The production metal on offer is wildly impressive, including a pair of Hemi 'Cudas (one of which is an ultra-rare convertible), one of just six Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR Roadsters, a Mercedes-powered Lotec, a 600-horsepower, NASCAR-engined 2010 Camry Coupe and a 1951 Crosley fire truck. Are we the only ones excited about there being a fire truck up for auction?
Old hook-and-ladder trucks aside, the racers that will cross the block are a lot more intriguing. RK Motors is calling it the "Legends of Motorsports" collection, and with cars driven by Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and James Hunt set to cross the block, who are we to argue?
The cars being auctioned lean heavily towards American championships, although there is one very, very special Formula One car included. Arguably the star of the show is the late Dale Earnhardt's 1977 Chevrolet Nova NASCAR, which the Intimidator used to great effect in a number of races. This multi-race winner is from the old school of NASCAR, with the lot description talking about how Earnhardt and his father-in-law, Robert Gee, Jr. took a hammer and hacksaw to the car to modify it for the 1986 season. This car has also ran Goodwood twice, is fully restored and should demand from $175,000 to $250,000.
Cars driven by Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and James Hunt are set to cross the block.
As for open-wheeled racers, there are two big highlights, in addition to a number of more modern offerings. First, is James Hunt's McLaren M26, the car the British playboy took his final Formula One victory with at the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix. This is its first time at auction, and it's expected to easily crest seven figures, with a projected price of $1.2 to $1.8 million. The other big-name car is Mario Andretti's Gurney Eagle, which the American ran at the 1974 Indianapolis 500, although he failed to finish, dropping out on the second lap. Andretti ran the Eagle through the rest of the season, though, with a best result of third at the USAC Championship, that year.
There are more than a few other racers, including AJ Foyt's race-winning, 1978 Camaro, which he drove to his final victories. Michael Waltrip's Pontiac Grand Prix from his rookie season is also going up for auction, and will be perfect for fans of Hawaiian Punch. Davey Allison's 1992 Ford Thunderbird NASCAR rounds out the NASCAR offerings, while a pair of Champ Cars from Scott Pruett and Cristiano Da Matta round out the racers. Even the off-road crowd is well represented, with Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's 1994 Toyota Baja racer set to cross the block.
Check out our gallery up top for some historical images of the assorted racers, and then head over to RK Motors's website to view the entire list of cars being auctioned. There are more than a few good ones to see.
Charlotte, N.C. – October 14, 2013- Only weeks after revealing plans to auction the 1977 McLaren M26 that James Hunt drove to his final F1 victory, RK Motors Collector Car Auctions (RKMCCA) today announced that four additional iconic racing machines will cross the block during its auction at the Charlotte Convention Center, October 31 to November 3.
Furthering the auction's historic motorsports theme, RKMCCA will offer bidders an opportunity to own: Mario Andretti's 1974 Viceroy Gurney Eagle, Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s 1977 Chevy Nova, a 1978 Chevy Camaro driven by A.J. Foyt, and Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's 1994 Toyota PPI Trophy truck.
"This 'Legends of Motorsports' collection will be a dream-come-true for racing fans, collectors and motorsports aficionados," said Bill Mathews, executive vice president of RK Motors Collector Car Auctions. "In many cases, this will be the very first time that these historic vehicles will be available for public purchase."
Marking its first time on the auction block, Andretti's Viceroy Gurney Eagle (Chassis # 74-06) that competed in the Indianapolis 500 as well as numerous stops along the entire 1974 season, earning a third-place finish at the USAC National Championships in Phoenix. The stunning racecar underwent a complete restoration to Indy 500 specs, and features an original aluminum monocoque chassis, 1000-plus hp turbo Offenhauser engine, and Eagle-cast Magnesium wheels.
NASCAR followers will quickly recognize Earnhardt Sr.'s '77 Nova, which took the checkered flag at Caraway, Daytona, Rockingham and Charlotte during the in '82 and '83 seasons. Converted into the better-drafting Chevy Nova by Earnhardt and master body worker Robert Gee, the new racecar-rebadged with his soon-to-be signature GM Goodwrench colors and the #8 made famous by Earnhardt's father Ralph-won the 1986 season-opener Goodys 300 at the Daytona International Speedway.
More recently, the Nova has participated three times at England's Goodwood Festival of Speed including the 2009 celebration of NASCAR-Daytona's 50th anniversary. Last year, the fabled racecar underwent a complete mechanical and paint restoration, in preparation for competition at the Rolex Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca.
RKMCCA will also offer bidders a chance to own the 1978 Chevy Camaro that provided the last victory and championship for A.J. Foyt, the only man to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and the 24 hours of Le Mans.
Winning five USAC Stock Car Series races in this Camaro and a Buick in 1978, Foyt returned in 1979, competing exclusively in the Camaro against the likes of Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Joe Ruttman, and Dick Trickle. The season was topped off in August, as Foyt and his Camaro won on back to back nights at the Fair Stock 200 at the Milwaukee Mile. The following night, Foyt and the Camaro claimed Foyt's last victory on a dirt surface at the Springfield Mile.
For collectors with a passion for off-road racing, RKMCCA will auction the 1994 Toyota PPI Trophy Truck 015, which earned four Baja 500 and one Baja 1000 wins with hall of famer Ivan "Ironman" Stewart behind the wheel.
The product of a 1983 alliance between Toyota and Precision Preparation Inc. (PPI), Trophy Truck 015 is powered by aluminum 302 cubic inch V8, capable of achieving speeds exceeding 135 across the dunes. Utilizing a DOHC/four-valve configuration, it incorporates familiar names such as JE Pistons and Carrillo Rods. Backing the aluminum power plant is a custom PPI transaxle utilizing a 5-speed Hewland VGC 200 gear selection box often seen in GTP racing.
More recently, Trophy Truck 015 was extensively restored to race-ready condition at TM1 Motorsports, thanks to the work of many of the craftsmen and technicians that originally built the truck at PPI.Offering a global audience bidding access to investment grade automobiles through the use of the latest simulcasting technologies, the event will also feature a live auction of Hunt's iconic McLaren from the 7-star Emirates Palace Hotel, adjacent to the world-class Abu Dhabi Formula One track, on the evening preceding the 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
About RK Motors Collector Car Auctions
RK Motors Collector Car Auctions connects buyers, sellers and passionate enthusiasts of world-class collector cars. The auction company was founded in 2013 by RK Motors, the country's leading builder and retailer of investment-grade classic, collector and high performance vehicles including cars, motorcycles and racecars.