By on August 18, 2016

1970 Plymouth EPA Superbird Blue front quarter, Image: Barrett-Jackson

Indeed, car shoppers looking for a bargain can potentially find fleet gold at surplus auctions, where municipal, county, state, and federal agencies dispose of (usually) lightly used domestic cars and trucks. Knowing how those agencies use their vehicles can make or break the value of your find; buying an ex-Border Patrol Raptor in Texas may not be the best idea if you want a long-lived, trouble free truck.

A keen eye and a bit of luck, however, can yield a magnificent treasure. In 1979, a high-school shop teacher spotted this old Plymouth up for bid, and took it home for a measly $500. It’s no ordinary Plymouth, of course — it’s the legendary Superbird, with the NASCAR-ready homologation wing and aero nose.

It’s up for auction again in October, though it’ll cross the stage under bright lights and TV cameras at the glitzy Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas instead of a dreary government service facility. As these rare ‘Birds tend to trade for well over six figures, we’d have to say this is likely the best surplus find yet.

However, the story behind this example might make it worth even more: This particular Superbird was owned by the Environmental Protection Agency.

(Read More…)

By on January 30, 2016

First 2017 Acura NSX Scores Record Auction Price of .2 Million at Barrett-Jackson

Vast amounts of witless cash arrived at Scottsdale this week. To wit: the first serial production Acura NSX — or, at least, the right to order it — sold for $1.2 million at Barrett-Jackson on Friday.

For that $1.2 million (plus somewhere between $156,000 and $205,700 for the car itself), winning bidder Rick Hendrick (yes, that Rick Hendrick) will be the first “normal” person to enjoy such model-specific features as automatically reversing cat bolts, tires that don’t grip (if so equipped) and a painstaking 12+ month wait to 60 mph.

At least Acura and Mr. Hendrick will get the warm-and-fuzzies. All that crazy auction money will go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Camp Southern Ground in Georgia, and not Honda’s Formula 1 engine development program.

(Read More…)

By on January 20, 2014

1969camaro

I can recall the first time I saw a first generation Camaro in the October 1966 Popular Science new car preview edition. The 1967 Camaro was the star attraction when it debuted in the fall of 1966 and it gave the General an instant classic in the pony car battle.

I liked the original Camaro because it was a stylish blend of well-sculpted bodylines with curves in all of the right places. The hidden headlights and race stripe around the front fenders of the car were options that took the car to an even higher level of cool for me as a very young admirer.
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By on January 22, 2013

Tune in, drop out

With Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale over, aging hairy-chested executives are now returning to McMansions all across America, short seven figures but up one or two muscle cars.  Yes, there were some big sales this year, like the Batmobile that went for $4.6 million even though it’s based on a Lincoln and doesn’t have any rocket launchers.  But this Barrett-Jackson summary is for all the car geeks out there, highlighting a few less publicized sales that still managed to raise my eyebrows as I sat on my couch watching the results and eating donuts.

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By on January 22, 2013

I will admit that I am a Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction fanboi. I spent last week in Detroit during the NAIAS, and thus had to skip my annual trip to Scottsdale, Arizona for their auction extravaganza, one of the greatest automotive events in this country. However, amidst all the breathless reporting about Barrett-Jackson selling the original Batmobile for $4.6M, you might have missed the story of a rare fail by the auction giant. (Read More…)

By on January 22, 2012

Reporters gasped at the $160,000 a hand-built custom Ford Mustang went for at the auction in Scottsdale. The same reporter nearly had a heart attack over the $4.2 million a rare 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing fetched ( it could have been $4.62 million, accounts by the same reporter differ.)

The media missed the sensation of the day: An oil burning six year old Jetta sold for $35,000. (Read More…)

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