Tag Archives: GM

Corvette Turns 65 Happy Birthday

Congratulations to the Corvette, America’s Sports Car for turning 65 today.  The longest running passenger car marque first had their production run start up in Flint, Michigan producing the first Corvette on June 30, 1953.  So the Corvette is officially a senior citizen now.1953 Corvette Passenger Side

First Year Corvette

All the first year Corvettes were produced as Polo White with a red interior and a black canvas top for the convertibles.  Only 300 models were produced in the first year and they all had a Blue Flame straight six cylinder engine and automatic transmission.

Corvette enthusiasts might have the T-Bird to thank for continuing the lineage as Chevrolet was strongly considering dropping the Corvette until the Ford Thunderbird entered the market in 1955.  Lucky break!1953 Corvette Front Quarter view

Building the 1953 Corvette

The first year Corvettes were all made by hand, without an assembly line and so the fit and finish and actual parts used varied a bit as building techniques evolved.  All came equipped with AM radios and a heater as the only “options.”

Surprisingly, with only 300 originally built there are a few originals that can’t be accounted for.  Our guess is they were “just a car” back then and went into somebody’s junkyard for scrap.

 

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Gas Monkey Garage at Barrett-Jackson Auction Scottsdale 2018

Gas Monkey Garage at Barrett-Jackson Car Auction

At this week’s Barrett-Jackson Car Auction, the presence of Gas Monkey Garage is sparse. A 56 Nomad done for Mountain Dew and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a can’t miss green and silver color scheme is the most obvious car linked to the Gas Monkey Garage crew.Gas Monkey Garage 1956 Nomad Side View

Gas Monkey Garage

For a spell the bar outside the auction stage was a Gas Monkey Garage theme, but that has dropped out. I suspect that Richard Rawlings might show up since he’s selling his 2016 Shelby Mustang GT350R with only a scant 200 miles clicked on the odometer. But who knows for sure? That Mustang is slated to sell on Friday.

Gas Monkey Garage Past Offerings

We’ve kept a close eye on Gas Monkey garage’s offerings even before the series became a monster hit.  Remember this hot rod from the early years?

As for the Nomad, who wouldn’t remember that bright green custom wagon? The current owner has a neat set of sunshades on the rear windows. Gas Monkey Garage 1956 Nomad Rear Window ShadeThe wagon has a 350 CI Chevy ZZ4 crate motor, TH350 automatic transmission, air conditioning and all the trick goodies. This video shows the wagon in action.

Gas Monkey Garage Season 4 Fast N’ Loud

Gas Monkey Garage built the car in 2013 during their fourth season on Discovery and of course they had an impossible deadline to beat. This car was used as a promotion for Mountain Dew, one of Earnhardt’s sponsors and hence the color on the 56 Nomad. Of course fans of Richard Rawlings know that his favorite color is green. Both for cars and for money.Gas Monkey Garage 1956 Nomad Passenger Side 2

The car had previously been offered for sale on eBay at $78,500 nearly four years ago. It also was offered on the internet at $69,500. So it will be interesting to see what the car fetches on prime time Saturday. Any guesses?

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FAST at Barrett Jackson Changes Meaning Here’s Why

FAST at Barrett-Jackson Car Auction

FASTAt the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction, FAST usually 2018 at all of Craig Jackson’s car auctions, FAST will have a totally different and potentially lifesaving meaning.

FAST PSA

For the first time Barrett-Jackson will focus for the whole year on heart disease as a public service message with the American Heart Association. The auctions have always been known for their charity car sales which now approaches almost $100 million in donations. But for 2018 Craig Jackson explained that they will be sending out a heart safe message to their participants.FAST Craig Jackson

FAST

FAST also stands for the warning signs of a heart attack.

F              Facial drooping

A             Arm weakness

S              Speech slurred

T              Time to call 9-1-1

 

1988 Corvette Charity Car

As part of the year-long notification, Jackson had his personal Bugatti Veyron wrapped in red and silver with the #DRIVEN HEARTS hast tag splashed across the sides. FAST Veyron Front Left ViewPlus at next week’s Scottsdale, AZ auction he will be donating the sale of his 1988 Chevrolet Corvette to help fight heart disease. Ironically this sports car had been given him by long time auction consignor and car dealer, Dave Ressler. Ressler recently died from heart disease so this re-gifting is so suiting.FAST 88 Corvette

In addition Barrett-Jackson is sponsoring a special Arizona license plate theme, with $17 of the state yearly fee going to the American Heart Association. FAST AZ license plateSo there are several ways that Barrett-Jackson will help benefit the hearts of car fans!

