Hello Friends and Family,

Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction 2019, Part 1

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Every year, just before the Super Bowl and the Phoenix Open, Barrett-Jackson stages a huge auto auction at Westworld in Scottsdale, Arizona. Since it had been a few years since my previous visit, I ventured to Westworld, camera in hand (in 2019 — sorry, a one-year delay in sharing due to all the other photos in the queue but I hope you will find them worth the wait). Just steps away from where I parked, I was taken aback by this horse sculpted from stainless steel rods. One could speculate that it was to commemorate Ford Mustangs — or, one might guess that it is related to the Arabian Horse Show, also held here— take your pick.

Very close to my parking spot, I found a 1958 Chevrolet Impala. This was a popular model from my growing-up years, an age when many boys start to pay attention to automobiles. The '58 was not to my taste then because the '57 model had been so iconic (still is). This one exhibited rear fenders with a long mound looking as if the fins of previous years had been melted and rolled over. And the salmon color would not be my choice either. However, with age (both mine and the car's), I find it much more appealing now than when it was new.

The Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction has grown dramatically — now requiring additional huge tents to hold the cars on display by the various manufacturers, plus collectibles galore. The first car on my random walk was a new Ford Mustang. I remember Mustangs as one of the original pony cars introduced in 1964 — sporty, performance-oriented designs. It is amazing that those '64 models still look pretty good — I guess a function of good design.

Of course, Ford has not been standing still with its Mustang line — here we see a 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500. This is the third generation Shelby GT500 and is the most powerful Ford ever built and the most Ford Performance racing-derived technology ever tuned into a Mustang. Would you believe 700 horses? This one was actually VIN #001 and was being auctioned to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation — it went for $1.1M!!!

Nearby was a 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1968 and 1969 Le Mans-winning GT40 with limited-edition Gulf Oil tribute livery — auto racing's most famous paint scheme. It is powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It auctioned off for $2.5M with the full proceeds going to United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

This is a Desert Power Wagon, a brand I have never heard of before. Their website describes these vehicles as "handcrafted transformations of Dodge Power Wagons into beautiful works of art that you will be proud to drive." The company is located in Scottsdale and promises to "handcraft each truck, providing a complete restoration, modernized and customized to your specification". This one appears to have been to its share of rodeos.

Here is another Desert Power Wagon, albeit a bit newer than the previous photo. This model would appear to be a MegaCab. According to their web site, it would go for around $399K. That price would buy you a very nice house in the Phoenix area — so I guess I'm not in their target market. Looks nice though.

Wow! A vintage Corvette! I believe this is a 1962 model before Chevrolet went to the disappearing headlights. And it retained the chopped-off tail of the 1961 model. This is my favorite Corvette of all time.

Another small manufacturer with which I am not familiar — Saleen. Their website boasts their company slogan — "Power in the hands of the few". Further, "Seeing the need for a true “Driver’s Car, Saleen launches the Saleen 1. This mid-engined, two-seat, independent suspension vehicle is the next generation of a true sports car.

"An all-aluminum lightweight chassis, combined with a carbon fiber body, results in a vehicle weighing less than 2700 lbs. The Saleen-designed, turbocharged inline, 4-cylinder, with unique split block engine configuration, produces 450HP.

"The combined horsepower and lightweight chassis yields supercar performance in a compact sports car package."

Saleen's website says that the price starts at $100K. I guess that price does keep these vehicles in the "hands of the few".

One observation and I hope this doesn't upset the company — the trunk lid on this display model does not line up exactly right — examine the left edge. I would think a $100K automobile would get such essential details to be perfect.

Only the logo on the back would tell me that this is a Toyota, specifically a GR Supra. It is a very unusual paint job which reminds me of the poor young woman in the movie Goldfinger who died (fictionally, of course) from gold paint all over her body. The appearance here is so unusual that one might think I used Photoshop tricks — but, no, this is the way it looked in person.

Oh, a Transformer. Not being of the Transformer generation, I don't know which one this is — I'll leave that detail to the members of the younger generation.

But I do know what this is — a gas pump from approximately 1940 to 1950. I am not sure that I would want a gas pump as a display item in my home but some people must, otherwise it would not be for sale here at Barrett-Jackson. Oh, and check the price of gasoline — 33.9¢ per gallon. I do remember that when I first started driving and having to pay for my own gasoline — 19.9¢ was the cheapest that I recall — but that was during a price war.

Last for today is an even older gasoline pump from approximately 1930. As I understand it, you would pump the gasoline into the clear cylinder until you had the amount you wanted, then used gravity feed to pour it into your tank. And can you imagine paying only 17.8¢ per gallon? Ah, the good ole days.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

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