Up Close and Personal with “80 Icons of Speed and Style”

hot rods and historic race cars at "Icons of Speed auction"Not all of you ladies and gents can imagine a car being raised to the status of an icon or art form. In fact I haven’t always myself. However, the more I get to work on and see cars, the more enamored I’m becoming. After attending RM Auctions “Icons of Speed and Style” my car love-o-meter has just shot through the roof!

An auction doesn’t sound that exciting you say? What if I told you that all of the 80 iconic cars being sold in this no-reserve auction were available to peruse up close and personal? Yep… you could even touch em’! At most car shows, the best cars are roped off to keep you admiring from a distance. There were no ropes at the Friday preview before RM’s “Icons of Speed and Style” auction at The Peterson Museum in Los Angeles, California.

With nearly seven million dollars being drawn in by the auction, people putting out the money needed to really see what they were paying for. So when I arrived during preview day, I was able to get as close as I wanted to each car. With 80 cars to look at, my head was spinning and I didn’t know what direction to go first! I felt like a little kid in a candy store.

As I walked around trying not to drool, I began taking notice of who else was there. Some people seemed excited, others were strictly business. I overheard many sentimental comments of “Remember when…” or “Remember that car that….” Who has this sort of money and spends it on cars like these? There were businessmen doing the work for someone else, moneyed looking older folks, and of course a few Japanese… they go wild in Tokyo over hot rods! But there were also some regular looking car people. In fact, I met a few guys who had previously owned and restored some of the cars present!

hot rods and historic race cars at "Icons of Speed auction"While the theme to the Pink Panther played in the background, my mind wandered to hair-brained heists and I began feeling a little villainous. Looking at Deora, my surprise favorite, I imagined getting inside, swinging the swiveling steering wheel in front of me and driving out the front doors. Could I get away with it? Would anyone notice? I don’t imagine the cops would have too hard of a time finding me driving that masterpiece around LA!

So rather than becoming a felon, I satiated myself with the fact that I could examine all 80 of these cars as much as I wanted to. When else would I get the chance to check out the unique engine set-up of Ed Roth’s “Road Agent” or look underneath at the belly pan of the Khougaz Lakes Roadster?!? I nearly wanted to jump through the window of General Lee and was considering taking a try at the backseat of Elvis’ Lincoln Continental Limo, but I thought better of it.

hot rods and historic race cars at "Icons of Speed auction"While not too many folks were around for preview day, I heard auction day was standing room only! Though everyone was betting on Deora to take home top pocket, it was beat out by the surprise bidding on the “Little Red Wagon” of Bill “Maverick” Golden drag racing fame. The pre-sale estimate of this wheel-standing truck was $200,000 to $300,000 but a surprise bidder overshot everyone with a winning $550,000 bid! The Deora did well also at $324,500, making it the second highest grossing sale.

If only you could have been there, for only $132,000 you could have driven home in the 1969 Ford Mustang “Mr. Gasket Gasser.” Since ya weren’t there and I’m guessing you probably don’t have that kinda change lying around, good thing I took a lot of pictures. You can check them all out in the MyRideisMe.com Icons of Speed and Style picture gallery. Hopefully they’ll inspire you to what skill, engineering, and invention can build.

As I took one last glance at all these beauties under one roof, I couldn’t help but imagine all the history and personal stories that went with them. I walked outside, took a seat in my own work-in-progress 1955 Studebaker Champion, and was glad to be rolling down the asphalt in a classic. She may not be as iconic as the 80 that were up for auction – but to me she’s just as special.

You can also see the full auction results at RM Auctions homepage or some high quality pre-auction pictures featured in the Icons of Speed preview story.

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