Charity vehicles, GM Heritage wrangle mark Barrett-Jackson
By Larry Edsall
Highlighted by cars sold to benefit charities and a legal wrangle over 115 vehicles from the General Motors Heritage fleet -- the seventh annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Collector Car Auction recorded more than $20 million in sales despite being shortened by a day because of Easter.
Of the top 10 sales, five were cars auctioned to raise money for charities.
"We're proud to report that we have raised more than $20 million for charities since 2006," said Craig Jackson. "It's a reflection of the passion of our customers and their charitable nature."
Barrett-Jackson was founded as a fund-raiser classic car show for the art center and library in Scottsdale, Arizona, with the auction growing out of that event.
At Palm Beach, a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS custom created to benefit "Project American Heroes" went for $500,000 in an emotional bidding session that Barrett-Jackson president Steve Davis termed "unlike anything we've ever experienced at Barrett-Jackson."
Also among the top 10 at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach were:
- No. 3 -- a 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Jimmie Johnson No. 48 NASCAR racer that went for $200,000;
- Nos. 4 and 5 -- 2004 Ford Mustang GT convertible and coupe concept cars that went for $175,000 each;
- No. 7 – the first 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 coupe available for public sale, for $150,000.
Other top 10 cars were:
- No. 2 – a 1934 Auburn 1250 Salon Cabriolet driven by James Cagne in the 1933 movie The Mayor of Hell, for $253,000;
- No. 6 – a 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W30 convertible, for $173,250;
- Nos. 8 and 9 – a 1959 Chevrolet corvette custom convertible and a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS5 convertible, each bringing $148,500;
- No. 10 – a 1967 Shelby GT500 fastback, for $143,000.
As the auction opened, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration halted the sales of the GM Heritage vehicles over concerns that buyers might try to register the cars for road use despite clear statements that such vehicles were being offered with "no warranty or representation of any kind, expressed or implied," concerning their eligibility for use on the street. Legal negotiations ensued and the auction of the cars proceeded.
"We're grateful to NHTSA for their decision to allow the sale of these vehicles," said Jackson. "The result was that people had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy historic cars directly from GM for their private collections."
Barrett-Jackson also used the Palm Beach event to introduce its own collector car insurance program through Private Client Group, a division of AIU Holdings.
This weekend, Kruse moves into Palm Beach for its auction.
Rolling toward the auction block
RM stages its annual Classic Car Auction of Michigan the last weekend of this month. As you might expect, there will be plenty of Detroit muscle – a gold-and-black 1970 Chevelle SS 396, a white with saddle leather interior 1964 Corvette convertible, a Plum Crazy-colored 1970 AAR ‘Cuda, a '72 Hurst Olds Indy pace car and more.
But what will be most interesting will be the bidding for some of the more unusual vehicles being offered, including:
Speaking of motorcycles
- a 33-foot custom-built (at a cost of 20,700 post-war dollars) 1950 Flxible private motor coach. The coach, with only 24,000 miles on its odometer, spent most of its life in storage and retains its Buick engine, Koehler generator, roof-mounted air conditioner, mahogany paneling, Pullman-style bathroom and Chrysler Hi-Fi record player;
- a 1937 Lincoln Model K Judkins, one of only 47 Model 367-A Berline V12 models built with Judkins coachwork;
- the only example of the last pre-war, 1938 Rolls-Royce Phantom III limousine built by Mulliner;
- the notchback 1969 Ford Mustang 428 Cobra Jet campaigned by the drag racing team owned by entertainer Vic Damone and pro golfer Ken Venturi;
- Evel Knievel's 1980 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead Golden Eagle complete with 24K gold plating and inlays.
Collectible two-wheelers are making big news:
- On May 9, the Quail Lodge in Carmel, California, holds its first Motorcycle Gathering, complete with a Bonhams & Butterfields auction;
- On August 2, the Meadow Brook concours d' elegance celebrates its 30th anniversary with a group of special categories including Motorcycles: The British Twins;
- On August 16, motorcycles will make their first appearance on the hallowed 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links when the Pebble Beach concours d'elegance hosts its first motorcycle class, a showcase of British bikes including the 1947 Vincent HRD V-Twins "Gunga Din" and the 1948 "Bathing Suit Bike."
"International interest in collecting classic motorcycles is on the rise and we cant to celebrate them and do all we can to support their preservation and restoration," said concours chair Sandra Kasky Button, who noted that many automakers began their businesses by building motorcycles.
By the way, this is just the start for motorcycles at Pebble Beach. The concours anticipates future bike classes featuring motorcycles from specific countries or regions.
Speaking of Monterey
Mecum will join the already overcrowded Monterey weekend calendar with its first Monterey Auction, August 15 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Resort on the Del Monte golf course.
Mark your calendar
17-19 – Kruse at Palm Beach, Florida
25 – Kruse at Amarillo, Texas
25-26 – RM at Novi, Michigan
3 – Kruse at Huntsville, Alabama
9 – Bonhams Motorcycles at Quail Lodge, Carmel, California
13-17 – Mecum Original Spring Classic at Indianapolis
15-16 – Kruse at Charleston, South Carolina
17 - RM Ferraris at Fiorano
22-23 – Kruse at Paso Robles, California
28-31 – Kruse at Auburn, Indiana
7 – Bonhams at Greenwich, Connecticut
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