HomeMediaSeven ‘Cars of Dreams’ consigned to Barrett-Jackson’s Houston auction

Seven ‘Cars of Dreams’ consigned to Barrett-Jackson’s Houston auction

Select vehicles from John Staluppi collection to be sold at no reserve at inaugural Texas sale


Noted car collector John Staluppi has consigned a group of select vehicles from his Cars of Dreams Museum for Barrett-Jackson’s inaugural Houston Auction, set for September 16-18 at the NRG Center.

The seven vehicles, each offered with no reserve, include an award-winning 1953 Buick Skylark convertible and a full-custom 1951 Mercury coupe known as “Bad Boy” that’s been chopped, dropped and channeled.

“One of the foremost collectors in the industry, John Staluppi has long been an important part of the Barrett-Jackson family,” said Craig Jackson, chief executive of Barrett-Jackson. “John’s Cars of Dreams Museum is exceptional, featuring some of the finest examples of collector cars.

The 1951 Mercury has been extensively customized in old-school style

“These seven vehicles he is bringing to our inaugural Houston Auction have been carefully selected for this event, and we’re honored to have John and a portion of his collection be a part of our first-ever auction in the state of Texas.” 

The ’53 Skylark, a gorgeously restored example and a past AACA Senior National first-prize winner, is one of just 1,640 Skylarks produced in 1953.  It’s powered by the original 322cid Nailhead V8 engine backed by an automatic transmission. 

The Mercury is a classic “lead sled” custom and built on GM A-body chassis.

“It features at 1954 DeSoto grille as well as frenched headlamps and taillamps from a 1954 Mercury,” Barrett-Jackson says in an auction news release. “Under the hood resides a 6.2-liter V8 LS3 engine paired to a 4L70E automatic transmission and a Ford 9-inch rear end.

“The exterior is finished in a Red-Orange paint with Candy Apple flames and a custom two-tone tuck-and-roll interior in Red-Orange and off-white.”

The other vehicles in the Staluppi group are (with descriptions by Barrett-Jackson):

1969 Ford Bronco custom pickup – This factory half-cab 4×4 custom has undergone a comprehensive frame-off restoration and is powered by Ford’s famed Coyote 5.0-liter V8 engine backed by a 6R80 automatic transmission. Both front and rear differentials feature ARB Air Locker setups, and this Bronco is equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes and Bilstein shocks. The interior features black leather seats and a long list of modern amenities, including a Vintage Air system, LCD radio with backup camera and Bluetooth.  


1936 Ford Phaeton custom convertible – A stunning all-steel-body hot rod, this 1936 Phaeton is powered by a 350ci LT4 V8 engine mated to a 700R4 automatic transmission. Designed and built by Grumpy’s Hot Rod Shop, this fully customized Ford also features Boyd Coddington wheels, power windows and an electric hideaway license plate.  


1938 Diamond T custom pickup – Sitting atop a 2006 General Motors Chassis, this 1938 Diamond T is a perfect Resto-Mod for Texas. The front body is sheet metal and features the original, unchopped dimensions. The entirety of the bed is custom-made and finished in Black Cherry. This vehicle is powered by a fuel-injected GM 8.1-liter V8 engine backed by a 4-speed automatic transmission 


1966 Chevrolet C10 custom pickup – Completed in 2018, this custom C10 was built to be a driver. Powered by a 5.7-liter V8 LS engine and backed by a 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission, this pickup also features a CPP suspension, CPP disc brakes and Salt Flat wheels wrapped in red line low-profile tires.  

1976 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ45 pickup – This FJ45 received a no-expense-spared, nut-and-bolt restoration and has only 1,200 miles since its completion. Powered by a 4.2-liter 6-cylinder engine paired with a 4-speed manual transmission, this extraordinary vehicle rides on a two-inch lift with 20-inch Hardrock Gunner wheels wrapped in 33-inch tires. 

“We’re thrilled to have these exceptional vehicles of John’s be a part of our Houston Auction,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “Crossing the auction block with no reserve, each of these collectibles serve as an amazing opportunity for our bidders to own an automobile that was included in one of the top collections in the world.” 

For more information about the inaugural Houston Auction, visit the Barrett-Jackson website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. I prefer Meacum Auctions over Barrett- Jackson any day. Meacum seems to be more for the average guy plus there presentations and announcers are much better .


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