clad in the aluminum body that graced only 29 300SLs, but however the car was optioned, its history, rarity, and past owner certainly make this Merc worth keeping an eye on.
#5037 – Batmobile (Sold for $4,620,000)
The Lincoln Futura concept car was famously redesigned by icon George Barris (who also created cars for The Munsters and The Beverly Hillbillies, among others), into the Batmobile from the original Batman television series starring Adam West. The Batmobile has an extensive history, and is the original based on the Futura (several Batmobiles were built later for the auto show circuit using Ford Galaxies as donor cars).
As the Batman television series was nearing production, the customizer charged with creating the Batmobile, Dean Jeffries, told Fox he would be unable to finish the car in time for filming. The studio handed over the reigns to Barris, who had purchased the Futura some years earlier from Ford at a cost of $1. Barris, along with Bill Cushenberry and Herb Grasse, extensively modified the exterior panels and had a car ready for filming in three weeks. Due to engine problems, it was eventually replaced by the 390ci V8 and transmission from the Ford Galaxie. The motor was good for only 265hp, which meant the 4,500lb Batmobile was quicker onscreen than in real life. This car is one-of-a-kind, so expect big news coming out of Barrett-Jackson once it’s sold.
#5403 – 1929 Dusenberg Model J Murphy Berline (Auction reached $725,000, but reserve not met)
Dusenbergs are some of the most highly sought-after Prewar cars in existence, and with less than 500 units ever made, the Model J is certainly worth lusting after. It is also the last proper Dusenberg before the company fell victim to the Great Depression only a few years later. Several Model Js made it down the assembly line, including short- and long-wheelbase versions, rare supercharged models, and ones with refreshed bodywork.
The Model J was expensive, starting out at roughly $15,000 when the average family car cost $500. The 420ci inline-8 unleashed a monstrous 265hp (the supercharged version produced 320hp), allowing the Dusenberg to barrel down the highway to 119mph, making it the fastest American-made car. The car’s rarity, combined with unsurpassed build quality and luxury, made the Model J extremely popular amongst car collectors after World War II. This particular Model J is a seven passenger convertible that has never been restored, although it has been exceptionally well-kept. The full auction details page lists its ownership history, which includes several automobile collections.
Other Models Worth Watching
#1403 – 1933 DeSoto Sedan (Sold for $33,000): Hollywood fever is hitting Barrett-Jackson hard this year! This 1933 DeSoto was featured in the classic film Bonnie and Clyde, and is sold with replica Tommy guns and bank money bags.
#5007 – 1929 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Roadster (Sold for $1,320,000): At the time, the Tipo 8A was the most powerful and expensive car in the world. $20,000 was the price of entry into the ultra exclusive Isotta Fraschini world, whose owners included government officials and royalty. This example is a roadster with the Super Sprint engine, making it 1 of 2 in the world.
#5011 – 1986 Porsche 959 Prototype (Sold for $440,000): An extraordinarily rare (1 of 2) prototype of the legendary 959 supercar. Porsche doesn’t sell prototypes to the public anymore, so expect fierce bidding for this piece of Porsche history.
#5019 – 1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sport (Sold for $2,035,000): One of the most beautiful cars ever created, the Talbot-Lago will reduce the manliest of men to tears with its Ferrari-esque grille, knockoff wire wheels, and teardrop profile.
#5022 – 1968 Shelby EXP 500 “The Green Hornet” (Auction reached $1,800,000, but reserve not met): This is the rarest Shelby Mustang ever created. First used as a prototype for the Mustang California Special and then as an experimental Shelby. One of the most beloved Shelby cars in existence, look for this one to be among the most expensive Mustangs ever sold.
#5035 – 1955 Hudson Italia (Sold for $396,000): Hudson designer Frank Spring commissioned Italian coachbuilder Carrozeria Touring to build a limited production sports car based on the Hudson Jet. At $4,800 each in 1955, the Hudson was a very expensive car that didn’t have many buyers; only 25 or 26 of these hot little cars are known to exist.
#5041 – 1968 Corvette L-88 Race Car (Sold for 1,100,000):The L-88 is the most coveted of all Corvette engines. This car is the most successful race Corvette in General Motors’ history, so good luck to the Corvette faithful, who are at this moment scrambling to take out a second mortgage on their house to buy this thing