Tag Archives: auction

Snake and Mongoo$e with screenwriter Alan Paradise

If you are an avid drag race fan or into the historical vintage racing stuff, you’ll enjoy watching the upcoming movie, Snake and Mongoo$e.  It will be coming to theaters in limited release after the NHRA’s US Nationals being held this Labor Day Weekend.  In a clever marketing ploy, it is first being released in markets where the NHRA hosts drag racing.  It even had some special preview showings during Hot August Nights and the Woodward Cruise, according to screenwriter and co-producer Alan Paradise.  We had first covered this movie this month.

Snake and Mongoo$e Movie Poster
Snake and Mongoo$e Movie Poster

Drag Racing with Mattel’s Hot Wheel Sponsorship

Some of you may recall when Don “the Snake” Prudhome and Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen barnstormed the country with their drag racing grudge matches.  Their profiles blossomed when Mattel’s Hot Wheels sponsored the racers, crafting a set of drag racing themed models.  This is generally regarded as the first non-automotive related sponsorship of an automobile racing event.  Guess you can trace the naming of stadiums, sponsorship of pro team press conferences and ads at courtside of basketball games, all to Mattel and this duo.

The movie offers a trip back to 1970 when these two raced their cars; Prudhome drove a yellow Plymouth ‘Cuda  while McEwen piloted the red Dodge Duster.  They used color matching car haulers that kept the cars exposed and visible as they crisscrossed the highways.  Now these restored race cars are again barnstorming the country to promote the movie before they are scheduled to be sold in January, 2014 at the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Alan Paradise – Screen writer of Snake and Mongoo$e

We had the chance for an interview with the screenwriter Alan Paradise recently, who offered some behind the scenes insights to this movie.  Turns out that Paradise is a prolific writer and has authored a variety of car themed books and worked on numerous car magazines over the years.  You’ve probably read his words while working for Buckaroo Publications, Truckin’ and Sport Compact Car. As a filmmaker, he developed over 100 video profiles of NASCAR racers and tracks.

The inspiration for the movie

Paradise was first approached by Mattel in 2005 seeking his help in producing a documentary on the then 35th anniversary of the drag racing partnership.  The documentary “Once Upon A Wheel” was the result and was used initially for Mattel functions and eventually Tom McEwen acquired the rights to the film and even still sells it today.

While collaborating on the documentary, McEwen suggested that Paradise could make the story of Snake and Mongoose into a book.  That started Paradise off on a trek involving hundreds of hours of research and interviews with some of drag racing’s legends including John Force, Tommy Ivo and Roland DeLong.

The more Paradise worked on the project, the more he was convinced that the story needed to be told on the big screen as a movie; and encouraged by his wife, that was the route he pursued.  He linked up with Stephen Nemeth of Rhino Films and he started working on a script.  It took Paradise seven months to write his first draft and then another 3 months for a re-write, plus another 2 months on final tweaks and changes.

Paradise submitted his script to the Hollywood powers late on a Friday, thinking that he could relax over the weekend before hearing back from the producers at the earliest on Monday.  Instead on Sunday, he was in deep discussions with the movie folks who had loved the script and read it right away.

As they sought out financial backing for the film, some distributors were concerned that the story would not have much attraction in the foreign markets.  This seems ironic since drag racing is truly an international sport with strong interest across the globe.  So the movie folks opted to go the independent route.

Archival Footage

During the movie making process, the producers had access to some archival footage from NHRA and were even offered scenes from private collectors.  Several vintage racers can also be seen in the movie including the Greer Black Prudhome dragster.  The movie was able to use numerous scenes after colorizing and cleaning up these films.  So when you see races, you know they are the real deal.

Drag racing scenes

And for the real deal during the race scenes, obviously the movie actors couldn’t be behind the wheel.  Taking the place of Richard Blake who portrayed Tom McEwen was Trevor Larkin, the son of famed drag racer Tommy Larkin.  And guess who drove for Don Prudhome’s character?  Yep, Don Prudhome piloted the drag car himself instead of actor Jesse Williams.

