If you’re like me, it has been a frequent fantasy every time the event comes around, only the kind of money necessary to fulfilling those guilty desires has somehow eluded me, despite my most ardent efforts.
That fact does little to change the reality of how it would feel to attend the famous auction featuring everything from the cars you wished were yours in high school to the hardest to find most exotic and desirable vehicles in the world.
That'd where John Hendricks found the Oldsmobile 88 that proudly revolves under the Hollywood style spotlights in his Gateway Auto Museum in Colorado. The founder of the Discovery Channel spent 2.8 million dollars to buy the concept car that was Oldsmobile’s answer to the Corvette in 1964.
Only six were ever built and only three remain in the world – two of which reside in private collections beyond the view of the public. Remarkably, almost all the cars in the Gateway Museum are still road worthy and a few of them make it out for a drive every year at an annual event.
Hendricks has the ways and means to indulge his every fantasy.
So if you had a million bucks and were at the Arizona auction, what would you bring home? It’s different for all of us, depending on what we found cool as a youth and the models that eluded us, as we grew older and more practical or developed new and different priorities.
Incidentally, the car pictured here is not available at the auction, but for me is a perfect illustration of the dreams a car enthusiast might well encounter there. It is a 2010 Alfa-Romeo Giulietta photographed in Italy by David Villarreal Fernández.
So maybe your thing was Sixties muscle cars and some time ago you had your heart set on a 1968 Camaro RS/SS convertible. You’d find one of those here with its 350 cubic inch V8 engine and three-speed stick shift. (Lot 7000)
Or maybe your dream car was a 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am coupe with its 400 cubic inch engine and its Smokey and the Bandit fame – you’d find one of those here, too, and it’s all original except for shiny new paint in Firebird Blue. (Lot 37)
Or perhaps you’d go for the last year of the big Mustangs with a 1973 Ford Mustang convertible in Wimbledon White with a new top and a thick folder of receipts documenting its ownership history. (Lot 52.1) Plus the 351 cubic inch V8 chock full of ponies rearing to run in the open air, of course – awesome!
Then again, maybe what rocks your boat is a classic, exotic sports car like the 1982 Alfa Romeo Veloce Spider. This roadster has a new top and the original high-compression 4-cylinder DOHC fuel-injected engine, coupled to a fully synchromesh 5-speed manual transmission. Remember when driving was a sheer joy to experience? (Lot 7)
Or maybe your thing is rare exotic British sports cars like the 1985 TVR 2801 Convertible, with its 2.8-liter V6 engine that embodied the concept of the roadster in a fun, sporty fashion. (Lot 9)
Whichever way your taste might wander, there something for you in Scottsdale – whether its classic antiques from 1910 to1940, luxury sports cars from 1950 and beyond or pickups old and new, classics of the early four-wheel era like Jeepsters, Salon cars across the years or late model supercars – there is something for every taste at Barrett-Jackson.
The only sad aspect of the whole affair is there is not a thing for the man with less than fortunate means – but such is life and all things change in their time.
So undaunted by the fact there’s no million to spend on long held dreams in 2013, there is always next year.
Perhaps I will see you there yet and bid against you for an exquisite 1958 Alfa Romeo Milano S.
That’s the car I fell in love with at the tender age of 14 and the image haunts me still.
Image source: Alfa-Romeo Giulietta en el Salón de Ginebra 2010 by David Villarreal Fernández
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