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Author Archives: Barrett-Jackson

Vintage Corvettes Will Cross The Block At The Barrett-Jackson 2015 Palm Beach Auction

This unrestored 1962 Corvette

This unrestored 1962 Corvette “Fuelie” will cross the auction block at the 13th Annual Palm Beach Auction, April 17-19.

  • An unrestored ’62 Corvette “Fuelie” (Lot #402) with only 29,000 original miles will be an auction highlight in Palm Beach
  • A ’62 Corvette Custom Convertible (Lot #420) featuring a 427ci LS7 engine will be among the bidder favorites
  • A matching numbers ’65 Corvette Convertible (Lot #435) completely frame-off restored by Richard Petty’s Garage will be one of the most notable consignments

PALM BEACH, Fla. – March 20, 2015 – Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions®, will feature a number of impeccable classic and custom Corvettes from the 1950s and ’60s during the 13th Annual Palm Beach Auction in Palm Beach, Florida, April 17-19, 2015, at the South Florida Fairgrounds. Among the top models is an unrestored, fuel-injected ’62 Corvette (Lot #402) with only 29,000 original miles.

“The Corvette has captured the hearts of car aficionados since it rolled out in 1953,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “The first generation was undeniably head-turning, and by the late ’50s the Corvette was earning its reputation on the race tracks. Today the Corvette is one of the most revered American sports cars and we’re excited to have many of the best examples represented during our Palm Beach auction.”

This ’62 Corvette “Fuelie” (Lot #402) is considered one of the most original unrestored 1962 Corvettes in existence. An impressive history began when it was selected as one of three Corvettes presented in the 1976 original Michael Antonick publication, “Corvette! The Sensuous American,” a book dedicated to Harley Earl. This “Fuelie” was also part of the Chip Miller collection from 1980 through 1986 and has earned a total of six NCRS Top Flight Awards, including two National Top Flights. With the original paint, original drive train and only 29,000 miles, it’s as though this Corvette has been locked in a time capsule all these years.

Lot #420, 1962 Corvette Custom Convertible

Lot #420, 1962 Corvette Custom Convertible

The Palm Beach auction will also include a meticulously built ’62 Corvette Custom Convertible (Lot #420) powered by a strong, dry sump LS7 427/505hp engine, six-speed transmission and a custom nine-inch independent rear axle with inboard brakes. The immaculate interior is donned in high-grade custom leather upholstery and custom-built gauges. The attention to detail and superior craftsmanship on this Resto-Mod creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity for bidders.

“The Corvette wasn’t born an icon, but it’s become as ingrained in American culture as rock ’n’ roll and baseball,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “From the early models to the new 2015 Corvette supercar, this American machine is a true mechanical achievement. I’m confident the Corvettes crossing the block in Palm Beach auction will be among our crowd favorites.”

An incredibly rare ’65 Corvette (Lot #435) with matching numbers on the engine and transmission adds to the list of amazing Corvettes crossing the auction block in Palm Beach. In 2014, over 600 hours were spent on restoring this classic in the garage of seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty. “The King’s” team of experts rebuilt, repaired and rechromed every original part that could be brought back to new condition. The engine, transmission and rear differential were completely rebuilt and the brake lines and fuel lines were upgraded to stainless steel with all hardware being factory replacements.

The ownership history of this ’65 Corvette is just as impressive as the car itself, all of which is well-documented with invoices and letters. The late British actor Sir John Mills originally purchased the car for his daughters, actresses Juliet and Hayley Mills. Juliet and her husband, actor Maxwell Caulfield, owned the car through the mid-1980s.

Other Corvettes included in the West Palm Beach auction include a ’61 Corvette Convertible (Lot #376) and a ’57 Corvette Convertible (Lot #431), both with frame-off restorations and matching numbers. The ’61 Corvette was restored using NOS parts and features a new interior and new convertible top. The ’57 Corvette is the recipient of a NCRS Regional Top Flight Award, scoring a 97.7.

