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American muscle showing its strength on the auction block


Barrett-Jackson kicks off the auction action this week in Arizona | Matthew Fink photos

If you go strictly by overall numbers, the 2016 Arizona Auction Week is off to a very slow start. Ah, but there are other numbers that may be quite significant…

Through Wednesday night, only Barrett-Jackson has been selling cars, and the $14.6 million in total sales is less than half the amount that the auction house had posted through Wednesday a year ago. But remember: Last year, Barrett-Jackson had a special Tuesday sale of much of Ron Pratte’s stunning collection.

While that wasn’t the case this year, Hagerty, the classic car insurance and price tracking company that supplies daily results to the media, notes that there already have been some significant sales at Barrett-Jackson, particularly of low-mileage American cars from the late 1970s and early ‘80s.

A Mustang on the block

For example, a 1980 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with fewer than 1,000 miles on its odometer sold for $110,000. A 1977 Trans Am brought $82,500. A 1984 Ford Mustang 5.0 GT convertible with only delivery miles went for $71,500. Even a Fox-bodied 1993 5.0 SVT Cobra hatchback, went for a strong $27,500.

Hagerty has predicted that American muscle cars are well positioned to outpace the overall classic car market in 2016, especially those cars that appeal to younger buyers but were not on collectors’ watch lists during the muscle car correction of the mid-2000s.

Here’s the first of our daily Hagerty reports from Arizona:


Cumulative total through Wednesday: $14.6 million
462/462 lots sold: 100 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $31,585

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1962 Dodge M37B1 Power Wagon custom pickup sold for $187,000
2. 1967 Ford Mustang custom fastback sold for $165,000
3. 1980 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Bandit Edition coupe sold for $110,000
1984 Porsche 911 custom coupe sold for $110,000
5. 1961 Chevrolet Impala custom sport coupe sold for  $107,800
6. 1950 Chevrolet Series 3100 half-ton custom pickup sold for $101,200
7. 2008 McKinney Top Fuel dragster sold for $100,000
8. 1967 Plymouth GTX 426/425 hardtop coupe sold for $96,800
9. 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Bandit Edition coupe sold for $82,500
10.  2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon custom sold for $81,000

2015 results through Wednesday
Cumulative Total: $29.5M
600/600 sold: 100%
Average Sale Price: $49,097

Prices include auction fees.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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