Wrap-up of Barrett-Jackson Action

barrett-jacksonIt’s always special when a classic concept car goes up for auction, and that was surely the case as a 1956 Chrysler Diablo Concept crossed the auction block at the 2013 Barrett-Jackson event with a top bid of $1,375,000.

Designed by the famed Virgil Exner Sr. in collaboration with Italian styling house Ghia, this show car is said to have been designed in a wind tunnel after being drawn by Exner himself. Underneath the beautiful bodywork lies the chassis of a 1956 Chrysler 300, fitted with a 392-cubic-inch V8 engine with dual four-barrel carbs.

Every year Ford donates a special vehicle to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and this year the one-off 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra was chosen for the honor. The car made its debut this past summer, with Ford and Shelby collaborating to build the special GT500 as a tribute to Carroll, who had just passed away a few months earlier. The car features Guardsman Blue paint with Wimbledone White stripes – an ode to the Shelby Cobra – as well as a widebody kit and an 850 horsepower supercharged V8 under the hood.

These unique one-off cars from Ford usually garner fairly large bids, especially with a charity involved, so it’s no surprise that the winning bid was an incredible $200,000. Also no surprise, the car was purchased by Mr. Sam Pack, the Owner of the Five Star Ford dealerships in North Texas, and premier show sponsor of the DFW Car Pro Show.

Despite some truly impassioned pleading from Jay Leno himself – including calling on Arizona’s notoriously Republican-rich voters to beat the $600,000 level set the last time Leno sold a vehicle for this particular charity… in California – bidding for George Bush’s 2009 Ford F-150 pickup truck stalled at $300,000.

All proceeds will be sent to the Fisher House Foundation, so at least it is $300K going to a good cause.

If you’re not familiar with the Talbot-Lago brand, well… you’re not alone. Born out of the collapsed Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq by an engineer named Antonio Lago, who turned the automaker into a strong competitor in racing. The machine, hailing from 1947, is based on the short-wheelbase chassis used for racing with bodywork designed by Franay.

Suffice it to say, this is a very rare machine, powered by a high-performance 4.5-liter six-cylinder engine with three carburetors mated to a four-speed manual gearbox. Apparently the car was found languishing in Tennessee in 1988, and a thorough restoration was completed in 2004. After all was said and done at Barrett-Jackson, the car’s new owner found himself $2,035,000 lighter in the wallet.

EXP, in the case of the 1968 Ford Mustang stands for Experimental. You see, this is one of the cars used by the Shelby American team in the development of a long list of classic Shelby Mustang models.

The car, powered by a 390-cubic-inch V8 engine and known internally as The Green Hornet, underwent a huge number of upgrade sessions that saw it receive experimental fuel injection, independent rear suspension and unique disc brakes. That’s right, a Ford Mustang with IRS!
In a somewhat baffling turn of events, despite a top bid of $1.8 million, The Green Hornet’s reserve price wasn’t met, meaning it stays with its current owner for at least one more auction cycle.

You have to love the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona. It’s most definitely a classic, made famous in part by its appearance as Don Johnson’s favored ride in the classic ’80s television series Miami Vice… but we won’t hold that against it.

This car crossed the block and it cleared a cool $495,000 after the buyer’s commission was factored in. The 1972 Daytona features a sweet-sounding V12 engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Plus, it’s brown, with a tan interior. Stunning.

How much extra value does previous celebrity ownership add to of a car? Really, there’s no way to know until the car in question hits the auction block and bidders start raising their hands. In the case of the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, the celebrity owner is none other than Clark Gable, who purchased it new. After Gable’s death in 1960, the car changed hands a few times before settling with Charles Wood in 1975.

A high-dollar restoration was performed in 1989, and period accessories added by Gable himself were kept in place, including the Rudge knock-off wheels and Nardi steering wheel. Any Mercedes-Benz 300SL is worth a big chunk of money. In the case of Clark Gable’s old Gullwing, the bidding stalled at $1.9 million. As one of the 5000-series cars, this 300SL carried a reserve, and a bit of after-the-fact dealmaking saw the car change hands for $1.85 million.

Back at the 2012 SEMA event in Las Vegas, Chevrolet unveiled a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Convertible. Actually, that’s not quite accurate – this car is THE 2012 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Convertible. As in, the only one ever sold. There was one more produced, but it’s not leaving the GM Heritage Center any time soon. This one was just sold at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale for $400,000 exactly.

That sum will be donated to the American Heart Association, and the winner will take home this Inferno Orange Metallic COPO, complete with a 327-cubic-inch V8 topped by a 4.0-liter supercharger. The engine sends 550 horsepower to the rear drag slicks through a three-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. Perfect for a run down the quarter mile, top-down style.

Barrett-Jackson has a long and storied history with the Chevrolet Corvette. For instance, back in 2008, Chevrolet auctioned off the very first of its new Corvette ZR1, earning a cool million bucks, and just last year the first 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible crossed the auction block for $600,000.

For the 2013 event, Chevrolet brought along the very show car we all fawned over at the Detroit Auto Show – the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Bidders got to look at this car as they fought for the right to order the very first C7 that rolls off the showroom floor, and they’ll get to pick the color and options. We figure it’ll be loaded.

After it was all said and done, C7 Corvette numero uno sold for $1.1 million, with 100-percent of the proceeds going to benefit College for Creative Studies.


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