The party in the desert, Barrett-Jackson’s 44th collector car auction, kicks off January 12 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Last year, the Batomobile made headlines, when it was sold for a jaw-dropping $4.6 million. As a follow-up this year, “The Mongoose” and “The Snake,” which are full scale Hot Wheels drag racers, will be the celebrity cars wowing the crowd. Also, several vintage touring cars, muscle cars, historical race cars, and a one-off concept car will grace Barrett-Jackson’s auction stage. It’s a new season and time to rev up classic car terms like COPO, L88, Hemi, Shelby, and elite foreign marques like Ferrari, Alfa Romero, and Mercedes Benz. Here are some of the cars that will be making news in Scottsdale.
This year’s roster will be a virtual Who’s Who of Corvettes. Last year, George Barris sold his creation, the Batmobile, and this year, he’s bringing another one of his customizations to Scottsdale, the Asteroid. It’s doubtful that it will create the bidding frenzy that the Batmobile did, but it’s certain that this bright metallic copper 1963 Corvette will get plenty of attention from both the bidders and the audience.
As a stark contrast to the over-the top customized Asteroid, two original first-year 1953 Corvettes are looking for a new owner. These Polo White sport cars have both won several awards for being maintained in their factory-delivered condition. One of the cars has less than 10,000 miles on the odometer.
If you’re looking for plenty of power under the hood, you can choose among a ZR1, a ZR2, two L88s, and the “World’s Fastest Street Machine,” a twin-turbo 1963 split window. From this group of big guns, the rarest is the 1967 L88, of which only 20 were built. This would be the centerpiece of any Vette collection, and you can bet the reserve has been set high on this Stingray.
This year, the three standouts in the vintage classic category are a 1955 Mercedes-Benz SL 300 Gullwing Coupe, a 1929 Duesenberg, and a 1929 Rolls-Royce.
Gullwings are always crowd pleasers, particularly when their signature overhead doors are raised, and this one has been restored to like-new condition, and has a well-documented history of ownership.
The drop top Duesenberg is much more than a pretty face. This beauty from the Gatsby era is a also a performance machine, with a straight-8, 420 cid engine, dual carburetors and a supercharger.
The Rolls-Royce, similar in style to the 1929 Duesenberg, is an American-made Dual Cowl Phaeton. Only wealthy buyers could afford this stunner when new, and its value has been climbing ever since.
1963 Shelby King Cobra
Although two copies of the 1963 Shelby King Cobra were built, only one is still in existence. This was a purpose-built race car, intended to compete in the series that would be later called Cam-Am. It had a brief, but interesting, race history under Carroll Shelby’s guidance, winning pole positions and taking checkered flags. Original Cobras always rate at the top of collectors’ list of must-haves, but a King Cobra of this caliber, that is the only one of its kind, is an exceptionally-prized Shelby.
1954 Plymouth Belmont Concept Car
In 1953, GM introduced the Corvette, and in 1955, Ford countered with the T-Bird. Ever wonder what Chrysler had in mind? Their two-seater sports car may have looked like the 1954 Plymouth Belmont, but interestingly, this concept car was built with a fiberglass body and sported one of the first Chrysler V8s, a 150 hp 241 cid engine. Although it received good reviews when it was introduced to the public, unfortunately, it never made it to production. Surely, there are at least of couple of MOPAR guys that want to add this rare one-off Plymouth to their collection.
The Mongoose and the Snake
There will be several highly sought-after automobiles at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction, but the main attraction will be the group sale of two drag cars and their transport trucks, which were made famous by Mattel’s legendary Hot Wheels “Snake versus Mongoose” promotion. All vehicles, have been restored to their original condition. It took several years for Don Prudhomme, “The Snake,” to restore the Plymouth Barracuda and Plymouth Duster to their original condition. Prudhomme, who drove the Barracuda, and his opponent Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen in his Plymouth Duster, squared off in numerous funny car match races around the country. Chances are you had these cars in your own Hot Wheels collection. Barrett-Jackson’s auction will provide a chance for someone to take home the real hot wheels, and their haulers. The house will be rocking when these big boy toys go up for sale.