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By Larry Edsall
Back to ClassicCars.com Community

The 2010 classic car season launches off the line in a few days with the annual Arizona Auction Week
By Larry Edsall

Here's a look at key offerings at each of the major venues:

BARRETT-JACKSON its 39th extravaganza of cars and automotive lifestyle under the big top at WestWorld in Scottsdale, where the auction action runs from Tuesday the 19th through Sunday the 24th. If you can't make it, you can still see 39 hours of live action via the Speed cable television channel.

Barrett-Jackson will offer more than 1200 vehicles (a record). We say vehicles because not all of them are cars. Among the consignments is a 1929 Hamilton Metalplane, the only complete example of the 29 originally built.

Cars include the usual array of Cobras and muscle machines, as well as those with the patina of celebrity, consider, for example, that the catalog includes John Dillinger's 1930 Ford Model A getaway car, Sonny and Cher's 1966 Ford Mustang convertibles, Buddy Holly's 1958 Chevrolet Impala, and Beach Boys Al Jardine's 1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda. There's also the 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville customized by famed designer Raymond Loewy.

Amazing, outrageous or simply historic vehicles also are a Barrett-Jackson staple. This year that field includes the only survivor among the five 1966 Mercury Comet "fliptop" funny cars, the 1926 Hudson Speedster "Grapes of Wrath," the 1952 Watson Roadster custom by Blastolene, the 1975 Bonneville Boss hauler and topped by a model of the Proud American jet car, and a 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra Ranchero by George Barris.

Cars sold for charity are a special feature at Barrett-Jackson. This year, that lineup includes a 2009 Dodge Challenger built by Richard Petty and the Petty Garage.

RUSSO AND STEELE celebrates its 10th anniversary with its four-day auction (21-24) near the intersection of Scottsdale Road and the Loop 101 freeway in Scottsdale.

Certainly the most intriguing of the cars being offered at Russo and Steele is the 1948 Tucker 48 convertible with may have been started as a secret factory prototype or as a one-off for Preston Tucker's wife, Vera, but was not completed until last year by Benchmark Classics of Madison, Wisconsin.

Among other vehicles at Russo and Steele are the "Piss'd-off-Pete" Blastolene-customized Peterbilt truck, a 1960 Chrysler 300F "NASCAR Special," and the 1968 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda drag raced by the famed Sox & Martin team.

RM stages its 11th Automobiles of Arizona auction, but has so many cars that it will expand to a two-day format. A special "The British Are Coming" event featuring vehicles produced in the UK begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, the 21st, with the regular array of outstanding vehicles rolling toward the block Friday, the 22nd, at 11 a.m. at the Biltmore Resort.

Leading the British continent is the last 1963 Aston Martin DB4 GT to be produced at Aston Martin's Newport Pagnell factory and one of only six with full factory-lightweight (racing) construction details. Other star cars include the "Flip-top" 1964 Shelby Cobra 427 prototype, such concept cars as a 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt, the 1954 Mercury XM-800, 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz "Raindrop," the 1956 Chrysler Plainsman, 1995 Ford GT90 and the styling buck for the 1996 Lincoln Sentinel., as well as a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Arlington club sedan, 1933 Rolls-Royce PII Continental 3-position drophead coupe (with coachwork by J. Gurney Nutting), and 1913 Packard Model 1-38 runabout (from the John McMullen collection).

GOODING & COMPANY will stage its third Arizona auction. With more than 100 cars on the docket, Gooding also is expanding to a two-day format, starting at 11 a.m. on Friday the 22nd and Saturday the 23rd at its location adjacent to the Scottsdale Fashion Square shopping center.

Featured cars include a 1934 Duesenberg Model J disappearing top roadster (the only Murphy-bodied J convertible coupe in existence and a car formerly owned by the Roebling family of Brooklyn Bridge fame), a 1927 6 ½-liter Bentley sports coupe (which spent many years in the Manx Motor Museum), the 1959 Costin Lister Jaguar sports racer (formerly campaigned by Briggs Cunningham and Stirling Moss), a 1956 Jaguar D-type, a 1959 Ferrari Series I Pinin Farina cabriolet (that was the daily driver for Luigi Chinetti's wife, Marion), a 1932 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Series V Gran Sport (with coachwork by Zagato), and a 1934 Hispano-Suiza J-12 T68 cabriole (with coachwork by Saoutchik and a history that includes an appearance in the James Bond film, Moonraker).

Also scheduled for Arizona Auction Week are Kruse events, January 16-17 at Glendale; the International Classic auction, January 16-18 at Gilbert; and the Silver auction at Fountain Hills.

