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By Larry Edsall
Back to ClassicCars.com Community

'57 Heaven, Etc.
By Larry Edsall

57 Heaven '57 still heavenly at Mecum auction

A 1957 Chrysler Dual Ghia convertible brought $300,000 to lead the field of some 75 1957-model cars and motorcycles sold at Mecum's '57 Heaven Museum auction in Branson, Mo.

The sale, which included vintage signs, clothing and even recreated 1957-era storefronts, brought $7 million.

Other high-price vehicles included $250,000 for a '57 DeSoto Adventurer convertible, $245,000 for a '57 Cadillac DeVille convertible, $230,000 for a '57 Chevrolet El Morocco convertible, and $210,000 for a '57 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible.

Top-seller among fixed-roof vehicles was $192,500 for a '57 Pontiac Chieftain car modified for a record speed run by the John Zink Co. racing team. The car set a class record of 141.2 miles per hour on Daytona Beach in January, 1957.

RM expands 2010 schedule

RM is expanding its 2010 classic car auction schedule:

-In January, it will kick-start its annual Automobiles of Arizona event with a "The British Are Coming" evening auction the night before. The new event, the evening of January 21, will include only vehicles produced by British marques. Both auctions will be held at the Arizona Biltmore resort, where 160 vehicles are expected to be offered in the now two-day event; -A few months later, RM will add a new event, Sporting Classis of Monaco, to be held the first weekend in May in conjunction with the Grand Prix Historique in Monte Carlo. The auction is expected to include some 80 vehicles.

Quail closing only its hotel

The hotel at the Quail Lodge may be closing, but the annual Quail: A Motorsports Gathering remains on the schedule for August 13, 2010.

The hotel closes to business in November, but the golf course and other facilities remain in operation at the facility.

Quail: A Motorsports Gathering features sports and historic racing cars. For 2010, plans call for a tribute to milestone cars of 1934, 45 years of the Shelby Mustang and a showcase of coachbuilt Alfa Romeos.

Racing toward Amelia Island

Organizers of the Amelia Island concours d'elegance have put together another group of folks who figure to stage a fairly interesting panel discussion. On March 13, David Hobbs and Sam Posey will host a panel that will include Richard Petty, Don Garlits and Stirling Moss, to discuss their exploits on and off the racetrack, and to debate the merits of racing in a straight line vs. in a circle vs. with curves to the right and left.

New vintage Formula Ford engine

Speaking of vintage racers, Ford is putting its legendary Kent engine back into production.

The Kent engine was launched 50 years ago and was the primary power source for Formula Ford racing. Some 5000 to 7000 F/Fords are still racing around the world, though engines and their parts are becoming harder and harder to find.

"This engine powered some of motorsport's greatest names to their first championship successes," said Mike Norton, motorsports manager of Ford of Europe, offering Ayron Senna, Michael Schumacher, Nigel Mansell and Mika Hakkinen as just a few of the examples.

"We are going to take our knowledge of modern techniques to remanufacture the ‘Kent' block and improve its durability," said Ford Racing Engineering supervisor Andy Slankard, "Our aim is not to make performance gains but to strengthen it and to make the unit more reliable.

"There are many thousands of 'Kent'-engined Formula Ford cars still racing around the world – particularly in the USA, which never adopted the Ford Zetec engine which replaced it in Europe. We believe that the majority of owners of these historic machines will want to retain the originality of their car by using a genuine Ford engine."

The new Kent will be available in 2010, when Ford also launches a new Duratech 1600cc engine for newer Formula Ford racers.

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