The car was expected to sell for maybe as much as $750,000, and car collector Alan Jones expected his bid of $550,000 to quickly be hammered “Sold!” at Barrett-Jackson’s 2005 Scottsdale sale.
Suddenly, a bidder wearing a red Ferrari baseball cap upped the bid and launched a battle with Jones that AutoWeek magazine called “the most emotional 10 minutes of automotive television in recent history.”
Craig Jackson called it “a moment you may never see again.”
This bidding battle included as many as seven participants, but very quickly became very personal between Jones, in his orange University of Tennessee hat, and “the Ferrari hat guy,” who turned out to be Alan Leventhal, curator of a new car museum in Colorado. The escalating bidding didn’t end until Leventhal won, spending $3.24 million of his boss’s dollars for the 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car.
From Scottsdale, the F-88 – one of the many and historic Motorama concept cars from Harley Earl’s General Motors design studio – went to Gateway, Colorado, as the centerpiece of a new car museum and resort complex being built by John Hendricks, founder of the Discovery Channel cable television network.
Now, 14 years later, Hendricks has decided to put the Gateway Canyons Ranches & Resort up for sale. The asking price is $279 million and, according to real estate agent Kerry Endsley, includes 8,700 acres of property; a 22,000-square-foot, 4-level residence with eight bedrooms; the West Creek Ranch parcels; and the Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa.
The sale also includes the car museum and the more than 50 vehicles that are displayed inside, including the F-88. There are also several other vehicles, from classics to Jeeps, that resort visitors could rent for exploring western Colorado and the Moab, Utah, area.
The sale is being handled by Denver-based LIV Sotheby’s International Realty.