Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Paddle-Loving Classic Cars of the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Auction Scottsdale


Unofficially the source of 130 million dollars in the sale of over 1,600 vehicles, the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona concluded on Sunday with roughly 113 years of automotive history represented on the block. Starting with modest vehicles on Monday such as a $4,500 1981 AMC Concord and a 2008 Smart Fortwo Passion Sport, the week eventually produced use extravagant vehicles.

Included below are some of the high-valued machines presented at this year's sale. This list does not include the newer cars sold at Barrett-Jackson. I will prepare a separate post to recognize those vehicles. Please also note, prices do not include auction fees and Canadian conversions have been rounded.

Lot #5087: 1949 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupe

Sale Price: $1,500,000 US ($1,812,000 Canadian)


A French-born luxury car brand, Talbot-Lago came into existence in 1934 when Antonio Lago brought a struggling Talbot brand. Known for performance and luxury, the car company's vehicle production was limited up to 1959 when the automaker collapsed.

At the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction in Scottsdale, a post-war example generated quite a bidding war. Black with an orange interior, the 1949 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupe was constructed the same chassis  used by grand prix cars of the time. A Franay-bodied vehicle, the 1949 Talbot-Lago T26 was one of only three Grand Sport models. Despite being sent on the auction block with a reserve, the rare Talbot-Lago found a new home for 1.5-million dollars.

Though the Talbot-Lago broke the seven-figure mark at the 2015 Barrett-Jackson sale, the vehicle was not a record breaker for the brand at auction. In 2008, a custom-bodied Talbot-Lago T150 C SS sold for almost five million dollars.


Lot #2500: Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Show Car

Sale Price: $3,000,000 ($3,624,500 Canadian)


A concept car shaped under the guidance of famed General Motors stylist Harley Earl, the Pontiac Bonneville Special debuted at the 1954 GM Motorama car show. A Corvette-like shape, integrated rear spare tire and a clear roof with flip-up side windows are some defining details of the concept car. The Pontiac Bonneville Special would be one of several concepts shown over the years by the arrowhead brand as a potential halo sports car. One of two versions of the show car built, the one brought to the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale sale was the only Emerald Green coloured model.

In 2006, the same car was sold at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction attracting $3,080,000 in feverish bidding. For 2015, the Pontiac Bonneville Special captured just short of its previous amount.


Lot #2510: 1949 MG TC Roadster Race Car

Sale Price: $490,000 US ($592,000 Canadian)
The late Carroll Shelby made a substantial contribution to sports car racing in the United States and the world. Shelby's legacy is continuously honoured with the Cobra sports car and an ongoing series of high-powered Ford Mustangs. One of the latest vehicles to be inspired by Carroll Shelby's memory was sold at Barrett-Jackson for $1,000,000 as VIN 001 of the just-unveiled Ford Shelby GT350R benefitted charity.

Behind the vehicles, Carroll Shelby stood as a successful racer. Despite a career shortened by health issues, Shelby co-drove a Le Mans-winning effort in 1959 and had even ran in several Formula 1 races. The car that launched Carroll Shelby's career, a 1949 MG TC Roadster, went up for bids at Barrett-Jackson Saturday. Raced May of 1952 in Norman, Oklahoma, Ed Wilkins originally owned the green MG and entrusted the future American sports car legend to compete in an event he won. For less than half the amount of the Ford Shelby GT350R, the 1949 MG TC Roadster race car found a new garage.


Lot #3007: Jeff Gordon's 1999 NASCAR Busch Series Pepsi Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Sale Price: $500,000 US ($604,000 Canadian)


The Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auctions always are known for presenting some once in a lifetime lots meant to generate funds for charity. The 2015 edition of the auction was no exception.

One item up for bids on the Friday evening round of the Barrett-Jackson auction is a race-used NASCAR Busch Series machine once belonging to four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon and his former crew chief Ray Evernham. Operating a short-lived Gordon-Evernham Motorsports team in 1999, the Jeff Gordon intended to run only five races that year. Winless in five Busch Series events, Gordon and Ray Evernham entered into a sixth race at Phoenix International Raceway. Winning that event in a Pepsi-sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo race car, this vehicle was placed up for bids almost 16 years later. Selling for half a million, the former stock car's proceeds benefitted the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation.


