A 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 fastback was the runaway favorite of Saturday’s Barrett-Jackson Orange County auction, while Linda Vaughn – the famed Miss Hurst Golden Shifter – helped a stranger sell his pristine 1970 Oldsmobile 442 Ram Air convertible for top dollar.
The Boss 429 ruled the Saturday evening bidding, pulling in $253,000, including bidder fee, to become the highest non-charity sale of the event.
The sales total for Saturday came out to $7,763,100, with an overall total for the first two days of $12.1 million for 302 cars. That’s about seven percent higher than last year’s Orange County auction, said Phil Neri, Barrett-Jackson vice president for sales and marketing. Attendance for Saturday was around 38,000.
“We feel good about the event here at the Fairgrounds,” Nero said about the three-year-old Southern California auction. “This is our culture.
A strong charity sale was made by the imaginatively customized 2011 Toyota Tundra, a project orchestrated by NASCAR star Clint Bower, which raised $100,000 to benefit the Emporia (Kansas) Community Foundation.
The Olds 442 sale Saturday was helped along by Linda Vaughn and a guest appearance by “The King of Kustomizers” George Barris, who both posed on stage with the brilliant orange-and-white ragtop while the bidding climbed. The result was a $154,000 sale, with fee.
Jim Fretham, the Olds’ owner, said he was approached by the gregarious Vaughn while the car waited to go up on the block; Vaughn is well-known for her connection with the Hurst Olds muscle cars of the 1960s and 1970s.
“She came up to me and said, ‘I love your car,’ and asked if she could ride in it,” Fretham said. “I told her she could drive it across the block.”
Vaughn’s glittering appearance in her emblematic gold finery lit up the crowd as she stepped out of the 442, and she was quickly joined on stage by Barris, all of it very impromptu and crowd pleasing. Fretham also stood with the pair to pose for photos.
Not that the Olds needed any help. The 442 is a rare W25 model with as Ram Air hood that had been spectacularly restored by 442 specialist Thornton’s Restorations of Quakertown, Pa.
Some other notable Saturday sales (including 10 percent bidder fees) included:
• A drop-dead gorgeous 1967 Jaguar XK-E convertible restored by the famed Kurt Tanner that sold for $107,250.
• An immaculate 1963 Corvette split-rear-window coupe with a 327cid/360hp V8, sold for $110,000.
• An awesome 1936 Dodge Brothers custom pickup that’s been chopped, shortened, lowered and named “Project Nasty Ram” that sold for $99,000.
• The lovely 1954 Buick Skylark convertible, which sold for $121,000.
• One of the favorites, a 1964 Falcon resto mod with a supercharged 347 crate motor, for $44,000.
• A classic 1936 Ford Phaeton, nicely restored, at $48,400.
• A cool slammed custom 1960 VW with adjustable airbags that came with a boast – “Nothing rubs even when it is at its lowest” – that went for $24,750 in this VW-friendly venue.
• A fine 1968 Shelby GT500 fastback, at $137,500.
• A totally gorgeous 1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible, a restored original painted a subtle dove gray, was well worth the $88,000 result. The catalog photos did not do it justice.
• A 1950 Chrysler Town and Country hardtop with wood trim, all original aside from a respray, seemed like a bargain at $37,950.
• Another woody bargain was a 1950 Buick Roadmaster wagon, an all-original time-warp car that seemed like a steal at a nearly identical $37,400.
• A funky 1976 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon that sold for a family-friendly $9,075.
Although the auction cars were overwhelmingly sold without reserves, there was a handful of high-end cars offered with minimum-bid reserves, which several failed to achieve and went home with their consigners.
These included several of the auction’s marquee cars:
• The 1970 Chevelle LS6 convertible that’s believed to be the first production version of this rare muscle car.
• A highly collectable 1961 Chrysler 300G convertible.
• A black, chrome-laden 1958 Buick Limited Series convertible.