The weird, wacky, colorful and just plain rad of Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale

James Riswick



SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — If you're looking to this post for the priciest, fanciest or most collectible cars up for auction this week at the Barrett-Jackson auctions in Scottsdale, I'm afraid you've come to the wrong place. Certainly when I'm the man on the ground. If it's weird, it'll catch my eye. If it's a meticulously kept ordinary (and/or terrible) car, I'm all in. If it's teal, purple or some other awesome color, that's scoring some major points. And if it's a Fiero brodozer, damn it if that picture's not being taken. 

So join me (plus my mother and Aunt Dianne, who came along) for a trip through the cars that caught my eye at the 2020 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale. I'll apologize in advance for the meh photos. Tent lighting + regular camera battery dying is not a recipe for beauty.

It may not look it, but this rad shade of pink really was a factory color for the Trans Am in 1980. There was actually another contemporary Pontiac painted the same color up for auction. 

This is one of the great things about an auction visit. You get wacky lineups like this: G-Wagen, GTO "The Judge," a 1928 Packard and this exquisite 1958 Packard Hawk. The teal color is obviously a prime draw, but the interior and gold details are fantastic (note the bit of gold fender trim in the lower left photo). And how crazy is the padded door trim located OUTSIDE the windows. I've never seen anything like it. Absolutely the car I'd want more than any other at the auctions.

Speaking of less-popular, gold-trimmed 1950s luxury cars, how about this Kaiser Dragon? It's called the dragon because of the scaley vinyl roof that was indicative of lizard skin. And this interior upholstery!?! Fantastic. 

No shortage of old trucks and Land Cruisers at Barrett-Jackson ... but of course I picked a pic with a teal truck. 

OK, so there were more teal trucks. The 1965 F-250 (right) is restored, and the patina is actually painted on. Whatever floats your boat, man. Sadly, 2020 Ford F-250 I drove the previous day is not available in this same color.

Contain yourself Jeepists: two-door 1970s Cherokee restomod. I mean, is the emblem culturally insensitive? Sure, but is it great graphic design? Yes as well. Could be worse

Not every old truck at Barrett-Jackson was huge and rad. Check out this wee yellow Crosley. What a thing to exist.

It's a boat! It's a plane! 

Probably no relation to this "arrogant ass."

Those ladies back there would be my Aunt Dianne (left) and my mother, who's been begging me to take her to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale for years. As the former owner of a 1970 Mustang and as the daughter of a 1966 Mustang owner (her mum), she was absolutely spot-on identifying all the first-generation years by their taillights. And to think people didn't know where I got it from.

"That car doesn't exist!" I exclaimed as I walked over to this 1967 Mercury Cougar. You see, the Cougar convertible wasn't introduced until 1969 when the body was restyled. This is a custom job, but it looks pretty good, right? Another fun Riswick family car fact: My dad actually owned one of those 1969's, and it was pretty much this color. And I have a model car of this year and this color (with the roof) in my office. Good story bro. 

My second-favorite car. Such an atypical color scheme for 1974, yet it's original: Admiralty Blue. These are almost always in white/blue, red/gold, gold/black and, of course, Bandit. It's hard to fathom a car with a screaming chicken on the hood being described as such, but I'll say it, this thing is classy. 

Can't imagine this'll go for much. Nah, no chance. Doesn't even have machine guns.

Why yes, you can bid on a pristine Buick Reatta at Barrett-Jackson!

I've never seen a Lotus Europa before. What a funny little thing. No wonder the Esprit hit everyone like a ton of bricks. "Wait, THOSE people made THAT?!?"

One of only two Mach 1's painted Midnight Orchid. You know, purple. And the yellow stripe. Fantastic. My mother was in agreement. 

Boy, driving these around Phoenix would be a public hazard. You'd be blinding people everywhere you go with reflections. 

How incredible is this Land Cruiser? The four doors! The color! The wheels! The winch!

It was recently revealed that one of our editors is a closet tractor enthusiast. This one's for you Mr. Snyder. 

Why yes, it is a Pinto and a Pacer. At least whoever parks these things has a sense of fitting placement. For the record, my Aunt Dianne said the Pacer has sensational visibility. 

Brown.

So you've been thinking about becoming an Amazon delivery driver but think the Ford Transit is just too common ... here you go! 

This generation of Thunderbird is recognized as the one where things started to go south. It would gain a four-door model and a Landau roof with those weird hearse things on the C pillar. It also gained eleventy hundred pounds. Alas, this one is quite lovely. Normal C pillar emblem and great black/red combo that showcases the car's extremely cool 1960s interior. 

And to end on a rather somber note, here is just one row of Paul Walker's cars up for auction at Barrett-Jackson. The man certainly had a type. 

The Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction is running until January 19, and is MUCH larger, busier and just crazier than I ever could've imagined. It's definitely worth a trip. If you can't make it this year, you'll be able to watch the auctions themselves on the Motor Trend TV channel.