I’m spending the week in Las Vegas. Normally I’m not much of a Vegas kind of guy. I don’t drink, I don’t gamble, and I think the shows are kind of expensive.
But when there are cars involved, I’m there!
My first automotive themed trip to Las Vegas came in 1981. Some friends and I came to watch the US Grand Prix at Caesar’s Palace. We managed to wrangle press credentials and enjoyed watching Alan Jones win the race in a Williams. I also met Eddie Cheever for the first time (now my IndyCar broadcasting colleague at ABC).
Since then, I’ve been here plenty of times, and nearly every trip has included cars or racing. I was actually surprised to find out that this Barrett Jackson event marks the fifth time the auction has been held in Las Vegas. Time flies when you’re having fun.
We kicked off the event with a road rally down the strip. Local clubs participated with plenty of muscle cars. My ride was a new Camaro ZL1 provided by GM. Unfortunately, our parade past the casinos gave us no opportunity to use many of the 580 hp.
Now it’s time for the auction to begin. I think there are two stars at this event. The first is a 1970 Boss 429 Mustang. There were only 499 built that year. Serious horsepower and incredible muscle pedigree.
The other car likely to bring big bucks is a 1970 Hemi Superbird. It has a matching numbers drive train (meaning it still has the original engine and transmission) plus the odometer only shows 20,846 miles. And yes, it’s a hemi.
Of course there are plenty of other cars that have caught my eye. There’s a great looking 1955 Cadillac Series 62. I consider this a classic Vegas car. Not only is it the kind of car that Elvis would have driven when he did his first show here back in 1956, but you can still get some major respect when you drive this up to a casino today.
There is a real deal 1965 Shelby GT350. We see lots of Mustangs customized to look like a Shelby, but this is a true classic.
I also like a 1962 Thunderbird. I’ve always liked the bullet birds (so-called because their rocket or bullet shaped tail lights). It’s the right color and the right look.
And of course, there’s always room for something cute. The 1974 VW Thing caught my eye. Beautifully restored in Acapulco style it has lots of eye appeal. It likely will bring surprisingly good money.
You can check out the entire list of cars at Barrett-Jackson.com.