The actual filming of this epic took seven weeks and then came months of post-production work.  A short snippet was shown at the 2012 SEMA show in Las Vegas and it looked terrific.  Can’t wait to finally see the full length feature.  Once you see it, leave us a note.

 

 

 

 

 

ICA Auction head sentenced to 3+ years in prison

On Friday August 16, 2013 Stanley Torgerson the head of International Classic Auctions (ICA) was sentenced in Maricopa County (AZ) Superior Court to 3.25 years in prison.  Torgerson previously pled guilty to three counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices and theft.  He also will serve seven years of probation and will be required to pay restitution of up to $1.5 million in restitution to his victims.

Torgerson was originally indicted on 101 counts of fraud, theft and illegal control of an enterprise.  ICA started in 1989 with Torgerson and was known in Arizona for hosting two classic car auctions in Gilbert, Arizona at his headquarters.  The firm held auctions on Thanksgiving and St. Patrick’s weekends.

Where did the ICA money go?

So what happened?  His car sellers complained that the proceeds from their cars weren’t delivered to them.  Typically auction houses have the owners sign the titles and then transfer the title to the final buyer after the money is paid.  Generally the auction houses take their cut of commissions and fees and then pass on the proceeds to the seller.  Most contracts (written by the auction houses) give the firms up to 21 days to make the final transfer of funds.

When ICA started to have problems they stopped having their Arizona auctions.  Silver Auctions stepped in and had a Spring Auction in Fort McDowell, AZ this year.

So the auction house, without any escrows in place, has large sums of monies in their hands and some lag time before they need to dispose of it.  And when the economy started to tank, some buyers were slow in making good on their winning bids.  In fact some slippery souls have been known to flip the car to a third buyer before they were required to even pay the first original seller.

Buyer beware

So for those thinking of using an auction house to sell your classic car, remember what happened to ICA.  Read your contract, understand your terms and make sure your auctioneer is reputable.  Ironically ICA’s website is still up and running today!

Interior driver seat

Barrett-Jackson’s Hot August Nights $14.2 M Sales

Barrett-Jackson had total sales of over $14 million during their first event at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center from August 8-10, 2013.  This, combined with 40,000 attendees, proves that Craig Jackson made a great choice being at Reno during Hot August Nights.

Gas Monkey Garage’s custom 2013 Chevrolet Camaro COPO 2 Door Coupe sold for $137,500 and probably will show up on a future episode of their show on the Discovery Channel.  You may recall one of their builds was sold at Barrett-Jackson in January, 2013 at Scottsdale, Arizona.

The top 5 sales at the auction were the scheduled last manufactured 2014 Shelby GT500 Convertible for $500,000.  This was a charity sale where Barrett-Jackson waives their fees and the charity, Brain Injury Association of America took in the proceeds.  Continuing the top five sales were a sweet 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible selling for $192,000, a 1950 Jaguar XK 120 2 Door Roadster went for $178,200, another Shelby, this one a 1968 Shelby GT500 E Continuation Fastback, hammered sold for  $165,000 and a classic 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible came in at $148,500.  Remember, all prices listed here include buyer’s commissions.

The winner of the Barrett-Jackson Cup award went to a 1969 Ford Torino owned by famed collector George Poteet and built by the talented Illinois wrench Troy Trepanier of Rad Rides by Troy.  I’ve been a huge fan of Troy’s builds ever since I saw his Sick Fish at SEMA in 2005.  Last year at SEMA there was a Bonneville Salt Flat 34 roadster on display at a vendor booth that was drop dead picture perfect.  Here is Hemming’s take on the winner.

This auction also marked the last coverage from SPEED as the Fox Network transitions to Fox Sports 1.  But Canadian viewers will still have the SPEED channel available under that name.

