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By Larry Edsall
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'New collectibles' set the pace at Barrett-Jackson’s Vegas auction
By Larry Edsall

Classic Car Articles by Larry Edsall What are being termed the "new collectibles" drew the highest bids at the third annual Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auction. Those "new collectibles" included a 2008 Bugatti Veyron, 2009 SLR McLaren roadster, and a pair of new Chevrolet Camaros. That quartet topped the sales list an auction at which more than 500 cars sold for nearly $23 million.

The Bugatti Veyron drew the top sales price -- $770,000 (including the buyer’s premium) -- but after the sale, the top bidder said his bid wasn’t serious and he didn’t want to buy the car. After removing that bidder’s credentials and having him removed from the auction, Craig Jackson went to the podium, explained what had happened, and reopened the bidding to any of the under-bidders on the car.

When none responded, Jackson purchased the car himself.

"Our team constantly strives to raise the bar of transparency in the collector car industry," Jackson said in a post-auction statement. "We never know exactly what circumstances we’ll face, but we conduct each auction transaction in a fair, consistent manner with consignors receiving their proceeds in a timely manner.

"Ethics is the cornerstone of Barrett-Jackson, as was proven during the Las Vegas auction," he added in reference to the fact that earlier this year, Barrett-Jackson was the only auction company included in an annual list of the world’s most ethical companies.

While the Veyron brought $770,000, the McLaren went for $412,500, a limited-edition 2010 UFC Camaro brought $350,000 and a 2011 Camaro convertible drew $205,000. The Camaros were sold to raise money for charities – the UFC car’s proceeds went to the intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund for families of military personnel lost in service and for veterans severely wounded while the as-yet in production convertible was donated by Fairway Chevrolet to raise money for the YMCA of Southern Nevada (the buyer gets to select engine, transmission, options and color).

Also generating funds for the Ralph Braun Foundation were a pair of 1981 Corvette coupes – the last one off the assembly line at St. Louis and the first one off the assembly line at Bowling Green – each bringing $150,000.

Other top sellers at B-J LV were a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado convertible for $165,000, a ’58 ‘Vette convertible for $137,500, a ’63 Chevrolet Impala custom coupe for $137,500 and a ’57 ‘Vette convertible for $134,200.

For the 2010 auction year, Barrett-Jackson president Steve Davis noted that the company sold cars that raised more than $7 million for various charities.

RM at Hershey Classic Car Articles by Larry Edsall

The AACA’s annual fall meet at Hershey, Pennsylvania runs October 5-9 and, as usual, includes RM’s Vintage Motor Cars at Hershey auction.

Crossing the block will be more than 25 cars from the collection of Clyde Ensor, Sr. -- featuring cars ranging from a 1902 Neustadt Perry, a 1902 Olds curve-dash runabout, and 1903 Ford Model A, to a 1956 Ford Mainline sedan with less than 2100 miles on its odometer – and cars from the Gerald Sichel Collection – featuring brass and classic-era machines such as 1090 Stanley Model E2 Steamer and a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy convertible coupe.

Also being auctioned is the 1932 Bergholt Streamline that drew crowds at the recent Meadow Brook concours.

Museum starts first Friday tours

Beginning October 1 and continuing on a monthly basis, the Natural History Museum in offers a "behind-the-scenes" tour of its automobile storage facility in Gardena, California. The Natural History Museum has been collecting and preserving California’s automotive culture since 1929 and its collection includes 63 historic cars and motorcycles from 1900-1084. Until now, those vehicles were displayed on a rotating basis at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

The guided tours are offered the first Friday of each month, Reservations are required (you must be 16 years of age or older). Group tours are available by special arrangement. The tour lasts an hour and costs $10 per person. For information and to make a reservation, call (213) 763-3505.

Crosley’s Duesie wins at Glenmoor

A 1933 Duesenberg SJ Beverly Berline bodied by Murphy was named best-in-show at the 2010 Glenmoor Gathering. The Duesenberg is owned by Judge Joseph and Margie Cassini of West Orange, New Jersey, but originally was purchased by Powell Crosley Jr., owner of the Crosley Radio Company, WLW radio and the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. Crosley later started his own car company producing small, low-priced vehicles that themselves have become classic and collectible.

Threat alert

Just about the time we were posting our article on the Historic Vehicle Association and its effort to enhance the environment for classic cars, the threat to the hobby was underscored by an "urgent" appeal from the SEMA

Action Network seeking classic car enthusiasts to urge President Obama to stop the EPA from boosting the ethanol content in gasoline because of its harmful potential to automobile engines, both old and new.

"Under pressure from ethanol producers," the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may allow the ethanol content in regular unleaded gasoline to be doubled (from E10 to E15; flex-fuel vehicles designed to run on "ethanol" use E85, which is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent petroleum fuel).

The SEMA Action Network noted that "scientific studies have not yet been completed on concerns that the added content could harm auto parts of all ages;" that "ethanol causes engines to burn hotter which could lead to premature engine and equipment failure" or cause the "check engine" light in late model cars to shine unnecessarily, and "increases water formation in the fuel system, especially when the vehicle sits over a period of time."

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