I’m incredibly fortunate that I get to cover collector car auctions. It’s a gilded opportunity to see the cars up close, take in the essence of event and meet some pretty cool people. At each auction I get to attend I text my parents to let them know I wouldn’t be here without their eternal patience and support for their knucklehead son. Walking the auction grounds is a privilege and I am grateful for the opportunity.
After more than a dozen auctions I’ve attended as an automotive writer I still get a surge of energy when I’m there. That surge is better than espresso to keep the spirit charged.
Last month I was in Las Vegas for the Barrett-Jackson auction. The docket had some great cars, interesting vehicles that I never knew existed, and the occasional thrill ride in a Hellcat. Before I get to an auction I study up on the docket and take notes on cars I want to see up close. Some vehicles stick out more than others, and I feel this is based on my funky tastes in cars or possibly scarcity.
With Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas the main vehicle that caught my eye during my studies was a 1985 Toyota SR5 pickup restored as a “Back to the Future” re-creation. The proceeds from the truck would go to charity and actress Claudia Wells, she played Jennifer Parker in Back To The Future, would be onsite to meet the winning bidders for autographs and pictures.
A charity vehicle re-created from one of my favorite movies was a must see, and as such I made sure to see the truck on site and hopefully watch it when it made its way on stage.
For auctions they have a media center where reporters can work away from the auction floor and get articles hammered out for publication. A media center is a secluded and a nice quiet place to focus on writing and editing. It’s not exactly a hub of vibrant energy, more like a library to knock out some work. During my auction coverage I am in and out of the media center.. The action is on the auction floor, not in seclusion. During one of my breaks in the media center the actress Claudia Wells was hanging out and getting ready for the SR5’s moment on stage.
I can admit that I geeked out and with that chance encounter we chatted it up for an interview. A great spirit with positive energy, Ms. Wells graciously gave us an interview and then made her way on stage for the SR5. The hammer dropped, the truck was sold, and I had some great memories of a chance encounter with a good person. Those moments of meeting good people make the travel and time away from my family worth it.
Like many vehicles that have passed by at an auction I didn’t think I’d see another SR5 Back To The Future re-creation anytime soon, as the DeLorean takes the cake as the most iconic car in the movie series and you can often track down a time traveling DMC-12 re-creation with some hunting.
Perusing ClassicCars.com recently I did come across another SR5 re-creation and it’s a proper homage to a classic movie.
“Built to tribute Marty McFly’s Dream Truck from the Back to the Future Movie Franchise Termed “The Unicorn” by Toyota Enthusiasts Due to its Rarity as the Only Model Year Ever Produced with Straight Axle and Fuel Injection,” the listing states. “Historically Accurate to the Movie. Famous SR5 Package just like in the Movie Comes with a Hoverboard, Self-lacing Shoes, and Gray’s Sports Almanac”
Going by the pictures in the listing the exterior looks solid and in good shape with the proper KC Lights bar and tube bumpers. The dealer advises that the odometer indicates 278,283 miles, but the truck is now powered by a new Jasper engine.
Each auction I attend is different and I do my best to remember all the sights, sounds and memories. Unfortunately a lot of my auction memories are ephemeral, they often drift away before I make my way back home to Phoenix. But those fleeting recollections can be brought back in an instant with the right type of stimulation, and that can happen with another re-creation.