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Window shopping with Nicole: Star cars and over-the-top builds at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas


Row of classic Mustangs at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas | Matthew Fink photos

The docket for the ninth annual Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auction is nothing short of alluring vehicles that are just as over the top, iconic and glamourous as Sin City itself. I felt like a kid in a candy store as I bounced around the rows of consignments in awe of the glittering paint, shining chrome and wild designs held within the convention center of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

As I wandered and window shopped, these are the cars that caught my eye:

1976 AMC Pacer

Of the most excellent selection of cars offered at the Las Vegas auction, this little blue Pacer with flame decals, known as the Mirth Mobile, is my favorite. You might recognize it from the iconic 1992 comedy, Wayne’s World.

To create the legendary Mirth Mobile, the studio had some modifications done to the Pacer, like painting over the yellow exterior with blue paint and adding the flames.

The car features mismatched wheels – as it appeared in the movie – and has been repainted, with various components stripped rechromed, and redone to appear as it was in the movie.

The only real down side I see to this killer car is that the speakers don’t work, so you will need to hook up an amp of some sort before you can rock out to Bohemian Rhapsody, but rest assured, the stereo is operational.
1968 Ford Mustang Custom Fastback

Definitely my second favorite car seen at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas is this Eleanor lookalike, based off the 1967 Ford Mustang GT500 seen in Gone in 60 Seconds. This particular car started life as a 1968 fastback and hasn’t gained any mileage since completion of the build. The Eleanor body kit comes from Stang-aholics while the car is finished in Pepper Gray metallic paint with a GT style black stripe.

The engine, a 390 cid V8, was professionally rebuilt and mated to a 4-speed manual transmission controlled by the “go-baby-go” shifter with nitrous switch.

The seller offering the vehicle is also including a shadow box with the car that holds the signatures from Angelina Jolie and Nicholas Cage.
1930 Ford Model A

Another show-stopper in Vegas is this wild one-off custom 1930 Ford Model A that has been transformed into a Steam Punk-style hot rod. The car was built in Finland by Heath Garage and found by Richard Rawlings at a car show in Sweden.

The Model A is powered by a small-block Chevy engine fueled by a six-pack of carbs mated to a TH350 transmission. To complete the look, the hot rod sits on an air-ride setup.
1967 Chevrolet Camaro

As a die-hard Ford fan, I still have to admit this Camaro 4X4 "Monster Truck" built by Gas Monkey Garage is awesome. The build process was documented on the show Fast N' Loud with Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman. In the show, Rawlings buys the 1967 Chevy Camaro that has been lifted with a Chevy Blazer chassis and turns it over to Kaufman to work his magic.

The Camaro features a built 454 big-block V8 riding on massive 44-inch Michelin 365/85 20 XZL tires mounted on Fuel Maverick 20X10 rims. One of my favorite components of this build is the electric folding steps to get into the car.
2008 Jeep Wrangler Custom SUV

Aside from looking totally bad ass, what I love about this Jeep is that it’s got more than 100,000 miles on it. The well-used Jeep was built by KAO Autostyling for Toyo Tires to be a display vehicle to show their Mud Terrain tries at different shows and events across the country.

Modifications include an 8-inch Rubicon Express Long arm suspension lift complete with Bilstein Performance series adjustable shocks on all four wheels and duel shock front-steering stabilizer with Fox gas shocks.

The front Poison Spyder flat-panel fender flares and rear XRC steel fenders were installed for more wheel and tire clearance to accommodate the 20x12 Desert Series custom forged-aluminum wheels with Toyo Mud Terrain tires.

Other highlights include custom-built rock sliders, an integrated step to help climb into the Jeep, and the Jeep comes with both the custom cage doors and a set of factory hard doors and factory top in addition to the Terminator-series hood bar and axe as seen on the Terminator-movie Jeep.
1991 Nissan Skyline

I’ve heard some remarks over the years about what would happen the day a Skyline crossed the Barrett-Jackson auction block. The day has come, the car has crossed, and the winning bid was $30,000. The sky didn’t fall, the world didn’t end, but it was pretty cool to see Godzilla up on stage. This 1991 Nissan Skyline GT-R is powered by a 2.6-liter, twin turbo, inline 6-cylendar engine and applies power with all four wheels.
1996 Jeep Cherokee Custom SUV

Because Jeeps of all-kinds are basically timeless, this “Zombie Patrol Search and Rescue” Jeep was built for a zombie movie that never happened.

It is powered by a 4.0-liter engine mated to an automatic transmission and comes with a full roll cage, roof rack, open body, storage boxes, lift kit, and oversized desert tires for all the off-road adventures.
2011 Ford Mustang GT

I love race cars and what makes this 2011 Mustang GT special is its provenance as the first Ford to pace the Daytona 500 since 1970. With just over 700 actual miles, it features the glass-roof option and is powered by a 302 cid V8 rated with 412 horsepower mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The car also comes with the California Special option that includes duel power 6-way heated seats, as well as voice activated navigation and satellite radio.
1952 Buick Super Riviera

Currently owned by photographer Peter Lik, this 1952 Buick Super Riviera, known as Bombshell Betty, is truly impressive because it has accomplished six land speed records, the most recent from 2013 at the Bonneville Nationals Bonneville Speed Week, where it won the Land Speed Record XO/GCC, reaching 165.735 mph.

Aluminum-bodied, the Buick is powered by a 320 cid straight-8 from a 1950 Buick Roadmaster while the top custom intake manifold is from Hart's Collision-Racing Shop with a Jegs-Quick-Fuel 750cm racing carburetor. It runs on racing fuel and has a four-gallon fuel tank next to the engine block.
1923 Dodge Fire Truck

Purchased from the Shriners, this was originally a chemical fire truck that has been restored over a two-year period. The truck is powered by a rebuilt 426 cid HEMI engine bored .010 over with 8:1 compression and automatic transmission. It runs on premium pump gas and comes equipped with an 871 blower with twin 850 Holleys, fake zoomies and a 3-inch exhaust pipe that exits in front of the rear wheels.
Nicole James
Nicole Jameshttp://nicoleellanjames.com/
Nicole James has been involved in the automotive world her entire life. Her dream car is a 1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe. She currently drives a 2005 Mustang affectionately known as Marilyn and uses the car to participate in track events, car shows, and explore the world around her. Nicole joined the ClassicCars.com Content and Marketing team in 2014. Nicole is an automotive journalist and the creator of Pretty Driven - an online source for car culture and news for millennials, as well as a contributor for ClassicCars.com. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @Nicoleeellan
  1. Pretty lame lineup of cars but exactly what I’d expect from a “cool” Bareass-Jerkoff, sorry, Barrett-Jackson Auction…

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