More From Scottsdale

Another one of these:

This is actually sunrise and not sunset. I understand why the population of the Phoenix metropolitan area grew from about 1,000,000 in 1970 to more than 4,000,000 in 2010.


My wonderful wife’s parents graciously paid for VIP accommodations at the Barrett-Jackson auction (in addition to first-class airfare). We opted for the Luxury Lounge, which is the middle of the three VIP levels. The lovely Kayla (once again, I don’t know if I have spelled her name correctly) mentioned in this post was a hostess in the Luxury Lounge.

For the three biggest days of the auction (Thursday-Saturday) we had exclusive seating above the arena floor that provided a great view of the event. We were provided breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks. We also had reserved seats on the auction floor for those three days, which I made sure I used at least part of the time.


A picture of the gracious and gorgeous “J” with Barrett-Jackson. (If she’s reading this, or even if she’s not, I didn’t take this picture.) She patiently answered all of our questions, some of which were inane, and co-hosted our tour of the auction block. She also made sure we had reserved seats for all four of us even though my wife’s father didn’t register as a bidder until right before the auction.


Oh, you want to see some cars…

This is the 1967 restomod Corvette that was my favorite car at the auction and that I hoped I might have a chance to buy. Uh, I don’t think so…counting the buyer’s commission the car sold for almost $200,000. That’s substantially more than I have been quoted to build a custom restomod from scratch, although of course I wouldn’t have had to wait 18-24 months. I don’t know how much this car cost to build.

I’m going to break my arm patting myself on the back. Ten years ago restomods were sneered at by Corvette purists and did not command much attention or money at auctions. I’ve always thought they were the way to go—if you can accept not having modern safety systems like airbags, ABS and traction control—because they are still safer and more reliable than original cars but retain the classic look. Now, a good restomod will almost always hammer at a higher price than a good original car unless it’s a really rare and important car like an L88.

Anyway, this is all moot to me now because I have decided to buy a late-model C7 Z06. I just don’t want my wonderful wife riding in a car without modern safety features. In addition, I can spend much less than the cost of a custom restomod either as a build or at auction.


Although most of the cars were “modern” and, once again, I think the diversity of offerings is not quite what it could or should be (yes, I know auction houses are at the mercy of consignors and potential buyers), there were a few cars like this:

I was quite smitten with this 1932 Chevrolet Confederate Deluxe Sports Roadster and I’m not sure why. The car hammered at $40,000 meaning the buyer actually paid $44,000. I believe I read that total sales for the recently concluded auction reached $130 million. Given that Barrett-Jackson makes at least 18% on each car (10% from the buyer, 8% from the seller on no reserve cars—10% on reserve lots) that means they grossed over $23 million in commissions at Scottsdale. That also means the average sale price was over $70,000. Be suspicious of averages, though. I would also like to know what the median sale price was. Hey, Barrett-Jackson, I know someone who’s really good at math who would love to work for you part-time or as a consultant!

Anyone have any thoughts they’d like to share?




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I Have Dreams, But I Live In The Real World

The post title has been written often in this blog. Some would accuse me of not reaching far enough, of settling. I disagree, obviously.

I had a dream to work in major league baseball and either through naiveté or effort or ability (probably a combination of all three) I made it happen. I do believe, however, that the number of “magic tricks” a person has up their sleeve is finite.

I had a dream to buy or to build a restomod C2 Corvette. After seeing how much one costs to build and after seeing the prices at auction in Scottsdale for such cars, I have called an audible. I have also shifted my plan because I cannot have airbags, ABS or traction control in a restomod and there are simply too many awful and distracted drivers to drive a car lacking modern safety systems. Regular reader and commenter Steve Dallas, who builds cars for a living, deserves much credit for “showing me the way.”

Why do I so badly want to buy a car I don’t really need? At the end of my life I do not want to be in the position of lamenting the things I didn’t do. A life spent only doing the things one needs to do is not a life well spent, in my opinion.

Speaking of Scottsdale, despite a slightly sour final day in Arizona (details unnecessary) we all had a great time. I bid on two C7 Vettes, one stock and one custom. Each time my high bid was $65,000 and the car hammered at $70,000. Maybe that will turn out to be a blessing.



This is the custom 2014 Corvette on which I made a bid. It has a custom widebody kit, upgraded lighting and a supercharged engine. Supercharged engines were not available for the 2014 model year. If I had purchased the car I probably would have had it repainted.



From Barrett-Jackson’s website a photo of the stock 2015 Corvette Z06 on which I bid. My focus on restomods and the last-minute decision to buy a C7 instead led to me not even noticing this car in the catalog. I literally turned to the page in the catalog where the car was listed as it was being put on the block and decided right then and there to bid. That’s probably not a wise move, but I figured on a 2015 car with fewer than 4,000 miles how much could be wrong with the car?


Sometimes a person’s depth of feelings about something or someone is not known until they experience a change in situation. One time before my wonderful wife and I were married or even engaged she picked me up from the airport. I was overwhelmed and, frankly, surprised by how happy I was to see her and realized I must really love her.

Conversely, I was not prepared for the overwhelming feeling of sadness that hit me as I walked out of the auction arena at the end of Sunday’s docket. (Sunday was the last day of the auction.) Not even running into the beautiful Kayla (sp?) from Barrett-Jackson and her adorable daughter could shake the sadness.



The aforementioned Kayla. Hey, I’m just a guy after all, pictures of hot cars and beautiful women. More of both will follow in the upcoming days.

I’m glad to be posting again, but I am still not sure about my posting schedule.




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