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Barris’ SnakePit tops online auction

Barris’ SnakePit tops online auction

H&H Classics reports 69 percent sell-through for its first online sale

A year ago, the six-engine SnakePit custom car crafted in 1975 by George Barris was being advertised for sale for $750,000. This past weekend, the car, which is not in running condition, sold for £51,750 ($67,500) at an online collector car auction staged by British company H&H Classics.

“The highest price of the day went to the outlandish Barris Snakepit,” H&H reported, adding that nearly 50,000 people visited the online catalog in the run up to the sale and that 550 people took part in the live webcast, which resulted in a 69 percent sell-through rate.

Ultra-low-mileage Ford Fiesta brings $19,100

The auction docket included 36 vehicles. Totals sales amounted to £232,000 ($300,500).

H&H said SnakePit sold to a collector in Qatari, and that the consignor was thrilled since she got three times what her late father had paid for the Barris creation.

A re-creation of a 1977 Jaguar D-type sold for £33,750 ($44,050), a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL went for £28,125 ($36,710) and a 1978 Ford Fiesta 950 that had been driven only 141 miles since new brought £14,625 ($19,100).

“Today’s result is an absolute vindication of our faith in the future and of the latest technology,” said H&H founder Simon Hope. “In essence we have simply opened our doors to the world. Why wouldn’t you want to do that? Had we relied today on a physical audience the snow and ice and traffic mayhem would have hurt the sale. And as it happened, our top bidder from Qatar had no problem in getting to us. So we can honestly say to sellers – we can offer you the world.”

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  • Dave Molnar
    February 6, 2019, 8:56 AM

    Unfortunately, I see the sale of this Barris creation as further confirmation of the bizarre state that the collector car hobby has reached. While it may be an extreme example of the situation, the sale of the Barris vehicle is not a unique phenomenon. Sellers advertising cars for unreasonable (to be kind) prices when they are prepared to sell for far less (and they know the car is worth far less). How does anyone explain a publicly advertised asking price of more than ten times more than what the car eventually sells for? And no surprise that the seller is happy with that – they paid one third of what they sold it for. Not sure if it’s greed or a marketing ploy (the marketers’ credo is "perception is reality") or other factor at work but something is seriously amiss when these things happen. I have no problem with people trying to get the most possible money they can for whatever it is that they are selling, or for looking/fishing for that special (read "stupid") person to whom something is worth far more than it is to anyone else, nor do I question the American free enterprise system but still….

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  • Billy Beegmann
    February 7, 2019, 10:25 PM

    I have been admiring the creations of George Barris since the 60’s I believe the creator of “the Batmobile” to be one of the world’s best custom car builders. Each of his cars is a unique and one only car. So for this true rarity to sell for only 64,000? Seems like a steal to me. After all it has 6 engines, how awesome is that people?? Long live The Barris car creations.

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