Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction, Part 10

Compared to the number of older cars, there were fewer newer cars up for auction — I guess they have not had sufficient time to become classics. This 1960 Chevy leads off this final week of the auction photos. Last week, I mentioned the on-again off-again affair that Chevrolet had with fins. Back again in '59 and '60...

before disappearing for good in 1961.

Speaking of Chevrolet, here is a beautiful example of their 1962 Corvette. The '62 has always been my favorite 'Vette. It is unique in that it still retained the twin headlights — but featured the sleek, chopped off rear deck that continued for a number of years thereafter. The four round taillights were the start of a Corvette design tradition that would continue for more than 50 years.

The original sold for a bit more than $4,000. This one sold at auction for $90,000.

Meanwhile, Ford was into its third generation Thunderbird with rear fender and taillights that really does look like the business end of a jet engine.

From across the pond, German engineers were offering the 1966 Volkswagen Beetle. I found a website dedicated to this particular model quoting John Muir, who is a Volkswagen Guru and Author of How to keep your Volkswagen Alive - A Manual of Step by Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot said "The '66 Beetle is my personal favorite. The 1300 engine was powerful, frugal on gas, and could wail at high RPM all day if asked. This is an excellent collectable that can double as a daily driver, strong and well constructed." The website went on to say, "True then — true today!"

My first car, purchased right out of college was a 1968 Beetle in this same dark green color. The car was rugged and reliable — perfect for the snows of Minnesota with the air-cooled engine sitting over the rear drive wheels. Not much for creature comfort but it never failed to get me where I wanted to go.

Although it seems like the Ford Mustang has been around forever, it was actually introduced as a 1964 1/2 model. This vehicle is from the first full model year 1965 — which marked Ford's most successful launch since the Model A.

Lee Iacocca was the Ford Division general manager and the product champion for the Mustang. Early prototypes envisioned a two-seater but was later modified to a four-seater because of low sales volume of the two-seater T-Bird. Many of the components were from other Ford products which cut manufacturing costs as well as inventory costs for dealers.

Original sales forecasts projected less than 100,000 vehicles in the first year. However, this target was met within three months and the Mustang was off and running — with more than a million sold in the first 18 months.

Next we encounter a 1965 Pontiac GTO — one of the classic muscle cars of the '60s and '70s — immortalized in the surfing music of the Beach Boys (and others) with songs such as "Little GTO".

GM banned factory-sponsored racing so Pontiac's young, visionary management team turned its attention to emphasizing street performance.

Accord to Wikipedia, 'In his autobiography "Glory Days," Pontiac chief marketing manager Jim Wangers, who worked for the division's contract advertising and public relations agency, states that John DeLorean, Bill Collins and Russ Gee were indeed responsible for the GTO's creation. It involved transforming the upcoming redesigned Tempest (which was set to revert to a conventional front-engine, front transmission, rear-wheel drive configuration) into a "Super Tempest" with the larger 389 cu in (6.4 L) Pontiac V8 engine from the full-sized Pontiac Catalina and Bonneville in place of the standard 326 cu in (5.3 L) Tempest V8. By promoting the big-engine Tempest as a special high-performance model, they could appeal to the speed-minded youth market (which had also been recognized by Ford Motor Company's Lee Iacocca, who was at that time preparing the Ford Mustang).'

The last year of the first generation Ford Mustang (1966). I just love the distinctive grill. A real classic.

And we conclude our trip to automotive Heaven with the cockpit from a 1966 Corvette. It needs no words — the design speaks for itself.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com