Live coverage of the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Palm Beach will be broadcast in live, high-definition TV coverage on Velocity and Discovery from Friday through Sunday, April 17-19.

For more information on becoming a bidder, follow the link to http://www.Barrett-Jackson.com/Bidder/Home.

WINGLESS WARRIOR: 1969 Dodge HEMI Charger 500 sure to electrify the Palm Beach block

This beautifully restored 1969 Dodge HEMI Charger will be crossing the Barrett-Jackson block at the 13th Annual Palm Beach Auction, April 17-19, 2015, at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

This beautifully restored 1969 Dodge HEMI Charger will be crossing the Barrett-Jackson block at the 13th Annual Palm Beach Auction, April 17-19, 2015, at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

     Dodge’s Special Vehicles Group had a big problem as 1967 gave way to 1968. The 1966 and ’67 fastback Chargers had been very successful on the NASCAR Grand National race circuit. But the new “Coke bottle” 68s just weren’t as clean from an aerodynamic standpoint. The very design details that attracted over 96,000 customers (a 508-percent increase over 1967) were causing trouble. Up front, the menacing sunken grille and hidden headlamps trapped air with no exit path.

     Out back, the sleek flying buttress B-pillars and tunneled backlite that Dodge stylist Bill Brownlie’s team conjured was also flawed at race speed. The grille and roofline caused 1,250 pounds of lift at 170 mph. By the end of the 1968 NASCAR season, only two minor races were won by Chargers. Richard Petty’s Plymouth turned out to be the only Mopar capable of consistently running with the Ford Fairlanes.

     Since the 426 HEMI’s power advantage over Ford’s Tunnel Port 427 wedge was tapped out (thanks to the NASCAR-mandated single four-barrel carburetor), the Special Vehicles Group turned their attention to improving the Charger’s aerodynamics. Lacking its own wind tunnel, Chrysler rented Wichita State University’s 7’ x 10’ facility where 3/8-scale models were evaluated. Full-size vehicle tests were also conducted inside the 16’ x 23’ wind tunnel at Lockheed-Georgia, which charged Dodge $500 per hour. All test results indicated the Charger’s distinctive tunneled grille and flying buttress B-pillars simply had to go.

     The results of Charger’s aerodynamic makeover are seen here in the form of this beautifully restored 1969 Charger 500 (Lot #426). Owned by Steve Ashley of Bee Springs, Kentucky, the matching numbers aero warrior is one of only 64 Street HEMI-powered Charger 500s made. The rest of the 392 car production run packed 440 Magnums. Ashley bought his 500 from prominent Mopar collector Tim Wellborn, who held it for 20-plus years. While in Wellborn’s care, a complete restoration was performed by noted Mopar restoration expert Roger Gibson using nothing but the best parts and techniques.

In addition to the original matching numbers 426/425hp HEMI V8 and TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic transmission, this Charger's mechanicals include power steering and brakes.

In addition to the original matching numbers 426/425hp HEMI V8 and TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic transmission, this Charger’s mechanicals include power steering and brakes.

     Aside from the massive orange elephant under its hood, this 500 stands apart from others of its ilk in that it was factory assembled with nearly every available option – plus one that wasn’t supposed to be offered on the 500 – a luggage rack. A what? It’s true. Whoever originally ordered this NASCAR-inspired street screamer kicked in an extra $33.30 for the M91 trunk-top luggage rack. So in addition to its HEMI-spec 727 TorqueFlite automatic transmission, power steering, power front disc brakes, power windows, AM 8-track radio, cloth-insert front bucket seats with head rests, rear window defroster and manual six-way adjustable driver-side bucket seat, the fender tag and build sheets both bear the M91 luggage rack option code.

