For me, a walk through Barrett-Jackson is a stroll down memory lane

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Editor’s note: The ClassicCars.com Journal will be covering all of the action during Arizona Auction Week in Scottsdale, Arizona. Check out our other coverage here.


For some, the annual Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona is the place to be for buying and selling classic cars. For others, it’s a way to gauge the industry as a whole, and still for others it’s a place to see and be seen.

But for me, it’s a place to relive my youth; those years between 16 and 19, when I was learning the most about everything automotive.

Strolling through the aisles and aisles of cars brings back some great memories, including those of vehicles I used to own years ago.

One such car, a powder blue Volkswagen Thing, reminded me of my days just out of high school.

I didn’t have an Acapulco Edition like the one in the video. I had a yellow Thing. It was a little bit wonky, so I put big wheels and tires on it and went boondoggling with my friends with their Jeeps and I stayed right with them.

Another off-roader, an FJ-40 with the inline 6, brought me right back to my high school days.

It couldn’t get out of its own way, so what I did is put a 327cid engine in it with a Muncie 4-speed and we made that thing pop wheelies. That was cool enough, until my friend and I drove past a motocross course and just knew it was time to see how the FJ40 fared in the air.

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I don’t know what these things weigh, but that’s a lot of weight in the air. Obviously, we landed safely and it still drove away. They’re unbelievable. I can’t wait to own another one.

When I walked past a 1968 El Camino, I had flashbacks to my days of learning to paint cars, especially flamework.

But it was another classic Chevrolet, this one a 1966 Chevelle, that really made me smile. It was the first “muscle car” I owned. I was told the engine was worn out and needed to be pulled and, rather than have a shop do it, some of my buddies and I did the work themselves.

Their dads taught them how to do it. They passed the knowledge on to me. Despite an injury or two, we swapped that sucker out. It was my first time ever swapping an engine and look at the road it took me down.

These are just some stories that scream out to me when I walk by each one of these cars at Barrett-Jackson.

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Alan Taylor is an award winning radio and television host and a 30-plus year broadcast professional. His expertise and quick wit entertain millions and he has been a featured automotive expert on ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and others, including 15-plus years on daytime’s No. 1 morning talk show, LIVE! with Kelly. Alan lends his expertise on many car and truck related topics, including interviews with many celebrity auto buffs and collectors like his car guy pals, Tim Allen and Jay Leno. Alan is also an in-demand guest speaker where his up-beat presentations provide both insight and motivation.

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