Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Barrett Jackson to auction JFK Hearse

I'm sure everyone remembers the Barrett Jackson Scottsdale auction  from January 2011 when a 1963 Pontiac Bonneville naval ambulance was sold. A rare vehicle sure, but it was claimed to have been the very ambulance that carried President John F. Kennedy from Andrews Air Force Base to the White House hours after his assassination in Dallas, Tx. Mystery surrounded the car and the lead up time prior to the sale. Was it really the car? Some say yes, lots of facts pointed to no. No one really knew for sure. Either way, the car sold for over $100,000 though no where near what the seller was thinking he'd get.

That brings us to the 1964 Cadillac hearse pictured here. This hearse has a solid, verifiable, and most of all documented history that it was in fact the very hearse to carry President Kennedy from Parkland Hospital in Dallas to the airport to be transported back to Washington D.C.

However, this time around O'neal Funeral Home documented the cars history. The 1964 Miller Meteor bodies Cadillac shows less than 50,000 original miles and is in fantastic condition and shows only 3 owners from new. The hearse has been for sale for a while, going through several auctions being offered for as high as $900,000 in 2007 with no sale. So it should be interesting to see what the car will fetch when it rolls across the block that is the Barrett Jackson circus in a few weeks. I'm sure the car will get coverage on Speed, so make sure you watch January 15th-22nd, 2012. We'll keep you updated.

Source: Hemmings Motor News. Picture: Barrett Jackson.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Breaking Saab news: No more warranty coverage.

Breaking news from Saab. Saab North America will no longer be honoring warranties on Saab vehicles sold in the U.S. Additionally, all new Saabs sold will be sold "as-is" with no warranty coverage what so ever. 

Effective Dec. 19, "warranty coverage is suspended indefinitely for all new Saab vehicles sold. During this period, the warranty booklet must be removed from the owner information packet," Saab Cars North America said in a statement provided to Automotive News.

"For any vehicle sold or leased during this period, the customer should be affirmatively advised that the vehicle does not carry any warranty coverage and is sold 'as is.' "
Saab Cars North America also said it has suspended the processing and payment of all claims, including but not limited to:

• New-car warranties
• Powertrain warranties
• Emission warranties
• Parts warranty
• Safety belts, airbags
• Towing
• Recalls and campaigns
• Certified pre-owned coverage
• Goodwill
• No charge maintenance
Until February of 2010, General Motors handled all warranty claims for Saab, but that had since stopped when Swedish Automobile AB purchased the automaker.
What does this mean for potential sales of new Saabs over the next few weeks/months? Well there probably won't be many. Currenty, Saab says they have 2,400 new Saabs available for purchase nationwide. And with sticker prices well over the $30,000 mark, I don't think too many potential buyers want to shell out that kind of cash on a new car that won't have warranty coverage.  So will dealers be offering huge blowouts on cars in inventory? I can see that on the horizon. But I wouldn't hold my breath on any of these new cars being collectible for the time being. We will keep everyone updated on any further drama on the Saabs of our Lives.

Source: Automotive News.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Who want's to play Steve McQueen?

Also part of this past weekend's Icons of Hollywood auction was the original "Michael Delaney" hero fire suit worn by Steve McQueen in his iconic 1971 film Le Mans. Estimated to sell for $200,000 to $300,000. Bidding went crazy, with a final bid of $800,000, plus a $184,000 buyer premium for a total of $984,000. This may very well be the single most valuable piece of Steve McQueen movie history that isn't a car. And certainly the record for a piece of motorsport memorabilia.  The story goes that the suit was donated The Observer, a British news paper to be given away in a Le Mans contest and was won by a 12 year old boy by the name of Timothy Davies. He sold the suit a number of years later, and probably for a sum no where near this figure.

In August the 1970 Porsche 911S owned and driven by Steve McQueen in the opening sequence of Le Mans set a record sale at $1.375 million dollars.

Source & Photos: Profiles in History.

Genuine Back to the Future DeLorean breaks the bank!

About a month ago Profiles In History, auctioneers of anything and everything celebrity announced that they would be auctioning the one and only screen used DeLorean from the Back to the Future trilogy that is in private hands to highest bidder at their December Icons of Hollywood auction. The DeLorean being offered was used for the final film, and was used extensively when Marty McFly traveled back to 1885. In order for the DeLorean to drive over the rough desert terrain, the running gear was removed and replaced with a custom frame and Volkswagen running gear. As strict warning was given that the electrical system was hacked up because of this, making the car unfit for street use. But in reality, you could make everything function properly. But enough about that. What did it sell for? Pre auction estimates had the DeLorean set between $400,000 and $600,000 dollars.

With an opening bid of $400,000. By the time the hammer fell, the final bid was a mere $440,000. There was a also a $101,200 buyer premium, making the total $541,200 for a one of a kind piece of Hollywood history. And you're certainly going to be the only one on the block with one. If the new owner is out there in cyberspace, PLEASE get in contact with us. We would love to interview you and find out what your plans are.

$500,000 a little too rich? For $30,000 you could have bought Doc's model train and time machine used to show how Doc and Marty would return to 1985. Or how about Doc's wind up Cadillac used to demonstrate how Marty would harness the lightning to travel from 1955 to 1985? That one could have been yours for $18,000. This was just part of the huge collection of props and memorabilia from the film series. And part of the proceeds from the auction of the DeLorean and other film memorabilia and props will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research.

Source & Photos: Profiles in History.

Saab files for bankruptcy protection. What's next?

The soap opera that has become Swedish automaker Saab, continues to unravel. The automaker is expected in bankruptcy court today in Sweden where it will find if they are shielded from creditors while a buyer for the company is found.

General Motors, former owner of Saab until their own bankruptcy let them shed the automaker, has been blocking the potential sale of Saab to a Chinese automaker. GM's basis is because they do not want the sharing of GMs platform technology with another competitor that could potentially undercut them in the Chinese market that GM has seen huge success with. And unfortunately, Saab depends on GM's help in that are in order to be able to build cars or at least until Saab has the funds to develop their own technology again. And that really isn't going to happen any time soon.

All the while dealers in the US and around the world have been patiently awaiting cars to be able to sell to customers, and with each passing day, its looking less and less likely they'll see them. So is this the swansong for Saab? Unfortunately it looks like it may very well be. I have always been a fan of the brand and would hate to see them go away, but I think the time has come to envision a world without new Saabs.

Hot Rod of the day: 1940 Ford style

Few cars are as iconic as the 1939/40 Ford. It's a car that symbolizes the Moonshiner. Which in fact the '40 featured below served as in a prior life.