     But there’s a rub. The aero modifications to the roof plug (as well as the grille swap, smooth A-pillar finish plate and body graphics) were handled off-campus by Creative Industries, a specialty vehicle conversion facility in East Detroit. To suit the resulting trunk opening, each of the 392 Charger 500s (as well as the 503 Charger Daytona wing cars that followed) got a special abbreviated trunk lid. Guess what? The footprint of the stock Charger luggage rack was too large to fit the special decklid, so it wasn’t installed. Concluding the matter, the dealership likely refunded the buyer the $33.30 charge and life went on. But it makes this a certain one-of-a-kind machine in the process!

     Getting back to NASCAR action, hopes ran high as the Charger 500 made its competition debut at the 1969 Daytona 500. Unfortunately for Dodge, Ford simultaneously released its Fairlane Talladega, a similarly-massaged aero machine with a flush-fit grille, drooping front fenders and rolled rocker panels to reduce ride height. The final lap of the February, 1969 Daytona 500 spectacle came down to a sprint to the finish line between “Chargin’ Charlie” Glotzbach’s Charger 500 and LeeRoy Yarbrough’s Talladega, with the Ford taking the win by a small margin. Clearly the Charger 500’s body mods were only part of the aerodynamic solution. Even less drag would be needed.

     Before the entire 500 car ’69 Charger 500 production run was completed, Dodge pulled the plug at 392 units, immediately switching all attention to the pointy-nosed, wing-equipped Charger Daytona. Oddly, NASCAR never caught on to the Charger 500’s abbreviated production run. Despite limited race track success, the 1969 Charger 500 will stand forever as Dodge’s first aerodynamically tweaked NASCAR homologation machine. Add in the Street HEMI and one-off luggage rack code and you’ve got a sure-fire winner either standing still or taming whatever sits in the other lane. Though offered with a reserve at the 13th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction, wise bidders know that opportunities like this only come around once in a lifetime.

 

This article by Steve Magnante appears in the Spring 2015 issue of The Barrett-Jackson Experience magazine. To order your copy or subscribe, click here or visit www.shopbarrettjackson.com.

HERBIE GOES TO PALM BEACH: The latest four-wheeled film star to cross the Barrett-Jackson block

An authentic "Herbie" from the famous Disney movie series will be crossing the block at the 13th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction.

An authentic “Herbie” from the famous Disney movie series will be crossing the block at the 13th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction. Whether the car will be driving itself, as it did in the movies, remains to be seen!

Bill Walsh, producer of "The Love Bug" (Herbie's first movie) chose Herbie's trademark "53" racing number.  Walsh was a fan of LA Dodgers baseball player Don Drysdale, who wore a 53 jersey.

Bill Walsh, producer of “The Love Bug” (Herbie’s first movie), chose Herbie’s trademark “53″ racing number. Walsh was a fan of LA Dodgers baseball player Don Drysdale, who wore a 53 jersey.

It was a casting call like no other. Outside the Burbank, California, Walt Disney Studios in early 1968, a dozen or so cars were lined up in anticipation. There were a handful of Toyotas, a TVR, a few Volvos, an MG and a Pearl White Volkswagen Beetle. Members of the crew walked by the aspiring movie stars for a closer look, kicking tires and checking the steering wheels to assess handling capabilities. It is said that when the rough and tough crew members came across that Beetle, however, they actually began to pet it – and a star was born.

“The Love Bug,” also sometimes known as “Herbie The Love Bug,” was a huge success in 1968, leading to three subsequent films in the original series starring the anthropomorphic 1963 Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own. Naturally, there were quite a few “Herbies” used in the films, although only a few remain in existence.

To create the effect of Herbie driving himself, Disney concocted a detailed system of sprockets and pulleys connected to a second steering column under the front seat for a rear seat driver. There was also a second set of pedal assemblies,clutch cables and a shifter extension. For the films "Herbie Rides Again" and "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo" (in which this particular Herbie starred), Disney installed a hood-mounted Carello fog light that concealed a small camera, which allowed the rear-seat driver to view the street and sit lower.

To create the effect of Herbie driving himself, Disney concocted a detailed system of sprockets and pulleys connected to a second steering column under the front seat for a rear-seat driver. There was also a second set of pedal assemblies, clutch cables and a shifter extension. For two films, including ”Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” (in which this particular Herbie starred), Disney installed a hood-mounted Carello fog light that concealed a small camera, which allowed the rear-seat driver to view the street and sit lower.

