The big Scottsdale auctions finished this past weekend, and the big Kahuna of the bunch – Barrett-Jackson – had a sale that just boggles the mind. When a 1967 Corvette coupe with the L88 motor rolled to the stage, it was immediately apparent that something was going on.
Since you should be on the up and up on L88s by now, you know they only made 20 in 1967 and they were a race engine in street motor dress. On paper they were rated at 430 horsepower, but hook up some headers and power will hit 560 horses. Prices for these cars have always been extremely strong, but Corvette fans have always been a special breed.
With bidding starting at over $1 million, it was clear there were bidders who meant business. This shouldn’t have been a surprise considering last September Mecum sold a L88 convertible for $3.2 million. In comparison, the one at Barrett-Jackson was a coupe, but it also is the most awarded 1967 L88 (if things like Bloomington and Duntov awards mean anything to you) out of the 20 built. When the gavel went down, someone was $3,850,000 poorer.
Yes, almost $4 million. For a Corvette.
Now if the Populist in you thinks that the old car hobby is for the rich, you may have a point. However, there were plenty of deals to be had at Barrett-Jackson, like this modified 1970 El Camino. Or this 1967 Dodge Custom Sports Special pickup. Even something as radical as a Model A hot rod could be purchased for a reasonable price.
Barrett-Jackson is a circus on TV that is equal parts Detroit and Hollywood, but it’s not the real world for most of us. See it for the entertainment that it is, but don’t for a moment think that you can’t be a part of the classic car hobby.