Larry’s picks at Worldwide’s Auburn auction

Worldwide Auctions offering one of only four Shelby Cobra 289 Dragonsnakes | Larry Edsall photos
Worldwide Auctions offering one of only four Shelby Cobra 289 Dragonsnakes | Larry Edsall photos

Bob Golfen’s already detailed the star car of this sale — one of only four of Carroll Shelby’s 289 Cobra Dragonsnakes. Besides, can you really see me (a) affording such a car or (b) driving such a car? So let’s get real, or as real as we can get in Classic Car News’ version of fantasy football, in which we go to a collector car auction venue and pick the cars we want to take home.

Today, Worldwide Auctioneers stages its eighth annual Auburn Auction in conjunction with the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival in northeastern Indiana. Again, the Worldwide sale is being held inside the National Auto & Truck Museum, which itself is located in the L-29 Cord Building located just behind the ACD Museum.

Some 60 vehicles will be available for bidding. Unless I missed one, they range in vintage from a 1906 Jewell Runabout to a 1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport convertible, with more than a third being from the pre-war time period.

1968 Ford Mustang GT/CS
While the Dragonsnake may be out of my class, there is another car at the Worldwide auction with a Shelby connection. It’s a 1968 Ford Mustang GT/CS, a California Special sold only in southern California and based on Shelby-designed components including a rear spoiler, side scoops and the tail lamps from the ’65 Thunderbird. The GT/CS at Worldwide was restored by Mustang specialist Randy Roberts in Oklahoma, wears its original factory color — Sunlit Gold — and delivers the power from its 302 cid V8 through a four-speed manual transmission.
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1929 Ford Model A Speedster
Artist and master fabricator Paul Normand built more than three dozen “museum-quality” hot rods and racing cars, and this 1929 Ford Model A Speedster is one of them. Known as the “Skipit III,” this Speedster has an all-original ’29 Ford Model A drivetrain with a 40-horsepower four-cylinder engine and three-speed manual gearbox. Leaf springs and drum brakes all around. It also has rare Cragar spinner caps and chrome beauty rings on its wheels, and recently got a new interior.
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1927 Stutz Vertical Eight Speedster
Harry Stutz took his first car from the garage to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, finished 11th with no mechanical issues in the inaugural 500-mile race, and earned the moniker, “The car that made good in a day,” for his future products. Among those cars was this 1927 Vertical Eight Speedster, which rides on the “Safety Stutz” chassis that Frederic Moscovics engineered for the company in 1926. The name comes from the new OHC, twin-plug engine that set a 24-hour speed record and in 1928 powered Stutz’ entry to second place behind the Bentley Boys in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Worldwide says Stutz Speedster was the first American car with bodywork.
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1955 Chevrolet 3100 5-window pickup truck
I drive a contemporary pickup truck but would love to have a vintage one as well. This ’55 Chevy 3100 5-window would work for me. In the mid-’50s, Chevrolet based its pickup on its passenger-car design with a wrap-around windshield, full corner windows and larger backlight. The doors were wider and taller, and the heater/defroster were upgraded, as were the dash and steering wheel. This truck was restored in 2008 with a factory windshield visor and recently got a new oak bed with matching side rails.
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1948 Chrysler Windsor Highlander convertible coupe
I find the idea of a big old classic convertible with a bench seat and room for all the grandkids to ride along to be very appealing, and this ’48 Chrysler Windsor, with its raspberry-colored paint (technically, it’s called Sumac Red) and Highlander-plaid upholstery is very appealing. The restoration effort on this example has earned AACA and Old Dominion awards. I find this car to be very cool, from its winged hood ornament to the tip of its aerodynamic (for the late ’40s) body.
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1929 Auburn 8-120 sport sedan
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1967 Volkswagen Type 2 Deluxe 21-window bus (below)
Speaking of grandchildren, I’ve written before about a recent trip with many of them to Florida. We’re already making plans to go back to the beach next year, and instead of renting a vehicle with enough room for everyone, it would be great to just pull something out of the garage. The ’29 Auburn is a large vehicle that would be a stylish and colorful way to go, and it even comes with a real trunk to carry cargo. But even cooler, if less-powerful, would be this ’67 21-window VW with three rows of seats, plus luggage space. The VW’s four-cylinder engine provides a mere 53 horsepower while the Auburn’s inline-8 pumps out 120.
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