Crossing the Barrett-Jackson block at the 2015 Palm Beach Auction in April will be a particular 1963 Volkswagen Beetle Sunroof Sedan (Lot #394). Known to movie-going public as “Herbie” and to Walt Disney Productions as “5916,” this car is better known in the loyal Herbie community as the “oil squirter,” as it was designed to squirt oil out of the passenger-side wheel well (particularly famous for doing just that on a police officer’s foot in the 1977 film “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo”).

Unlike many of the Herbies, this one actually drives, and was used for both driving and interior shots during its Hollywood career. This Herbie retired after his final appearance in 1980’s “Herbie Goes Bananas” and was sold into private hands. The famous car was later purchased by Arthur Porter, who had the car restored to its “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” appearance and piloted it in many vintage car races until the year 2000. Herbie spent the next few years relaxing in museums. The next owner, Doug Kaufmann, saw to it that Herbie’s interior was restored to its “Monte Carlo” state, and reinstalled the bumpers, which had been removed for vintage racing events.

This well-documented Herbie has an 1835cc engine with dual Kadron Solex carbs, has had a full mechanical service courtesy of its current owner and is ready to roll again.

The 1926 Hudson Speedster from "Driving Miss Daisy."

The 1949 Hudson Commodore 8 from “Driving Miss Daisy.”

With his appearance at Palm Beach, Herbie joins an illustrious list of four-wheeled film icons that have had starring roles at previous Barrett-Jackson auctions. Some are from movie classics, like the 1926 Hudson Speedster from the 1940 movie “The Grapes of Wrath,” starring Henry Fonda (sold at the Scottsdale 2010 auction for $55,000). Who could forget that 1949 Hudson Commodore 8 from the 1990 film “Driving Miss Daisy,” starring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman? It fetched $66,000 at the Scottsdale 2014 auction. And there’s the 1966 Ford Thunderbird from 1991’s “Thelma & Louise,” which stars Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon drove over the edge of the Grand Canyon. Selling for $71,500 at the Scottsdale 2008 auction, the car had one particular passenger of note during the course of the film: Brad Pitt, in his first major motion picture.

The 1959 Plymount Fury from the 1he movie "Christine."

The 1959 Plymount Fury from the movie “Christine.”

Car stars from cult classics have always proved popular at Barrett-Jackson, as was witnessed at the Scottsdale 2015 auction, when the 1958 Plymouth Fury from the 1983 movie “Christine” sold for $198,000, and the 1955 Chevrolet Custom from 1971’s “Two-Lane Blacktop,” starring James Taylor and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, which fetched $159,500.

What’s an action-adventure movie without a great fast car? Barrett-Jackson has seen an abundance of silver screen specials cross the block – from the 1967 Pontiac GTO Custom from the 2002 film “XXX” starring Vin Diesel and Samuel L. Jackson (sold at Palm Beach 2011 for $28,600) to several cars from the popular “Fast & Furious” movie series.

The 1969 Dodge Charger Custom from the "Fast & Furious" movie series.

The 1969 Dodge Charger Custom from the “Fast & Furious” movie series.

Most popular were the 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Custom from 2006’s “The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift,” which went for $187,000 at the Orange County 2010 auction, and the 1969 Dodge Charger Custom featured in two films: 2009’s “Fast & Furious 4” and 2011’s “Fast Five.” That Charger sold for $95,700 at the Scottsdale 2013 auction.

So keep an eye out for yet another famous movie car, Herbie, at the Palm Beach auction – but remember: he’s known for having a mind of his own. He may well take that journey across the block all by himself!

