A few years ago, it seemed that the price of certain collector cars, specifically muscle era Chevrolets and Mopars had no end in sight. There was the $3 million ‘Cuda and Ray Allen’s drag prepped ’70 Chevelle SS that went for a cool $1.2 million at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale parade in 2006.
Recently B-J hosted it’s first collector car event in Orange County, but despite the inclusion of a classic car rally (a cool idea we might add), cruise-in barbeque, charity fundraisers and a fashion show, the sale price of the vehicles up for grabs, even with 18 hours of live coverage on SPEED was a far cry from the heady days of 2006. The top selling cars struggled to fetch much more than a quarter million dollars – the best performer being a 1970 Chevelle SS 454 convertible (similar to the car pictured above). When the gavel came down, the SS sold for $253,000. It’s perhaps interesting to note that another Chevelle SS 454 ragtop went for $231,000 at R-M’s San Diego Auction, which indicates that prices for prime Detroit muscle are stabilizing, witnessing a similar pattern to what happened in the early 1990s. Another Chevelle, this time a resto-mod hardtop, rang in $250,000 – making it the runner up at B-J.
Below the Chevelles, there was a whole clump of cars in the $160-190,000 range. Highlights included a highly modified Plymouth Road Runner from Fast & Furious and Tokyo Drift feature films that went for $187,000; a custom 1941 Willys coupe that sold for $181,500 and a gorgeous 1967 big-block Corvette roadster that went for just $500 less than the Willys.
It was interesting to note that the mood was quite particular, some cars bringing on enthusiastic bidding while for others it was glacial. An interesting car to cross the block was a 1972 Dodge Challenger – a promo car built originally for the TV show ‘Mod Squad’ using a 1971 body (since no factory 72 ragtops were ever built). Yet despite it’s interesting past and being loaded with options it failed to make the top 30 list and was eclipsed by cars as diverse as a 1962 Thunderbird Sports Roadster ($100,000) and a 1948 Hudson Commodore 8 that ran up $85,500 under the spotlight.
Barrett-Jackson’s next auction is Las Vegas, which will be held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on the southern end of the strip, on September 23-25. It will be interesting to see how things fair in Sin City.