Photo Credit: Tom Jensen
The opening day of the inaugural Barrett-Jackson Reno Tahoe Hot August Nights collector-car auction was a huge success, as the Reno Convention Center was jammed with fans and the energy was palpable all Thursday afternoon and evening.
All told, 72 cars crossed the auction block, all selling for no reserve. The sales totals on the opening day were $1,377,000, plus a 10 percent buyer’s premium for each car that crossed the auction lot.
The high seller on the day was a beautiful white 1956 Ford Thunderbird with two tops that brought $49,500, with 10 percent buyer’s premium included.
Second on the list at $45,100 was a 1993 Chevrolet ZR- Corvette with only 9,000 original miles and the highly desirable 40th Anniversary Package.
Then came a 1949 Ford F-1 pickup truck at $40,700; a 1965 Ford Mustang at $38,500; and a custom 1966 Chevrolet Nova at $37,400.
One of the evening’s highlights was the appearance of legendary drag racer Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, who displayed his 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda Funny Car and its hauler, and the ’70 Plymouth Duster Funny Car of former teammate Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen.
Those two cars and their respective haulers will be shown again at the Sixth Annual Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Sept. 26-28, and then auctioned off as a package during the 43rd annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction in January 2014.
But the main story at Reno is what happens on the auction floor, and there was plenty of action on Thursday. As is the case with every Barrett-Jackson auction, the first day features the lowest-priced cars and typically has more than its share of bargains.
One of the cars that caught the eyes of the SPEED on-air talent was a 1998 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra convertible that carried a notarized affidavit that it had just 40,498 original miles. Purported to be in great condition both cosmetically and mechanically, it sold for just $11,000, which made it an exceptional value.
In Day 2 of Barrett-Jackson Reno Tahoe, the quality of cars will go up and expect the prices to increase commensurately. The second day of the docket is heavy with pickup trucks of all shapes and sizes, ranging from strictly stock nut-and-bolt restorations to wild customs.
One of the more intriguing offerings is Lot 325, a 1968 Chevrolet El Camino restored to an exceptionally high standard. What’s particularly interesting about this truck is that it came from the factory with no options whatsoever — It carries a three-on-the-tree manual transmission, manual brakes and manual steering.
Another interesting Chevrolet — although you’d never be able to identify it as a Chevy — is a 1930 rat rod, Lot 330, that’s chopped, channeled and powered by an engine from a 1964 Buick Wildcat.
Hot rods obviously are huge here in Reno, and one very sharp one is Lot 428, a 1932 Ford custom roadster finished in an eye-catching shade of metallic purple. Powered by the ubiquitous Chevrolet small-block engine, it has a very period-correct 1950s feel to it.
SPEED and SPEED.com will bring you all the action from Barrett-Jackson today, with live television coverage from 6-11 p.m. ET and live streaming during the same period. Tune in and watch another day of action from Barrett-Jackson Reno Tahoe Hot August Nights.