It’s October, and that means the collector car extraordinaires over at Barrett-Jackson are gearing up for one of its largest sales of the year, held at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas. The docket isn’t usually filled with vintage Ferraris or Pre-War Bugattis, but Barrett-Jackson has long remained a magnet for top-tier Americana and cutting edge supercars. We shuffled through the extensive list of available cars and picked out our favorites. Here are six of the most interesting cars up for grabs at the 2017 Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas sale.
1965 Chevrolet Corvair Monza
Sometimes, it seems like Mustangs, Corvettes, and Camaros get all the love. We’re big fans of the unconventional, and it doesn’t get more off-beat than a hot rod Chevrolet Corvair. This rear-engined, air-cooled, flat-six coupe was Chevy’s take on European sensibilities, offering more refinement and ostensibly better handling that a traditional big-body sedan.
Aside from the rare Yenko Stingers, the Corvair wasn’t nearly the darling of the cruising scene as the contemporary Camaro. Because of this, it’s cause for celebration when a tastefully modified Corvair surfaces. Aside from a more aggressive suspension set-up, the modifications appear to be only skin deep, including Le Mans-style gas cap, black steelies, and mildly upgraded interior. Overall, a tidy car in great condition that would make a perfect garage counterpart to an aircooled 911.
1991 Nissan Figaro
Now that Nissan’s “Pike Cars”—including the Figaro, Be-1, and S-Cargo—have hit the 25-year-old mark, we’re seeing quite a few of these pint-sized, neo-retro compacts sprout up on the secondhand market. We’ve featured a Figaro before when one hit Bring a Trailer, but here’s a chance to pick one up in an environment that might not attract too much competition.
2003 Pontiac GTO “Fat GTO”
On the surface, this entry might raise a few eyebrows regarding stylistic choices, but we thought it noteworthy to include such a heavily modified modern GTO. These rebadged Holdens aren’t often modified to this extent, thanks to part scarcity, claustrophobic rear axle area, and an independent rear suspension that is prone to nasty wheel hop.
To add any serious rubber under the rear haunches requires dramatic modifications. To create this monster, FAT57 Customs in Australia was given a prototype GTO (there was no model year 2003 GTO) from Pontiac and AC Delco to create a show car, resulting in the orange and purple coupe featured here.
Power comes from that protruding Chevy 427ci (7.0-liter) big block, sending power to the massive rear wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission.
1957 Panhard Dyna Z
Barrett-Jackson might be the king of muscle car auctions, but it still attracts its share of European weirdos like this Panhard Dyna Z. This powder-blue sedan was the mass-market offering of Panhard, a French automaker whose roots stretch back to the early 1900s. Despite appearances, the aluminum construction and small two-cylinder engine gave the Dyna Z a teeny-tiny 1,800-pound weight.
It isn’t as eye-catching as an Impala dripping in candy paint, but it’s strange enough to be welcome at any cruise-in or car show around the nation.
Speaking of Impalas…
1962 Chevrolet Impala SS 409 Lightweight
It’s a strange to think of a 1960s Impala as lightweight, but compared to its contemporaries, this aluminum-bodied sled might as well be an Austin-Healy. As you might have surmised from its appearance, this Impala was one of the many factory hot rods aimed at competing in the popular drag racing circuit.
In this pursuit, each of the special Impalas was given the aforementioned aluminum body, constructed without seam sealer, sound deadening, heater, or radio. Power came from a mighty 409ci (6.7-liter) V-8, sending power to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission and 4.56:1 rear axle.
Only three of these lightweight Impalas still exist, so bidding is going to be aggressive.
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
Barrett-Jackson’s no stranger to the hybrid supercar trio from McLaren, Ferrari, and Porsche, and it looks like a 918 Spyder is the star of this year’s sale. There’s not much else to say about the 918 Spyder, as we’ve covered these extensively in past auction previews. This one should see a premium thanks to its unique Voodoo Blue paint, pushing the price tag close to or above the $2 million mark.