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Cars and Coffee Explodes in Scottsdale

Okay it didn’t like explode and cause a mess. But the Cars and Coffee monthly show held in “Scottsdale” is growing every month. They outgrew their previous location and moved to an even larger parking lot at Scottsdale Road and Mayo Boulevard. (It’s actually in Phoenix but old habits are hard to shake).Cars and Coffee

Cars and Coffee Selection

They have always had a large showing of exotics and high-end cars. So of course a new Ford GT will be there. Cars and Coffee Ford GTAnd a LaFerrari is at home at this show as well. But there are always plenty of classic iron to enjoy, like this split window Corvette.Cars and Coffee Split Window 63 Corvette

The folks that put this on do it as a labor of love. Lots of volunteers are in place along with a few paid security forces. The crowd is respectful and the mood is always friendly and inviting. Got a Dave Kindig built Nomad? Bring it. Want to bring out a nice truck, they always have room.Cars and Coffee Dave Kindig Build

Cars and Coffee Monthly Show

So if you are coming out for some winter warmth and relaxation, remember the first Saturday of the month cars and Coffee is held “near” Scottsdale! Otherwise keep an eye out for our updates and twitter postings.

SEMA Collector Car Appreciation Day Is Today

Any day is a good day to drive a classic car, but Friday July 14th will be exceptionally good.  That is the day that SEMA will celebrate their annual Collector Car Appreciation Day.  This will mark the eighth year that SEMA seeks to acknowledge the vital impact classic cars and their owners contribute to America.

The US Senate has passed resolutions noting the collector car  celebratory day each year.  SEMA is encouraging collector car owners to set up special cruises or events to mark this day (or even the whole month of July, since many might not be able to participate on a workday.)

So expect an interesting view in the employee parking lots this Friday.  And if you don’t have a classic to drive consider these three iconic cars. They’ll always be popular and cool

32 Ford Deuce

The truly iconic looking roadster has been celebrated on US stamps and is an eye catcher, although driving “topless’ in July’s heat may not be the best choice. A roadster by definition has no top and no side windows.  It was designed to be fast and look cool. Mission accomplished. 

Corvette convertible

Hard to go wrong with any year of America’s sportscar.  To down weather is here and the Corvette’s are meant for the open road.

 

57 Chevy

57 Chevy post
1957 2 door sedan

The display of chrome and sharp angles is a classic look for the late 50’s and reflects our interest in the upcoming Space Age.  The 1957 model was the last year of the “tri-five” Chevys and some might say it was the best of all three years. There are always a ready supply of parts for these Chevys and plenty of reference materials. Plus restored vehicles are readily available.

Some may say that any day is a good day to drive a classic.  Plus driving these cars are good for them and you!  So take a cruise in a classic today and everyday!

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Arizona Concours D’Elegance Shuts Down

Arizona Concours D’Elegance

Last month the Arizona Concours D’Elegance regretfully announced that after a successful four year run, they were discontinuing the show. Held at the beginning of Arizona Auction week in January on the grounds of the Arizona Biltmore, they drew a diverse collection of cars, in unique classes. The grounds at the Biltmore made for a great background for those cars too.

Arizona Concours D’Elegance Accomplishments

Over the years we’ve covered the event and met a great group of car owners and volunteers. The show was able to raise over $300,000 for their designated charity, Make A Wish. So in many measures it was a success. But without support from sponsoring companies with deep pockets, the organizing board opted to shut down the show.

Here are some links to previous coverage

2017 Coverage

2016 Winners and More Coverage in 2016

2015 Coverage

Arizona Auction Week

Arizona Auction Week will be held next year from January 14-21, 2018. Last year seven different companies had auctions in the area. It is hard to imagine but over $260 million of dollars traded hands in one week; buying and selling American and imported metal and fiberglass, with nearly 3,500 vehicles available to buy. These Arizona auctions are highly anticipated; setting the tone for the classic car market for the year.

Here is the text of the board’s notice –

Thank you

We are humbled by the critical acclaim bestowed upon the Arizona Concours d’Elegance over the past four years by the public, the media and our participants. However, the long-term success of events such as the Arizona Concours is built on sustained corporate support. Although the event has been a critical success, it unfortunately has not established the financial foundation necessary to support it sustainably into the future.

There will not be a 2018 Arizona Concours d”Elegance.

Our sincerest gratitude goes to the dedicated Concours Committee, many faithful volunteers, our wonderful entrants and judges, as well as numerous sponsors.

We thank every one of those who have supported us with your investment of time, talent, enthusiasm and resources. You all have been directly responsible for raising more than $300,000 for Make-A-Wish® Arizona, enabling the granting of more than 30 wishes for young people who face the most serious of life’s challenges.

“In the beginning, we set out to achieve a word-class Concours and an event that would positively impact the lives of children in need. The group of people responsible for the Arizona Concours take great pride in what has been achieved and we thank all of those who worked so hard to make this, our dream, a reality. As Dr. Seuss said, ‘Don’t cry because it is ending…be happy because it happened!’” Kevin Cornish, executive director of the Arizona Concours

 

 

Arizona will miss all of your efforts and benefits

 

 

Alumatub by Boyd Coddington Sells at Barrett-Jackson

Alumatub, Boyd Coddington’s third all aluminum build sells at the Barrett-Jackson auction this week.  This was the third in a series of aluminum bodied customs that Coddington produced.  The top can come off to allow for a roadster feel. Alumatub Passenger Side

Alumatub Specs

This one is powered by a Chevy small block 350 and sends power to the back through a Chevrolet TH350 transmission with a quick change rear end.  The body work was done by famed master Marcel‘s Custom Metal and is hard to believe this was hand formed and not stamped out on a press.  Our friends at Hot Rod sure loved it.Alumatub Driver's Side

Alumatub Build

This hand crafted Boyd Coddington build was showcased on his TV show, “American Hot Rod” TV series which can still be seen on the Discovery Channel. After Coddington’s untimely death, it was thought that his builds would increase in value as his output was now finalized. Alumatub Rear End

Alumatub Prices

Alumatub first sold at Barrett-Jackson in 2005 to Ron Pratte with a listed price, including commissions, of $170,500.  He sold it ten years later for $187,000 in 2015.  The current owner is selling this year and it’ll be interesting to see what it sells for.