Barrett-Jackson To Auction Incredible Customs During 13th Annual Palm Beach Auction

This 1967 Ford Mustang Custom (Lot #427) will cross the block at the 13th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction, April 17-19, 2015, at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

This 1967 Ford Mustang Custom (Lot #427) will cross the block at the 13th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction, April 17-19, 2015, at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

  • A 1967 Ford Mustang Custom Fastback featuring a Shelby 427 V8 engine (Lot #427) will be among the most notable custom consignments
  • Two GM customs, including a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop (Lot # 395) and a 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS (Lot #425), are expected to electrify the auction bloc
  • A 1948 Packard Super 8 Custom Convertible (Lot #398) is set to cross the block in Palm Beach

PALM BEACH, Fla. – March 24, 2015– Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car AuctionsTM, will auction a number of incredible one-of-a-kind customs at No Reserve during its 13th Annual Palm Beach Auction in Palm Beach, Florida, April 17-19, 2015, at the South Florida Fairgrounds. These custom vehicles, headlined by a sleek 1967 Ford Mustang Custom Fastback (Lot #427), are expected to attract collectors worldwide.

“Palm Beach is a popular auction destination for collector car fans worldwide,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “We’re busy filling the docket with customs that are truly one of a kind, and I’m confident that Palm Beach will be a wonderful follow-up to our record-breaking Scottsdale auction.”

Headlining the Barrett-Jackson custom docket is a breathtaking black 1967 Ford Mustang Custom Fastback (Lot #427). With a brand-new build, this beautiful Mustang has collected only a few hundred miles from break-in and fine-tuning. Featuring a Shelby 427 aluminum, big block V8, the engine was bored and stroked to 750hp. Other elements include 3×2 500cfm carburetors, aluminum air cleaner and an aluminum tri-power intake manifold.

“We have some world-class customs already consigned for Palm Beach,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “We are excited to once again make our Palm Beach auction a fun and entertaining event for everyone in attendance.”

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Custom (Lot #395)

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Custom (Lot #395)

Also highlighted in the Palm Beach custom docket is a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop (Lot #395). The Bel Air features a dual coilover suspension, complete with a 2013 LS3 engine with 480hp. It also features chromed suspension components, a custom stainless-steel exhaust system and custom-made leather interior.

Palm Beach will also be the next stop for a 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Custom (Lot #425). This special muscle car features an LS7 606hp engine and sports Daytona Blue with Speed Silver GT stripes livery. It is complete with leather-covered custom door panels with ’59 Corvette insert, custom dash face, carbon-fiber-faced gauges, blue LEDs and a custom steering wheel.

A 1948 Packard Super 8 Custom Convertible (Lot #398) adds to the list of notable consignments to the 13th Annual Palm Beach Auction. The Packard is powered by a 454ci/450hp big block Chevy and a 700 R4 overdrive transmission. This classic custom features a Jaguar independent rear end with inboard disc brakes, Boyd wheels and Goodyear low-profile tires. The interior is highlighted by custom gauges with the Packard logo, custom air cleaner replicating the front grille of the car, custom steering wheel, leather interior and a 200-watt sound system.

Live coverage of the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Palm Beach will be broadcast on Velocity and Discovery during 19 hours of live, high-definition TV coverage from Friday through Sunday, April 17-19.

Barrett-Jackson is now accepting consignments for Palm Beach, April 17-19, 2015 http://www.Barrett-Jackson.com/Consignment/Home/OpenRequest.

For more information on becoming a bidder, follow the link to http://www.barrett-jackson.com/Bidder/Home.

MORE THAN JUST PLEASING CURVES: Rick Hendrick’s 458 Spider will be a Palm Beach attention-grabber

Rick Hendrick's stunning 458 Spider (Lot #412) will be crossing the block at the 13th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction, April 17-19, 2015, at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

Rick Hendrick’s stunning 458 Spider (Lot #412) will be crossing the block at the 13th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction, April 17-19, 2015, at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

Since melting eyeballs at its Frankfurt Motor Show debut in 2009, the Ferrari 458 has continued to transform onlookers into instant fans. The sharp yet swooping lines of the Pininfarina-designed 458 are unmistakably Ferrari, and anyone lucky enough to drive one would have no trouble believing the car is capable of hitting 200 mph.