1968 STP Lotus Turbine Indy Car

Sale Price: Did not Meet Reserve (Bidding reached 1.2-million US)


In 1967, famous STP CEO Andy Granatelli committed himself to winning the Indianapolis 500 with a gas-turbine race car. One of only two years that the turbine-powered race cars ran at the famous 500-mile race, 1968 saw a wedge-shaped Lotus being propelled by a Canadian-made Pratt & Whitney engine. Identified as the Lotus 56, 500-horsepower race car also featured four-wheel drive technology.

At Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale, the STP Lotus turbine up for bids was the #70 driven by Formula 1 legend and previous Indy 500 winner Graham Hill. The car sold at auction was once held by Richard Petty and later underwent a full restoration. Buzzing on the block, the turbine-powered race car created a sensational spectacle. Unfortunately, bidding for the former race car stalled at 1.2-million dollars and it failed to meet its set reserve price.


Lot #2508:  2005 Ford GT

Sale Price: $550,000 US ($664,500 Canadian)



Previous in the week, an all-new EcoBoost-powered Ford GT generated fanfare at the 2015 North American International Auto Show. At Barrett-Jackson, several examples of the 2005 version of the Ford supercar demonstrated how well-conceived the latest continuation is for the automaker. To repeat a point mentioned in the Velocity/Discovery coverage of the auction, the Ford GT is one of the only used cars built in the 21st century that has appreciated in value.

Originally inspired by the 1960s Ferrari-fighting sports car, the 550-horsepower Ford GT sold a decade ago sold for more than nearly $150,000 new vehicle price. Of three sold on Saturday, the lowest sale price for a Ford GT was $320,000. One particular example of the GT supercar flew by the half-million dollar mark. Quicksilver-painted 2005 Ford GT recorded with the serial number 003 in production attracted $550,000 at auction.


Lot #2501: GM Futurliner Parade Bus

Sale Price: $4,000,000 US ($4,833,000 Canadian)


The second biggest sale of the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction in Scottsdale was a combination of rare 1950s vehicle and a charity lot benefiting the Armed Forces Foundation.

One of only 12 built by General Motors to specifically serve as a transporter for Motorama vehicles, the Futurliner bus itself was seen as a striking sight in the 1950s as it rolled into the city part of the "Parade of Progress". Featuring a center cupola cockpit , retractable stage and an onboard generator, the GM Futurliner merged style and function. Slated as a 1950 vehicle, the GM Futurliner presented for sale is listed as three surviving examples of the vehicle and was restored to period correct condition by regular Barrett-Jackson bidder Ron Pratte. Selling for $4,000,000, an additional $600,000 was contributed during the sale of the GM Futurliner at Barrett-Jackson.


Lot #2509: 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake

Sale Price: $4,650,000 ($5,618,400 Canadian)


When Carroll Shelby placed an eight-cylinder Ford engine inside a British-sourced roadster, the magic created through the performance hybrid has resulted in the icon known as the Cobra. The power-to-weight ratio of the Shelby Cobra was realized as an ace in the hole for the vehicle in the 1960s as it battled Ferrari and Corvette race cars on track. From 283 to 327 to 427 cubic-inch displacement Ford engines, a pair of special Cobras using the forced induction of two Paxton superchargers. The 800-horsepower of engine output and a top speed of over 190 miles per hour from a 1966 supercar pushed the Shelby-built creation to an auction record.

Known with the code CSX 3015, this Shelby Cobra sold at Barrett-Jackson as the sole surviving example of the 800-horsepower competition-bred roadster. In addition to the twin-supercharged 427 cubic-inch V-8 connected to an automatic transmission (deemed necessary to spare the damaging forces on a 1960s manual clutch), the 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake was modified over a conventional Cobra with a wider track, unique bodywork and Girling brake calipers. Besides being a one-of-a-kind vehicle, the Cobra 427 Super Snake was also personally owned and driven by Carroll Shelby.

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