Any guesses?

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Hennessey Venom GT Selling at Barrett-Jackson

Steven Tyler’s 2012 Hennessey Venom GT convertible is selling next week at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, AZ. Tyler, from American Idol and Aerosmith fame, bought the first convertible that Hennessey built and is donating the proceeds to a child abuse group- Janie’s Fund which he created.

Hennessey Venom GT Spyder

The Hennessey VENOM GT convertible holds the top speed record for convertibles at 270.49 mph, set in 2014 at the Houston Space Center. 0-60 times is a scorching 2.7 seconds while the 0-200 mph time is a “sedate” 14.5 seconds.Hennessey Venom GT Front View

Hennessey Specs

How did Hennessey created such a speed demon? Take a 7 liter V-8 (Gm’s 427 ci LSX engine) and add twin turbos to created 1244 horsepower. Craft the mid-engine convertible out of carbon fiber, sitting on a composite/aluminum monocoque frame so it weighs in at 2,743 pounds. It is actually based on the Lotus Exige.

The car has a Ricardo 6 speed manual transmission, Brembo six piston brakes, electric assisted rack and pinion steering and adjustable coil overs. The car even has a JL Audio system.Hennessey Venom GT Rear view

It’ll be interesting to see what this supercar sells for at Friday’s auction spot.  What’s your guess for the hammer price on this Hennessey Venom GT?

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Wes Rydell’s 1940 Oldsmobile “Agnes”

1940 Oldsmobile Front viewWes and Vivian Rydell have commissioned some great classic cars over the years.  Earlier this year at the Del Mar Goodguy’s show, their 1940 Oldsmobile “Agnes” was selected for the 2016 Street Rod d’Elegance  Award.1940 Oldsmobile Hood Up

1940 Oldsmobile

This rod had languished for a spell before finally being completed by Rad Rides by Troy.  We took these shots when they displayed it in Scottsdale, AZ at the Spring National Goodguy’s Show. They have won this award twice before, including in 2014 with their controversial 1935 Chevy Phaeton.1940 Oldsmobile Right Side

Madame X

Now we can’t wait for the 2016 SEMA Show, where they will be unveiling “Madame X”, a 1939 Cadillac coupe.  It is a takeoff on a concept design based on a 1935 Cadillac 60 Special Sedan originally designed by GM stylist Art Ross. So this car was never built until Chip Foose opted to take on the build.

SEMA 2016

Of all the unveilings scheduled during the SEMA Show, this is the most anticipated with some sneak peeks offered recently.  Can’t wait to see it in person on Tuesday!

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Classic Car- Drive it or Store it?

2003 Corvette Front EndIt is a continuing dilemma for the classic car market.  You run across a collectible car with ridiculously low mileage.  The car owner may even be asking for a premium for such a low mileage beauty.  The car probably comes with every artifact that came from the factory.  But here is the dilemma.  Do you buy the car and continue to keep it in storage and keep the odometer from rolling up? Or do you say the car was meant to be driven and keep the pedal to the metal, as the numbers on the odometer tick up?

There is an adage in collector car circles, that a car can only be original once.  Similarly the car can only have that low odometer reading once too.  Some fans will argue that to appreciate the car it needs to be driven and enjoyed.  But they acknowledge that by doing so, the value will tank. Others will argue it can be enjoyed while staying intact in the garage.  What to do?

This 2003 Corvette is a perfect example of this conundrum.  The first owner appears to have taken exceptional care of this stored classic.  He says he started the car every couple of months to circulate the fluids and moved the car every 4-6 months, to avoid flat spotting the tires.  He has all the marketing materials and even kept the interior lined in the factory plastic protective wrap. His “Buy It Now” price of $44,900 certainly is a premium to other models that sell with loads more miles showing.

The 2003 Corvette marked the 50th anniversary of the iconic nameplate and was highly sought after.   There is even a registry just for these cars. List price was probably over $56,000 and some dealers were aggressive in marking up these 50th Anniversary Editions.  11,632 of these Anniversary Red metallic C-5’s were made and occasionally you can find one with less than 20,000 miles; but this convertible has only 57 original miles!

So do you buy it and start driving it? After all the posting does say – “Drive it home if you want. It’s ready to go.”  Or maintain it as is, and keep the low miles?

Let us know what you would do if you were the new owner.

Please note images in this post is NOT the car for sale