Cars fill four huge tall tents at 16th Russo and Steele Scottsdale auction | Larry Edsall photos
The first of the several hundred cars on the docket is scheduled to roll into Russo and Steele’s auction-in-the-round “block” at noon Thursday, when Drew Alcazar and his team launch their 16th annual Scottsdale sale. Wow. Has it really been 16 years since this high-energy auction made its debut?
I spend a good share of Wednesday afternoon walking the rows of cars that are in four huge and multi-peaked tents adjacent to the 101 freeway in north Scottsdale, Arizona, and below are the ones I liked the best.
Disclaimer: Note that I said these are the ones that caught my eye. They are not necessarily the star cars or the most exotic or the most expensive. There’s an array of muscle and sports cars that I saw and that I’m sure will be the ones that draw the most attention on the block.
Bidders will make their own selections between noon today and whenever the final hammer falls on Sunday, but this is my opportunity to share what I liked, and to say why:
1956 Chrysler Imperial My favorite car at Russo & Steele is this big, beautiful coupe in Mint Green and Cloud White. I picture myself driving from Phoenix to Las Vegas and then cruising The Strip in this Hemi-powered machine.
1958 Mantz 500 #2R Polar opposite to the big Chrysler is this quarter-midget racing car, which I'd display as a piece of art atop the wide, built-in counter that's part of the entry way at my house.
1957 Pontiac Bonneville convertible Here's another road-trip cruiser, and one of only 630 Bonnie convertibles produced for the '57 model year (just one per Pontiac dealer), and with its fuel-injected V8 producing more than 300 horsepower.
1966 AMC AMX 'ramble seat' prototype How cool is this: The fiberglass-bodied prototype of what would go into production as the AMX, though with a steel body and no "ramble" (the Rambler version of rumble) seat.
1972 Honda 600 A recently restored very early U.S. Honda with a two-cylinder engine. Imagine this thing on the highway at 80 mph (it's factory-claimed top speed)!
1963 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 coupe This car reportedly as the next-to-last of its kind built, and the last one sold because Enzo Ferrari kept the last one. Oh, and this one is now powered by a Chevy V8 with a Borg-Warner 5-speed manual
1961 Rambler Ambassador Custom station wagon One of 430 built and this one has a reported 94,000 original miles on its factory 4-barrel, 327 cid V8. Road trip!
1960 Fiat 600 Multipla taxi Here's another wagon that has luggage on its roof, but this one is an Italian taxi job, though with no V8; there's a 633 cc four-banger that propels this mini mover.
1961 Studebaker Hawk A California black-plate car with a reported 11,000 original miles.
1969 Ford Cobra Muscle car: Sleekly styled Ford with an R-Code 428 Cobra Jet engine and Ram Air induction, and believed to be the sole one with its combination of options
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.