Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s time to start thinking about another big season in Arizona: auction season.
More than 1000 vehicles will cross the auction block at Barrett-Jackson from the time the event kicks off at WestWorld on January 13 until the closing bell a week later. Some, like the approximately 50 vehicles that are part of the Salon Collection, are among the most valuable and sought-after collector cars. Others, like the 30 Shelby automobiles that will go up with no reserve, pay tribute to and offer bidders a chance to own a piece of automotive history. Still more will appeal to those looking to capture a piece of Hollywood history.
Here are some of the most notable vehicles that you’ll see at Barrett-Jackson, in no particular order:
The Green Hornet – This 1968 Shelby, thought to be one of the rarest in existence, has the distinction of being one of the very few factory prototypes from the era that survived the crusher. It became the platform for innovation in design, performance and handling, including an experimental Conelec fuel injection system, independent rear suspension and a unique rear disc brake configuration. It is one of several Shelbys that will cross the block on January 19, including a survivor 1967 GT500, one of the first ever produced at Shelby American. With only 9841 miles on the odometer, it is thought to be the lowest mileage ’67 GT500 in existence.
The Original 1966 Batmobile – This 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car was modified by George Barris to become the Batmobile for the television series Batman, starring Adam West. Before that, the vehicle was featured in the 1959 film It Started with a Kiss, starring Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford. It includes the “bat gadgets” originally created for the series, and has been a part of Barris’ personal collection since he first bought it from the Ford Motor Company for a dollar in 1965. It will cross the auction block on Saturday, January 19.
Clark Gable’s 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe (pictured above)- One of only 1,400 made, the 300SL Gullwing became the world’s first gasoline fuel injected production car. Gable’s Mercedes is equipped with fitted luggage, rare Rudge knock-off wheels and a Nardi steering wheel. In addition, the SL’s original registration solidifies the provenance of this rolling piece of Hollywood history with the signatures of William Clark Gable and his fifth wife, Kay Sprekels Gable. The 300SL was cherished by Gable for five years before his passing in 1960, and is said to have carried some of Hollywood’s most-famous leading ladies, such as Jean Harlow, Vivien Liegh, Ava Gardner and Marilyn Monroe.
President George W. Bush’s 2009 Ford F-150 King Ranch 4×4 SuperCrew – All proceeds from the sale of the vehicle will benefit the Fisher House Foundation, a national program dedicated to assisting America’s military families. The right airbag panel features President Bush’s signature, and included with the purchase is a video showing him autographing the truck and driving it around his ranch in Crawford, Texas.
The Most Victorious Corvette in History – This 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L-88 is among the most powerful production-based racecars of all time, with a near-perfect record in FIA GT and SCCA National racing. Its record includes wins at the 1969 and 1972 SCCA National ‘A’ Production Championships, second place in GT at the 1969 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race, and 1969 and 1970 GT class wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona race.
This just scratches the surface of the many beautiful, valuable and unique vehicles that you will see at Barrett-Jackson. For a complete list, a schedule of events and tickets, visit www.barrett-jackson.com.