7 Notable Cars from Barrett-Jackson, Scottsdale 2020
Earlier this week we brought you a roundup of the ten most expensive non-charity cars sold at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale soirée in the Arizona desert. That’s the easy stuff. What’s more difficult – but infinitely more fun – is pawing through the 1900+ cars on display to find some eyebrow-raising metal that isn’t likely part of any other Barrett-Jackson coverage you’ve seen.
If you’ve never been, please understand that the Scottsdale event is one part auction, one part car show, and one part theatre. Auctioneers speak their rapid-fire patter in an effort to get gearheads to open their wallets, while servers (of both genders) in leather pants make sure drink is readily available. Cocaine addiction is probably cheaper, though infinitely more life-destroying.
1976 GMC Sierra Grande Custom Pickup – $165,000
An incredibly detailed tribute to the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, this GMC Sierra Grande is known as Syndicate Series 02. It pays homage to the truck produced and awarded to the chief mechanic of the winning team of the 59th Annual Indianapolis 500 back in 1975. Under the hood, where race winner Bobby Unser autographed the truck, you’ll find a supercharged LS3. It would be possible to drive this on the billiard-smooth roads of Arizona as it has creature comforts like USB charging ports, a Bluetooth stereo, and air conditioning.
1995 BMW M3 Lightweight – $385,000
Never underestimate the star power of Paul Walker in a room full of misty-eyed gearheads (your author included), even posthumously. By itself, the M3 Lightweight is a pretty special machine, built without a radio, air conditioning, tool kit, or sunroof. This contributed to its 220lb SlimFast results compared to a standard M3. With just over 7300km on its 240 horsepower inline-six, this was just one of several Paul Walker cars to cross the block in Scottsdale.
1963 Modena Spyder California – $396,600
Of the three Ferrari copies that appeared on screen in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, this was the one that received the most screen time (no, it isn’t the one that went through the window). It received a recent body-off restoration by Modena Design founder Neil Glassmoyer. Powered by a 427 Ford V8 and five-speed manual stick, this movie star had a mean idle as it cruised through the staging lanes. Your author had a chance to speak to the consignor a couple of hours before the auction and he expressed trepidation about the final price given that, in some collector’s eyes, it’s not a “real Ferrari.” Turns out he needn’t have worried.
1990 Toyota Supra Turbo Targa – $88,000
A lot of noise has been made about Japanese cars from the ‘90s commanding sky-high figures, notably the bulbous A80 generation. Now, it seems that fever has spread to the blocky A70 model – and this one has a Canadian connection. Originally sold at Stampede Toyota in Calgary, this Supra has but 146 actual kilometres. It is indeed a five-speed manual and retains all the dealer kit including plastic seat covers and Canadian-spec window stickers. In comparison, a similar Supra with 85,000 kilometres went for $16,500.
1999 Vector M-12 – $176,000
This rare-as-hen’s-teeth supercar is #12 of 14 production cars built over a three-year span by Vector Aeromotive (yes, aeromotive). Powered by a Lamborghini 5.7-liter V12 engine mated to a ZF 5-speed manual transmission, it showed less than 3500 kilometres on its odometer. Just two month ago, it was treated to full engine-out major service which is a trifling bit of maintenance that probably cost more than your author’s annual income. We spoke with the owner minutes before it hit the stage, a man of Hollywood proportions who was excited to drive it across the block with his young son in the passenger seat.
2001 Ford Excursion Custom SUV – $20,900
Not every vehicle to be sold in Scottsdale is crowned with good taste. This Ford Excursion rides on a custom 30-inch lift with 52-inch tires featuring no fewer than 16 polished Bilstein shocks. Guess what? The gas tank is chrome, too. On the positive side of the ledger, this rig has travelled fewer than 8000 kilometres since new and went for a sum affordable by most. If your spouse doesn’t kick you out after bringing this thing home, he or she is a definitely a keeper.
1951 Mobil Oil Left-Facing Pegasus Porcelain Sign – $80,500
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. This animated neon sign, measuring seven feet long by six feet high, commanded over eighty thousand dollars this year at Barrett-Jackson. Apparently, the secret to its sky-high price was the left-facing nature of the sign. The winged horse, also known as a Pegasus, more commonly faces the right. Indeed, a right-facing unit of identical size and similar appearance went for $36,800 that same day.