SPEED™ readies 39 hours of live BARRETT-JACKSON Collector Car Auction Coverage from Scottsdale, Ariz.

January 4, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – SPEED, the definitive network for NASCAR, high-performance competition and the automotive lifestyle, is set for 39 hours of live coverage from the 39th annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction from Westworld in Scottsdale (Ariz.) starting Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

The annual ‘no reserve’ auction will anchor six-consecutive broadcast days on SPEED, and will be highlighted by some of the rarest and most desirable collector cars within the marketplace today. This week-long fete has been considered by some in the industry as the defining barometer for the direction of the collector car marketplace each New Year.

“The Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction has long been one of the network’s signature events,” said Rick Miner, SPEED SVP of Production & Network Operations. “As always, Craig (Jackson, Barrett-Jackson Chairman/CEO), Steve (Davis, Barrett-Jackson President) and the entire Barrett-Jackson team have already assembled a wide and impressive array of pristine collector cars. Make sure you see it all live and in high definition exclusively on SPEED.”

As with past auctions, the SPEED Barrett-Jackson team will be anchored through the play-by-play talents of Bob Varsha, ‘Voice of Formula One on SPEED.’ He’ll be joined by Motor Trend Executive Editor Matt Stone, who’s also the author of Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman. Perusing the auction block will be automotive expert and the ‘Voice of NASCAR on FOX,’ Mike Joy, along with Steve Magnante, a successful automotive freelance writer and leading muscle car authority. Arizona resident and car connoisseur Rick DeBruhl will be traveling the auction tents to provide the numerous tidbits and lifestyle stories that accent every Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction. In addition, DeBruhl will also be previewing the many cars that will make up SPEEDtv.com’s interactive Fantasy Bid Game.

“This is an exciting time to be part of the collector car hobby, and we look forward to another successful show with our partners at SPEED,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “Like last year, we’re going to offer cars for every level of collector, from new buyers to seasoned vets. Several high profile vehicles are ready to cross the block, including a pair of original Shelby Cobras, Buddy Holly’s ‘58 Impala and the only airworthy 1929 Hamilton Metalplane H-47 in existence. We’ll also sell the original Ford Model A getaway car used by infamous crook John Dillinger in Wisconsin.”

Among the other cars topping this year’s auction will be the ‘no reserve’ sale of the now famous ‘Gate Job’ Mercury Comet ‘fliptop’ Funny Car (Lot 1306) driven by Pete Gates back in the mid-to-late 60s. The car – a 1966 ‘fliptop’ Comet body mounted on a brand new (at the time) Logghe Chassis – is the oldest known surviving ‘fliptop’ Funny Car still in existence. This car was one of the first five ever built, with the original four given to ‘Dyno’ Don Nicholson, Jack Chrisman, Ed Schartman and the (Bill) Kenz & (Ron) Leslie team. Gates nabbed the leftover body, which he received at the beginning of the 1967 season. The car is now considered ‘The Grandfather of All Funny Cars.’

During that period of automotive history, Detroit auto manufacturers invested a lot of time, money, research and development into the sport of drag and match racing. This car was one of the first five ever built by Lincoln-Mercury, and those cars’ success were key in ushering a whole new era of Funny Car design that still exists today.

“In 1966, Lincoln-Mercury dropped an ‘A-Bomb’ on Chrysler’s altered wheelbase match race ‘Funny Cars’ with a fleet of four ‘state-of-the-art’ fiberglass-bodied Mercury Comet ‘fliptop’ Funny Cars,” said Magnante, the former technical editor for HOT ROD magazine. “Each rode on a Logghe Brothers steel tube frame and was powered by a 427 SOHC (Single Overhead Cam) Ford Cammer mill. At about 1,700 pounds race ready, these ‘fliptop’ Funny Cars devastated the 800-pound heavier Mopar Funny Cars and essentially set out the ‘blueprint’ for the modern Funny Car as we know it today. John Force wouldn’t be who he is today if L-M/Logghe Bros. hadn’t conjured these wild ‘fliptop’ machines.”

A couple of other truly significant cars to cross the auction block at ‘no reserve’ will be a pair of 1969 Plymouth Roadrunners. The first, Lot No. 1262, is the initial A12 Roadrunner to ever come off the factory assembly line. The ‘A12’ designation refers the limited production, high-performance (440 Six Pack) option sold to the public for competition (mainly drag racing). This was also the actual car used and tested by former NHRA hero and factory Mopar racer Ronnie Sox in Super Stock magazine’s popular ‘Professional vs. Journalist’ article.

“As they say, there is only one ‘first’ and while the mechanical elements of this car aren’t any different than those of the subsequent A12 Six Pack units – of which 3,369 were built (number includes Plymouth Road Runner Six Barrel cars as well as Dodge Super Bee Six pack car total) – there is ‘only one number one,’” Magnante said. “That makes this car (Lot 1262) stand head and shoulders above any subsequent A12 (440 Six Pack) Super Bee every built.”

The other car, Lot No. 1262.1, might be one of the most documented and chronicled muscle cars currently in existence today. Bathed in bright green, this 1969 Plymouth Barracuda is the ‘Project Six Pack’ car that owner and writer Ted Struse debuted in the July 1972 issue of Super Stock & Drag Illustrated magazine. Knowing how special it was from the factory, Struse purchased the car as a magazine project and through the pages of his magazine turned this Cuda into a NHRA winner and eventually, a multi-time class record holder.

“The 440 Six BBL Road Runner’s (Lot 1262.1) claim to fame is not just that it is a rare mid-year muscle car offering (a corporate cousin to the Six Pack Super Bee), but also that it was a very high profile magazine project car,” Magnante continued. “Since 1964, Super Stock & Drag Illustrated (SSDI) magazine has been one of the most read car magazines among enthusiasts of Detroit high-performance machinery. Though SSDI was terminated about 10 years ago, vintage issues are very collectible and are highly sought after among today’s muscle car enthusiasts. So, to have an actual magazine project car (Ted Struse’s ‘Project Six Pack’) from the legendary SSDI magazine, that’s a double-quadruple, ‘cherry-on-top’ of this already special 19691/2 Road Runner A12 Six Barrel car.”

Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event Coverage

2010 – Scottsdale, Ariz.
(All Times Eastern)

Tuesday, Jan. 19
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event 7 p.m. – Midnight (Live)

Wednesday, Jan. 20
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event 7 p.m. – Midnight (Live)

Thursday, Jan. 21
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event 7 p.m. – Midnight (Live)

Friday, Jan. 22
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event 2 p.m. – Midnight (Live)

Saturday, Jan. 23
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event 2 p.m. – Midnight (Live)

Sunday, Jan. 24
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. (Live)

SPEED is the nation’s first and foremost cable television network dedicated to motor sports and the passion for everything automotive. From racing to restoration, motorcycles to movies, SPEED delivers quality programming from the track to the garage. Now available in more than 79 million homes in North America, SPEED is among the fastest-growing sports cable networks in the country and, the home to NASCAR on SPEED and an industry leader in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services. For more information, please visit SPEEDtv.com, the online motor sports authority.