Super Saturday at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale saw truly spectacular automobiles cross the auction block and as a result, seven-digit hammer prices became the norm. A rare 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 led the way with a price tag of $3.85 million.
There was high drama to open the action Saturday at the 43rd annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car auction, as a Cessna scout plane and a military truck raised $1 million for the Armed Forces Foundation.
AFF President Patricia Driscoll delivered an impassioned introduction about the charity’s work and the bidding quickly hit $750,000 before the hammer fell. Other auction attendees contributed an additional $250,000 bringing the total raised to $1 million.
By Larry Edsall
Nineteen sixty-three. Shelby Cobras were dominating American sports car racing, and designer Pete Brock and the car builders at Shelby American were busy working on a Kamm-tailed coupe to challenge Ferrari on the world racing circuit. Then along came the Sports Car Club of America with plans for its first professional motor sports series, racing for prize money, not just trophies. Called the Fall Series, it was not for production-style sports cars such as Shelby’s roadsters but for pure, purpose-built “sports-racing” specials — purebred racers with big engines mounted behind the cockpit. (It wasn’t long before the Fall Series blossomed into the Canadian-American Challenge Cup, the now fabled and fabulous Can-Am series.)
Obviously, the Shelby team would compete. First, however, it needed a proper vehicle.
How rare is rare? How special is special? Well, during a decade ending in 1957, the tiny Talbot factory in the Paris suburb of Suresnes handcrafted a total of 750 T26 chassis.
But out of even that small number, they assembled just 19 chassis for the ultimate version, the Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport GSL. Only 11 survive today. Compared to the 39 Ferrari GTOs derived from a long line of Ferrari 250 GTs, for example, a Talbot-Lago Grand Sport GSL is exceptionally rare and very, very special. It’s also wildly underpriced in today’s collector car market.
When famed industrialist E.L. Cord purchased the foundering Duesenberg automobile company in 1926, he made a simple demand of talented engineering brothers Fred and August Duesenberg: design and build the finest automobile in the world. Cord, who already owned premium auto manufacturers Cord and Auburn, set his sights on Duesenberg becoming the standard of luxury, style and performance.