The 458 seemed hard to top, but in 2011 Ferrari did exactly that — by losing the top. The 458 Spider introduced that year was the first mid-rear-engine car to offer a retractable hardtop. The double-curved aluminum top weighs less than a traditional fabric top and can retract or deploy at the push of a button in just 14 seconds. When the system is engaged, the rear deck automatically rises and the hinged top drops securely into its own compartment.

The 4.5-liter V8 delivers 560hp at 9,000 rpm.

The 4.5-liter V8 delivers 560hp at 9,000 rpm.

Despite the ferocious speed potential of the 458 Spider, the car is engineered for civilized open-air motoring. An adjustable electric wind-stop rises once the top has lowered, keeping turbulence in the cabin to a minimum. The intake and exhaust systems in the Spider were tuned to optimize the V8’s throaty song without overwhelming passengers.

And you’ll want to hear the intoxicating roar that burbles from the tri-tip exhaust pipes. The flat-crank 4.5-liter V8 delivers 560 horsepower at 9,000 rpm. The engine has double overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, direct injection, dry sump oiling and a 12.5:1 compression ratio.

The factory rates the 458 Spider’s top speed at 199 mph, with 0-60 times in a brief 3.3 seconds. A seven-speed dual-clutch F1-style automatic transmission is teamed with that engine. Other systems also reflect Ferrari’s racing heritage, such as the E-Diff3 active differential and F1 Trac traction control. The chassis is made from leading-edge aluminum alloys that are lightweight yet deliver exceptional structural rigidity.

Reflecting the Ferrari racing heritage, a seven-speed dual-clutch F1-style automatic transmission.

Reflecting the Ferrari racing heritage, a seven-speed dual-clutch F1-style automatic transmission.

Stopping power is astonishing thanks to carbon-ceramic brake rotors, six-piston calipers in front, four-piston calipers in the rear and high-performance ABS. These artfully engineered pieces are readily visible between the spokes of the 20-inch wheels.

The body is beautiful, but there’s more in play than just pleasing curves. The design takes an active role in the aerodynamic profile. Two aeroelastic winglets are tucked into the nose, generating downforce and, as speed increases, deforming to reduce drag around the radiator inlets. The large buttresses behind the driver and passenger channel air toward the engine cover grilles, but also act as rollover protection.

The driving environment was designed with both comfort and performance in mind. Just as with a Formula 1 car, the 458 Spider clusters almost all major controls on the steering wheels so the driver can perform most functions without taking hands off the wheel. A large centrally mounted tachometer dominates the instrument cluster. And yet the rear bench in the 458 was designed for a regular-sized golf bag for those slower-paced days.

The Corsa Red 2012 Spider (Lot #412) offered for sale at the 2015 Palm Beach Auction is a great representative of the breed. Nearly every interior surface is covered in leather or suede with accent stitching in red. Comforts include power heated seats with driver memory, navigation, carbon-fiber steering wheel, parking camera with front and rear parking sensors, and automatic climate control. The options on the car include eye-catching parts such as the yellow brake calipers, as well as such welcome functional pieces as the Suspension Lifter system and Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS).

If anyone knows a thing or two about fast cars, it’s the first owner of this 458 Spider — Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group. “I love the throaty sound and torque of the V8, and the F1 transmission is the fastest and most positive of any Ferrari I’ve driven,” he said. “The car’s handling is unbelievable — like a go-kart. The big bonus is having a coupe or convertible with the push of a button. It’s an incredible car and the best all-around Ferrari I have ever owned.”

Hendrick put nearly every one of the car’s 1,000 miles on the odometer, and overlooked no details in the 458 Spider’s maintenance. The car has undergone an extensive 168-point Hendrick Performance inspection and has a clean CARFAX report. All service and recalls are up to date. RESERVE.

 

This article appears in the Spring 2015 issue of The Barrett-Jackson Experience magazine. To order your copy or subscribe, click here or visit www.shopbarrettjackson.com.

