Hello Friends and Family,

2023 Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction, part 15

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Here is a little tidbit of automotive history — a 1953 Buick Special Convertible — with three holes in the fenders on either side of the engine. GM called them "venti ports" although others called them "portholes", "exhaust ports", or as I did, just "holes". In Buicks of this vintage, they served no practical purpose — just a way to distinguish Buicks from lesser cars of that era. Note that in the 1920s, cars had functional portholes, to vent engine heat. The 1953 versions were status only.


This vehicle actually has a personal connection to my growing-up years — in that, my family owned a 1946 Buick sedan with venti ports. My great-grandfather was a Buick man through and through. He would purchase a new one every two years. The old one would go to a family member at a steep discount from its true value. My family was fortunate enough to be the recipient of his generosity.


I have another connection to my great-grandfather in that I was his first and thus favorite grandchild. Even though I was quite young — too young to drive — he let me stand on his lap and hold the steering wheel as if I were actually driving. He lived in the country so there was little traffic and he held the steering wheel too — so there was little or no danger of an accident. But my mother revealed to me much later in life that she held her breath every time my great-grandfather took me "driving". I do not have my own memories of this — but my mom swore it to be the truth.


Like our Buick, this one contains a straight-eight engine configuration where all eight cylinders are in a line rather than the V-8 configuration which is the more common implementation. This one contains a two-speed automatic transmission as compared to ours with a manual transmission.

This baby sold for $46,200.


Here we see a custom 1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe sedan was a recipient of a frame-off restoration. Although this is slightly newer than Prohibition Years (1920 to 1933), it reminds me of similar automobiles seen in the television series "The Untouchables".


It is powered by an 85hp 6-cylinder engine with a single Carter down-draft carburetor and a floor-shifted Sycho-Mesh 3-speed manual transmission. The rear end had new gearing installed and was professionally rebuilt. The 112-inch wheelbase provides a stable ride and has rebuilt suspension.


The Master Deluxe introduced an independent front suspension for improved steering and handling. It has an all-new wiring harness, brand-new whitewall tires, and new rims that complete the package. The car is finished in two-tone silver and Dark Jade over a new gray cloth interior that complements the lines of the exterior.


The bench seats are supportive and the body-colored steel dash has just the right amount of art deco style with chrome trim and Bakelite control knobs. Everything was completed and done to the original specifications.

This Chevy brought a winning bid of $19,800.


I finally gave in to the chilly temperatures outside and went back into the exhibit hall to find a Lexus RZ on display — an all-electric vehicle from Lexus. I like the design — similar enough to current Lexus gasoline models but with just a bit more aggressive styling. I found I could configure one to my tastes and even submit the specs to a dealer who would then try to satisfy my every whim — for only $66,694.


Doggy Swag was a bit closer to the limits of my wallet — just one of the many souvenir-type items on display for sale. Cute!


Next, I encountered a Lucid electric vehicle on display. For those who do not know, Lucid is a recent start-up company located halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. It is targeting the high-end EV market which reflects on the price of its Air Grand Touring offering, priced at $140,000. They have also been in the news lately because of the layoffs of approximately 1,300 employees (about 18% of its workforce).


In addition to the completed vehicle on display, Lucid also was displaying their air battery that provides the energy to move the vehicle.


And here we see their electric motor that actually moves the vehicles forward with that strong acceleration typical of electric vehicles.

This issue of LAHP concludes my photos and stories about the 2023 Barrett-Jackson Automobile Auction. I enjoyed being there in person. I hope you enjoyed my sharing of that experience.


Life is good.

Aloha,
B. David

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