2013 Barrett Jackson Auction
The Barrett-Jackson classic car auction in Scottsdale this weekend took in more than $29.2 million. If that's not a sign of an improving economy, we don't know what is.
Here's a look at the top sellers at the auction, which included the original Batmobile and the first 2014 Chevy Corvette.
First 2014 Chevy Corvette StingrayNASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick paid $1.05 million to buy the first 2014 Chevy Corvette, VIN #001, at the Barrett-Jackson auction this weekend. Chevy just debuted the new Corvette at the Detroit auto show last week, reviving the Stingray name for the first time since 1963.
Proceeds from the auction are being donated to the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, where General Motor's legendary car designer Harley Earl had his first design studio (when the building was part of GM, Chevy's parent company.)
The $1.05 million paid for this Corvette was not the highest price paid for a car this weekend. That honor goes to the car on the following slide.
The Original BatmobileThe original 1966 TV Batmobile was the top seller for the weekend, bringing in $4.62 million.
Barrett-Jackson says this car started its life as the one and only 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, which was then heavily modified to become the 1966 Batmobile TV series Batman, starring Adam West. The car also starred in the movie adaptation.
Legendary customizer and creator George Barris added his signature jacket to the sale, making it an even more unique proposition.
Clark Gable's Merecedes-Benz 300SL GullwingBarrett-Jackson says they can trace this car back to its original owner: Actor Clark Gable, who bought it for $7,295. After Gable died in 1960, his publicist Harry Haeigen inherited the car.
Over the years, it passed through several hands and was restored for about $200,000. But some of the original papers still exist, including auto registration cards with Gable's signature and that of his fifth wife, Kay Sprecker. It also includes service orders with Gable's signature from the Mercedes-Benz of Hollywood for a $4 oil change.
It sold at auction for $2.035 million.
1934 Duesenberg J MurphyThis car sold for $1.43 million this weekend. It is one of just 12 customized Duesenbergs called Murphy Beverlys.
Ownership has been tracked back to 1934. It is a show car that has been in the Concours D'Elegance multiple times, and the owner claims it has won prizes each time.
1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand SportThis Talbot-Lago is one of those strikingly unique cars that makes us think about Truman Capote novels and women in silk stockings.
The French car company struggled financially, not surprising given it was selling luxury cars in a financially-strapped post-WWII world. The company eventually closed, but its beautiful cars have become among the most collectible in the world.
This Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport sold for $2.035 million this weekend. The car was originally sold in Geneva, and then the chassis was discovered in 1988 in Tennessee. It was completely restored in 2004 and refinished it its original black paint.
1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda ConvertibleBarrett-Jackson says there were only 11 of these beastly muscle cars built, and so this purple monster (in a color called Plum Crazy) went for $1.32 million at auction this weekend.
The auctioneers say it's hard to find these cars for sale these days, since many people just love to hang on to them. This is also the car driven by Don Johnson's character Nash Bridges in the 1990s TV series.
1956 Chrysler Diablo ConceptThis car was designed by Virgil Exner Sr., the director for automotive design for Chrysler in the 1950s. He collaborated with Italian body maker Ghia to make several concept cars, including this one.
It's hard to tell from the photos, but this car is gigantic. It's 21 feet long, but much of its design was done in the wind tunnel, so it's fairly aerodynamic.
It also came with futuristic features, like power steering, power brakes, power windows, a power convertible top, power antenna and air conditioning. It sold this weekend for $1.35 million.