Wheels of Wellness

For the third year in a row, the Arizona Auction week kicks off Sunday, the 17th, with the Wheels of Wellness: A Gathering of Historic Race Cars (and race car drivers) at The Wellness Community's historic century-old home in downtown Phoenix. Historic sports, Indy, formula and NASCAR cars will be on display and former Indy 500 racer Lyn St. James will moderate a panel discussion featuring Bob Bondurant, P.J. Jones, Arie Luyendyk, Tom Sneva, Didier Theys and reigning IRL champion Dario Franchitti.

Car show benefits 14-year-old

Another third-annual event, the Winter Rod and Speed Show at Albany, Oregon, is scheduled for January 23 at the Linn County Expo Center with proceeds being used to help Cherokee Pizano, a 14-year-old suffering from Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

The show will feature vehicles used in the film, American Graffiti.

For information, see www.capracing.com and click on the link to the Winter Rod and Speed Show.

Arizona 500 joins auction week lineup

The inaugural Arizona 500, a vintage rally open to 20 cars and their owners, is scheduled to coincide with the annual Arizona collector car auction week.

Staged by the Lemay: America's Car Museum and the Colorado branch of the museum's Club Auto, the event starts January 17 at the Hyatt Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale and includes a drive January 18 to the Star Pass Resort in Tucson. The tour visits Tombstone on January 19 and the Saguaro National Park on the 20th on its way back to Scottsdale for a reception at the RM auction site.

The schedule for the 21st includes golf and the RM auction. The RM and Gooding auctions are on the calendar for the 22nd with the event ending on the 23rd with a visit to Gooding and the fifth annual LeMay "Night by the Lake" party at Gainey Ranch.

Future collectibles?

As the first decade of the 21st Century ended, the Hagerty Insurance Agency issued its annual Hot List of "Collector Cars of Tomorrow: A Decade in Review." In other words, here are the cars produced in the last 10 years that the folks at Hagerty, who specialize in insuring classic vehicles, think will be worth putting away as potential collector cars:

From 2000, the BMW M Roadster.
From 2001, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06
From 2002, the Pontiac Firebird WS-6 "Ram-Air"
From 2003, the Mini Cooper S "JCW"
From 2004, the Cadillac CTS-V
From 2005, the Acura NSX
From 2006, the Dodge Ram SRT-10 (Viper-powered pickup)
From 2007, the Ford Shelby Mustang GT 500
From 2008, the Dodge challenger SRT8
From 2009, the Pontiac Solstice GXP coupe

On what low-mileage late-model car are you counting for your children's college fund or for your own retirement nest egg?

Meanwhile, up in Utah…
According to the feds, Jeffrey Mowen's Ponzi scheme may have netted him only $18 million dollars – a mere pittance compared to Bernie Madoff's take. But two things make Mowen's case of special interest to us: Mowen also was charged with hiring someone to murder four witnesses who were to testify against him, and he spent some of his ill-gotten gain on collector cars and motorcycles, more than 200 of them, which were to be sold at two federal government seizure auctions this month in Utah.

Vehicles offered at the auctions include a 1956 Austin Healey and Chevy Nomad, a '69 Nova SS, an '81 Delorean, a '91 Nissan Figaro and many, many more.

To see the cars being offered on January 7, click this link: http://www.salesandauction.com/jan710.htm
To see what's available on the 21st (primarily motorcycles), click this link: http://www.salesandauction.com/jan2110.htm

Mark your calendar

January 7 – MidAmerica motorcycle auction at South Point Hotel, Las Vegas
9 – Tom Mack Classics auction at Metrolina Expo, Charlotte, North Carolina
9-10 – Dave Rupp auction at War Memorial Auditorium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
16-17 – Kruse auction at Renaissance Glendale, Glendale, Arizona
16-18 – International Classic auction, Gilbert, Arizona
17 – Wheels of Wellness vintage race car show, Phoenix
17-23 – LeMay's Arizona 500 vintage rally, Phoenix/Tucson
18-24 – Barrett-Jackson auction at WestWorld, Scottsdale, Arizona
20-24 – Russo and Steele auction, Scottsdale, Arizona
21-22 – RM auction at Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix
22-24 – Silver auction at Fort McDowell resort, Fountain Hills, Arizona
23 – Gooding auction at Scottsdale Fashion Square, Scottsdale, Arizona
23 – Third annual Winter Rod and Speed show, Albany, Oregon
28-31 – Mecum auction at Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee, Florida

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