• Jan 22, 2006

The 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept that fetched $3 million dollars last year (to become the highest-hammered auction price paid at Barrett-Jackson) has had its reign ended by a 56-year-old bus. More specifically, the 1950 Futurliner, a brilliant  General Motors concept vehicle used in the company's Parade of Progress. Billed as "a matchless symbol of the American auto industry at the height of its power and influence,' the Harley Earl penned streamlined transporter  made a startling $4.1 million as 20,000 attendees stood and cheered. The frenzied bidding rejiggered the Arizona auction house's 35-year-old record books by more than $1 million dollars.

Another significant Harley Earl design,  the Pontiac Bonneville Special (also featured as part of GM's Parade of Progress), rang in at a not-too-shabby $2.8 million. What's more, the magnificent pair were purchased by the same bidder for his private collection.

Among a slew of other notable lots, the market for rare and original musclecars continues to go 'supernova,' with a 1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda convertible commanding $2 million, and a 1970 Chevy Chevelle LS6 convertible, "...considered the most significant Super Stock drag racer of that era," realized $1.15 million.

[Sources: Arizona Republic and Barrett-Jackson]



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  • 22 Comments
      far jr
      • 9 Years Ago
      Is GM the owner of these pieces of memorabilia being sold? Could be the unofficial going out of business sale?????
      • 9 Years Ago
      Boys, boys it's just an auction and prices are nearly always inflated at auctions VS one on one sales, that's what people selling and the auctioneer are hoping for.

      Care to guess how much is overpaid at dealer auctions? It's laughable. A hot dog, a couple of beers and gee, rush it through and guess what that 8,000 Accord just brought 9,500, back at the dealer the owner goes through the ceiling.

      I was surprised by the prices the Mopar products were bringing.

      #15 hit it right on the head and this plays back to #14's comments 10 or 20 years ago the old iron was really where it was at, but look at the age of the buyers then and what they remembered about the cars. The boomer set remembers the muscle cars and is willing to pay the price. They are worth what someone will pay.

      #14 That Packard was beautiful. The car that I would have bought was the 1962 Rolls, that cream and sort of reddish brown, what a beautiful car and it went for 42,000 I think. Less than the price of new cars. Should have bought it.

      No matter which way you slice it, they had some beautiful iron there.

      • 9 Years Ago
      I was also amazed by the prices the musclecars commanded. I'd checked earlier on, where a Hemi Cuda Convertible went for $1M, but $2M? Those cars are getting ridiculously expensive.

      Nonetheless, congratulations to all the new, lucky owners o any of these cars.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Is anyone else shocked by the massive increase muscle car prices over
      last year. As I recall, the crowd was dazzled last year by the sale
      of a 1970 hemi cuda (red coupe, early production magazine test car)
      for roughly $360,000 (from memory so could be off by a bit?). At the
      time, that was supposed to be a record price. This year, it seemed
      dozens of such cars hit that mark, with an astonishing $2 million for
      a 1970 Cuda Hemi convertible, $410 k for a 1967 Shelby GT500, $486k
      for a ZL1 Camaro, $700 k for a 70 Cuda Hardtop, $650 k for a 1971
      Hemi Cuda Convertible, etc, etc., etc. It seems as if overnight the
      Hemi Cuda has become the new Duesenberg, with Shelbys, COPOS, L88's, Cobra Jets, and all types of Hemis not far behind.

      As a muscle car lover myself (especially 1967/8 GT500's and 1967 Corvette 427's!!), I can't help but wonder what these prices will mean. Will these cars no longer be driven due to their massive values? Certainly this bubble will burst soon enough like the Ferraris did in the 1980's, but how much more could these cars potentially bring before that happens?

      Just wondering what any other muscle car fans think of this???? Any comments? Check www.barrett-jackson.com for all the results.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Holy crap, that is a lot of dough. I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days at the auction and I must say that it was one of the best car-junkie experiences I've ever had. That Futureliner van was easily one of the most impressive vehicles of all the jaw-droppers on display.

