Category archives: Features

Larry’s likes at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction

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Around the Classic Cars News office, we refer to this feature as a “Pick6.” It’s a not-so-veiled reference to my earlier career as a daily newspaper sports editor and the sports media’s use of “pick six” in referring to an interception that is returned for a touchdown at a football game.

But while we call it a Pick6, we don’t limit our selection of auction cars that catch our attention as we visit a sales venue to just six. We often share eight or 10 or even a dozen cars we like. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Sweet Sixteens at the CCCA national meet

1930 Cadillac coupe is part of a line of V16-powered cars at the CCCA gathering in Novi, Michigan | Kevin A. Wilson photos
1930 Cadillac coupe is part of a line of V16-powered cars at the CCCA gathering in Novi, Michigan | Kevin A. Wilson photos

Quiet, smooth and powerful, the Classic Era V16 engines built in the 1930s by Cadillac in Detroit and by Marmon in Indianapolis remain landmarks of automotive history. These top-of-the-line powerplants inspired coachbuilders to work to their highest standards for a discerning clientele that had somehow managed to remain wealthy through the depths of the Great Depression.

Twenty examples including the single Peerless V16 prototype — the only such car built by a domestic automaker other than Cadillac or Marmon — gathered last week for an exhibit dubbed Sweet Sixteens. It was part of the judged car show accompanying the 2016 annual meeting of the Classic Car Club of America, this year in the Detroit suburb of Novi and coincident with the opening weekend of the North American International Auto Show. Continue reading

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2016: 1992 Ferrari 512TR Coupe

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1992 Ferrari 512TR Coupe | Barrett-Jackson photos

Editor’s note: This is the 30th in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 23-31 during Barrett-Jackson’s 45th Scottsdale auction.

According to Road & Track, the The Ferrari 512 TR was an update to the Ferrari Testarossa, which ceased production in 1991, while the 512 TR lived from 1991-1994 with just over 2,200 cars produced during that time.

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Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2016: 32 Double Down

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1932 Ford Custom known as “Double Down” | Barrett-Jackson Photos

Editor’s note: This is the 29th in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 23-31 during Barrett-Jackson’s 45th Scottsdale auction.

The performance coatings company Jet-Hot wanted to promote and showcase their products to the market and people who use them. They thought an outrageous hot rod might be the perfect messenger. About the same time, Atlanta hot rod guru and metal-bender extraordinaire Bryan Fuller of Fuller Moto began brainstorming a ’32 Ford-based Cannon Ball Race tribute car. Now that we’ve set the stage, it’s time to forget everything you ever knew about fenderless 1932 Ford roadsters.

This one is one conceived for the outer limits of performance. It’s only the second time in history anyone attempted to create something as dynamic as an all-wheel-drive deuce hot rod. This insanely cocky-looking animal is the result of those efforts.

If there was ever a Formula One series for ’32 Fords, one glance will tell you ‒ this 1932 Ford Custom known as “Double Down” is the car to beat. We’re looking at industrial-strength hot rod design in its purest form. Think of a P47 Thunderbolt with huge wheels and tires instead of wings and a propeller. The car’s mission is to be driven, raced and otherwise manhandled at the driver’s whim. Top-speed Bonneville runs or showing off on road courses are just two of it extreme capabilities.

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Front of the 1932 “Double Down”

The custom front-mounted Winters quick-change differential protruding through the grille on this “Double Down” roadster somehow completes that visual.

This car’s custom tubular chassis is a thing of beauty in itself – and the way this support structure so fluidly morphs into the car’s suspension is a display of intelligent engineering that is a joy to behold. Those suspension components are also handmade works of art.

Since there were no available blueprints for this endeavor, almost everything had to be imagined, engineered, produced and installed by the build team. The “aircraft-quality” approach during the construction process is evident everywhere you look on this car.

Front suspension consists of custom tubular upper and lower control arms. The front coilover shocks are mounted on their sides and operate via a pushrod arrangement, much like a Formula One car.

A Sprint Car-based rear suspension utilizes its own quick-change for the rear wheels and is similar to the one poking out of the radiator shell delivering power to the front two wheels.

For propulsion, only one of the most exotic engines ever produced in America would suffice, so a Boss 429 was selected and enlarged to 576ci, then fuel-injected. Engine preps were performed by Kurt Urban and Jon Kaase.

Since that quick change for the front end now occupies the area in the grille, the radiator was no longer welcomed at that end of the car. Cooling of this animal is accomplished with a Griffin aluminum radiator located in the rear and more or less imbedded into the area of the truck lid. Twin fans motivate the air through it. The plumbing challenge of this arrangement simply provided the builders one more opportunity to create engineering excellence.

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Side profile of the 1932 Ford Custom known as “Double Down”

We’ve heard these engines can easily make 700hp and more, even without unnatural aspiration. Regardless of the exact horsepower number, the driver of this car is king of the world for the duration of any highway or track excursion.

To say the car is Spartan-like in the driver’s compartment might be an understatement. Granted, it does not provide an abundance of cushy luxury in the traditional sense … okay, it provides none at all. But there’s nothing about this car that is traditional. On the other hand, its new owner will be rewarded with an experience that plugs him or her directly into a world so far apart from the norm that cup holders and carpeting will seem like the frivolous wishes of a spoiled teenager.

This 1932 roadster will always be unlike anything else anyone has ever seen before. The all-wheel-drive, horizon-eating masterpiece of a machine will be coveted for decades to come. After all, it’s the ideal vehicle to transport you to an altered state of consciousness whenever you feel the need.

Barrett-Jackson’s 45th Anniversary Scottsdale Auction, January 23-31 at WestWorld of Scottsdale, will feature over 1,400 vehicles, most selling at No Reserve. For information on becoming a bidder, visit Barrett-Jackson.com/bid or call 480-421-6694.

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2016: 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Custom Bubbletop

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1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Custom Bubbletop | Barrett-Jackson Photos

Editor’s note: This is the 28th in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 23-31 during Barrett-Jackson’s 45th Scottsdale auction.

The 2015 Barrett-Jackson Cup competition last August was an event Andy Leach, owner of Cal Auto Creations, won’t soon forget. “My wife tapped me on the arm and said, ‘We won,’ he remembers. “For a moment time stood still … it was like a dream in slow motion.” Leach built the sleek and eternally tasteful 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Custom Bubble Top that took top honors at this best-of-the-best custom car competition and is now headed to Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction block.

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