Hello Friends and Family,

2023 Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction, part 5

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

First up for today is a 1999 Plymouth Prowler finished in Triple Black, powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission. The Plymouth Prowler (later named the Chrysler Prowler) was a retro-styled production sports car manufactured and marketed from 1997 to 2002 by DaimlerChrysler, based on the 1993 concept car of the same name.

This Prowler features rear-wheel drive, silver aluminum wheels, air conditioning, an AM/FM radio, a manual convertible top, leather seat trim, and only 7,381 actual miles. CARFAX shows a damage report on 05/04/2016: Damage reported, very minor damage, damage to left front. Surprisingly, the winning bid was only $29,700 — perhaps bidders were hesitant because of the CARFAX report.

Next, we see a custom 1941 Ford F-1 pickup powered by a V8 small-block Chevrolet engine mated to an automatic transmission. This custom pickup has a GM front suspension, power disc brakes, power steering, and a custom wood bed. The truck rides on American Racing wheels and BFGoodrich tires. It is finished in solid gray with a one-off interior featuring a chrome tilt steering column, custom Dolphin gauges, and a GPS speedometer. It sold at auction for $33,000. This price surprised me in that it was more than the Prowler and the paint job struck me as nothing to brag about.

Another blast from the past (at least my teenage years) — a 1972 Volkswagen Samba Type 2 T1 received a rotisserie restoration in 2021 which was upgraded to a 23-window re-creation bus. It features a dual-cargo-door configuration with undercarriage belly pans to strengthen the chassis. The front end has been upgraded to a rack & pinion steering system, which makes the turns easier even at low speed, with brand new shocks and exhaust.

Remember that this was the vehicle of choice among the hippy crowd and could handle a small crowd on the trip to the beach. The bus is refinished in the classic two-tone theme of Aqua and Lotus White to match the interior, which was completely redone as well. The middle seat can be folded on both sides for easy access to the rear seats through the dual left- and right-hand side cargo doors.

Power comes from the original air-cooled 1,500cc flat-4 boxer engine, which is mated to the original 4-speed manual transmission. Some other notable features include pop-out safari front windows, front quarter-window vents, a large retractable sunroof, bumper guards, rocker molding, and whitewall tires. The bus has a Westfalia-style roof rack, a vintage-style chrome cupholder storage basket, and a CocoMat at the front.

It sold for $57,200. It appears those hippies were quite successful in their post-hippy life.

What happens when you cut off the back part of a station wagon and substitute a truck-like cargo bed? You get a Ford Ranchero (or the copycat Chevy El Camino). The Ford versions were produced from 1957 to 1979.

This custom 1957 Ford Ranchero pickup has undergone a 2-year professional frame-off restoration, completed in December 2022. Almost no part of this vehicle was untouched in that restoration. The owner was rewarded with a winning bid of $68,200.

Last for today is this lovely flagship 1938 Packard Model 1608 Convertible Sedan. Packard's V12 entry into the multi-cylinder automobile market of the 1930s ranks among the finest and most collectible motorcar lines of the entire Classic Era. Carefully and methodically developed throughout its production cycle, Packard's Twelves were built for special bodywork by the finest custom coachbuilders of the time, supplemented by a wide and versatile array of open and closed, factory-cataloged body styles designed by famed automobile stylist Ray Dietrich. While graceful, luxurious, and built for the wealthiest buyers, Packard Twelves were mechanically sophisticated to match, and with 175 factory-rated horsepower at just 3,200 rpm, they were, and remain, formidable performers with excellent road manners.

Packard's Sixteenth Series Twelves were announced in September 1937 and marked the penultimate run of these majestic motorcars, with only 566 produced in all. Sharing its chassis options with the Super Eight, the Twelve was now offered along a focused, two-model line comprising the 134-inch wheelbase Model 1607, and the top-of-the-line Model 1608 on a generous 139-inch wheelbase. This lovely flagship 1938 Packard Model 1608 Convertible Sedan features particularly luxurious and versatile Convertible Sedan coachwork and is a beautiful display of Packard's grace and quality.

Continuing to benefit from a very attractive and well-kept older restoration, it is handsomely finished in Cream, complemented by Burgundy steel wheels, trim rings, and bright hubcaps, a spacious and inviting Burgundy leather-trimmed interior and tan canvas top. Desirable features are numerous, including dual Trippe safety lights, dual side-mount spares with metal covers and chrome mirrors, a trunk rack, and Packard's signature Cormorant radiator mascot.

Other welcome comfort and convenience amenities rounding out this luxurious 1938 Packard include rear footrests, courtesy lamps, and a retractable glass partition window. The driving experience of this Twelve is surprisingly easy, with Packard's advanced mechanical systems including a vacuum power-assisted clutch and vacuum-boosted hydraulic brakes, as well as unparalleled refinement from the smooth and silky V12.

This beauty sold at auction for $150,700.

P.S., As, I was working on a photo of the above Packard automobile, I wanted to add a bit of background, as I often do. Therefore, I checked on the Antique Automobile Museum in Fort Lauderdale which features a wonderful collection of Packards. They had closed temporarily due to COVID and I wanted to report that they had reopened and were again sharing their collection with the public. But to my shock and dismay, I discovered that they have closed permanently and sold off all their Packards.

But this was more than a car museum to me. It was the site of one of our Father-Son excursions late in Dad’s life — where we shared the magnificent cars made by Packard (not related to Hewlett-Packard Co.). One of my favorite photographic memories is displayed below when he was standing beyond one of the special cars in their collection. I took the photo not even noting that he was standing there but now it is one of my favorites. I wrote at the time, "We begin our tour with the oldest vehicle in the collection and my personal favorite, a 1909, model '18' Gentleman's Runabout Speedster. The original price was $3,200 which, at the time, was more than the cost of the average house. This is a very rare model with only four known to exist. That is my dad in the background of whom only one is known to exist."

And he passed away less than two years later. May he rest in peace.

Life is good —albeit sometimes sad.

B. David

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