      Check out my photojournal of my visit to B-J, with two days at Barrett-Jackson, and one night at the Phoenix Pavillions cruise night:
      http://www.atascadero.name/2006_phoenix/

      Awesome.
      • 9 Years Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Meek,

      A '70 Hemi 'Cuda is not a concept car. An LS6 Chevelle is not a concept car. They are both terrific examples of what homologation rules are for.

      I would dearly love to see more stringent homologation rules for series that purport to represent street cars. (e.g. WRC, NASCAR) This would allow Joe Blow the chance to go out and buy something close to what he sees raced.

      The last great homologated cars, IMHO, were the Ford Sierra Cosworths, Audi S1 and the like. About the closest thing today are the 911 GT3's, 360 CS, etc.

      But is paying 2M for a Hemi 'Cuda as crazy as paying 500$ for 1 share in Google? All it takes is 2 people to want something and the auctioneer can laugh all the way to the bank. I think there was alot of hype put in to those cars and a lot of 'I will buy this car' emotion, getting people in way over their heads.

      I think the SpeedTV annoncers said it right... "How much is that car worth? As much as anyone is willing to pay for it."
      • 8 Years Ago
      A comment about the Futurliner and it's new owner.
      I happend to be in Arizona this past weekend visiting a friend and the topic of the Futurliner came up, my friend said he new were it was and if we stopped by and were lucky enough to find the owner there he might let us see it. So we drove over there and not only was the owner and his wife there they graciously invited us in and handed us a cold drink, then he unlocked the Futurliner and let us climb up and look inside. He then let us walk through his collection of well over 100 very rare cars which included Howard Hughes car various COPO and motion Camaros including the red one sold this year, Hemi Cudas a Hemi Super Bird many famous movie cars,tons of Hot Rods,six Boyd Cottington cars inclusing the Junk Yard Dog and other cars built on that series and tons of other stuff. The building is probably about 30,000 sq sf and there is not a spec of dirt on anything, every car is perfectly restored or preserved. So if you find yourself in AZ you might try to catch them there, you won't find more down to earth or nicer people anywhere and you won't see a more amazing collection. As for the above comment about some one getting in over there head I can assure you that this gentlemen did not. his collection is valued at over 110 million dollars so 4 mil is just a drop in the bucket...
      • 9 Years Ago
      Actually laserwizard,

      What is surprising is thinking of anyone paying a million for a 2006 GM/Ford/Chrysler 40 years from now. Even without the rebates slapped on their hoods, they are worthless today. LOL


      LONG LIVE IMPORTS!
      • 9 Years Ago
      What is surprising is thinking of anyone paying a million for a Honda, Toyota, or Nissan in 40 years. They may sell well, but they are ultimately worthless.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Nice to see that the baby boomers pattern of wretched excess and corruption of a collectible is alive and well. Baseball cards(actually all sports memorabilia), comic books, fine art, and muscle cars...

      The explosion of prices for 50's and 60's cars, especially muscle cars, is largely due to former "summer of love" boomers that are now very wealthy capitalists looking to relive their youth.

      It will be interesting to see if an Celica Alltrac or Nissan 240sx or maybe a Prelude or Monte Carlo will go for 500k+ in 20 years. Or if a Supra will go for 1mil. For some reason, I don't think so... the gen x-ers don't seem as selfish and self-absorbed. But they are materialistic, so I could be wrong.

      BTW, this is not a knock on muscle cars at all. There were some very fine and rare vehicles that came out of the those eras.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I watched a few hours of the auction here and there. I'd have to say the hands-down, biggest surprise that I saw was the '70 Hemi Cuda convertible #13 mentioned that went for over $2M. (http://www.barrett-jackson.com/auctionresults/common/bj06results.asp see lot 1309). Then just a few cars later, Elvis's old Lincoln limo (Lot 1316) went for less than $600k. I'm no Elvis fan, but my common sense tells me that those two figures should be swapped.
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