Barrett-Jackson also partnered with the upcoming movie, Snake & Mongoo$e (that we previously spotlighted) to showcase the legendary Cuda and Duster 1970 Funny Cars raced by famed NHRA racers Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen along with their color matching car carriers. The cars are now slated to journey to the Woodward cruise in Michigan and eventually will be sold at the January 2014 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Next up will be Barrett-Jackson’s 6th Annual Las Vegas auction on September 26-28,2013.  It will be covered on three networks that weekend including Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and the National Geographic channels.

Some photos courtesy and copyrighted by Barrett-Jackson and Rad Rides by Troy ©

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Happy 60th Birthday – Corvette

Unveiling of the 60th Anniversary Corvette at Barrett-Jackson Auction
Unveiling of the 60th Anniversary Corvette at Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, AZ

America’s longest lasting sports car icon, the Corvette, first went into production in Flint, Michigan. on June 30, 1953. Since then, Corvette has become an American icon that continues to offer the arguably best in today’s technology and performance for the price.

Over 1.5 million cars have been produced over the past sixty years.

All 300 of the 1953 models were Polo White with a red interior and listed at $3,498.

Since 1956, the sport scar has only been powered by V8 engines. Corvette was available solely as a convertible for its first 10 years.

Since 1981 Bowling Green, KY has been the birthplace for all Corvettes offering both a factory tour and a Corvette museum on the premises.

Chevy’s Suburban is the only nameplate that has been in production longer in America.

 

Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong’s 1964 Impala Sold at Silver Auctions in March, 2013

On March 16, 2013 at the Silver  Auction’s “Spring in the Desert” car auction at Fort McDowell AZ, a nondescript 1964 blue Impala was offered up for sale.  Here’s the listing from the auction web site.   Silver Auction

To say it was well worn would be an understatement.  The interior was torn up and the paint was in poor condition. What made this car somewhat interesting was the past ownership.  It was listed as titled in Green Day’s vocalist – Billie Joe Armstrong’s – name and was claimed to be his personal car.  The seller’s description could be best described as “optimistic”.

Although the auction indicated the title was in Billie Joe Armstrong’s name it had just recently sold on eBay .  It sold for $12,600 at eBay and at this auction it now hammered sold at $12,250 plus 8% commission (Total price for the math challenged is $13,230) .

This was probably not the type of crowd that knew who Billie Joe is or listen to Green Day, so it’s not surprising that the seller couldn’t generate more interest in this car.

What say you?  Was it a buy or a dud?  How much is the past ownership by Green Day’s vocalist worth?

Driver's SideInterior

 

Green Day’s Mike Dirnt offered his 56 Ford Panel Truck at Silver Auction’s Arizona in the Spring

The bass player for Green Day, Mike Dirnt, was recently offering up for sale his 56 Ford Panel Truck.  It was for sale March 15-16, 2013 at the Silver Auction held in Fort McDowell,AZ (Phoenix metro area).  It drew some interest but never approached the actual reserve (the required minimum bid needed to buy it).  It might have been a deal if the bidding reached $60,000 or so.  Instead it went back on the trailer.

Here is some background on the build from Custom Classic Truck’s June 2012 issue.  http://www.customclassictrucks.com/featuredvehicles/1206cct_1956_ford_panel/viewall.html   My understanding is he invested $160,000+ in the restoration.

Seems that Dirnt bought this panel when a struggling band member and after they hit it big, he had the truck restored to how it was when he first bought it.  It was funny to hear the auctioneer explain who Green Day was to this “mature” set of buyers.  They probably never heard American Idiot.  Not sure why he decided to sell it, but I’m sure another place and time it’ll sell.  The panel is nicely done but a bit of a plain jane.  A little pin striping

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1967 Volkswagen 21 Window Bus

Oh Scooby Doo, where are you?

When you see this bus, you just have to smile.  21 window vans (or buses) are just neat and this color scheme just screams fun!  I’m sure a purist would shudder at taking the originality off of this vehicle but it was a big hit at the 2013 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale.  It sold for $110,000 with fierce bidding between the final two bidders.

1967 Volkswagen right front view

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Right front view