IT’S ALL ABOUT FAMILY: The first “Shelby” comes home

 

The game-changing 1949 MG TC on the auction block at the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction.

The game-changing 1949 MG TC on the auction block at the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction.

Four generations of Shelbys: Carroll, son Patrick, grandson Aaron, and great-grandsons Pierce and Larson in 2006.

Four generations of Shelbys: Carroll, son Patrick, grandson Aaron, and great-grandsons Pierce and Larson in 2006.

It’s easy to see how car collecting is in the genes at Barrett-Jackson. The passion for this hobby is literally in the DNA of multiple generations of families. One of the best examples of this is the First Family of Ford performance, the Shelbys.

The spirit of Carroll Shelby certainly lives on through his son, Patrick, and grandson, Aaron. Like the family patriarch, both are successful in their own right.

Patrick served as the chairman of the board of Legacy Texas bank for more than 25 years and operates a successful family investment office. Aaron was also a board member for the bank before it merged with another one; he is currently executive vice president. So, instead of working on cars, they finance them, along with mortgages and commercial loans.

However, their passion for their heritage is as tangible as the cars that Carroll built. Aaron Shelby’s office is adorned with memorabilia, model cars and photographs that pay homage to the only man to win 24 Hours of Le Mans as a driver, manufacturer and team owner. 

For his father Patrick, the memorabilia is on an even larger scale.

Aaron Shelby with his grandfather Carroll at Indy in 1991.

Aaron Shelby with his grandfather Carroll at Indy in 1991.

Growing up, Patrick fondly remembered the race car that launched Carroll’s racing career – a ’49 MG TC, which was owned by Carroll’s friend Ed Wilkins. Though Carroll had no formal racing experience, Wilkins let Shelby pilot his MG at a race in Norman, Oklahoma. Carroll won that race and was well on his way to earning his stripes.

Over the years, the car passed through the hands of several owners. Just before it crossed the block at the 2008 Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction, Carroll signed the car to verify its authenticity. It then became a prized piece of the Pratte Collection until January 2015.

“We were excited to hear the MG was going be available as part of the sale of the Ron Pratte Collection,” said Aaron. “My father and I reached out to (Barrett-Jackson President) Steve Davis to see if we could bid on the car quietly. We were concerned that people might not want to bid against Carroll’s family. That would not have been fair to Barrett-Jackson and Ron Pratte. So we asked that none of the other bidders would know that our family was bidding for the MG.”

From left: Bill DenBeste, owner of Carroll Shelby Engine Company, Steve Davis and Aaron Shelby at the Scottsdale auction.

From left: Bill DenBeste, owner of Carroll Shelby Engine Company, Steve Davis and Aaron Shelby at the Scottsdale auction.

When the big day came, the MG crossed the block as Aaron was sitting in another star of the Pratte Collection, Carroll Shelby’s personal 1969 GT500, in the staging area. 

“I was asked to drive the GT500 across the block, so I had a very unique perspective of the bidding on the MG,” added Aaron. “My father was bidding by telephone from home in Texas, while I sat in my grandfather’s personal Shelby GT500 watching the crowd’s reaction to the bidding. It was an exciting moment when I realized that we had won and that my grandfather’s first race car was coming back home to Dallas.”

When Aaron stepped out of the Shelby GT500 as it crossed the block, Steve Davis officially announced the MG was purchased by the Shelby family. The crowd roared its applause, knowing the car had found its way back home.

Now that the car has come full circle, it is also a symbol of the “new Shelby.” That is because Aaron is beginning to play a much bigger role in the Shelby legacy. He is more involved in his grandfather’s company and has been asked to serve on the board. “I love being a part of the magic of the Shelby brand,” Aaron added. “I’m honored that our family continues to be a significant part of the legacy that he built.”

 

This article appears in the Spring 2015 issue of The Barrett-Jackson Experience magazine. To order your copy or subscribe, click here or visit www.shopbarrettjackson.com.

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