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A slice of Americana: The Auburn Spring Collector Car Weekend

16 April, 2015

A park filled with hundreds of American muscle cars, classics, sports cars, and hot rods would do it for most petrolheads that have their heads screwed on right. And that is exactly what’s going to be on offer at the Auburn Spring Collector Car Weekend, at the Auburn Auction Park in Indiana, USA, over May 7–9 this year.

Auburn Spring has become a must-attend event on the American automotive calendar, featuring more than just an auction, with a car corral, swap meet, and AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) Special National Spring Meet.

As far as the auction side of things goes, a range of fine vehicles can be expected, including this 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T. The immaculate muscle car, finished in ‘Lemon Twist’ is powered by the legendary 426 Hemi V8, topped with a rare factory ‘N96’ shaker hood option, and backed by an A833 four-speed manual transmission. Such a desirable car, in this condition, is expected to go for between $340–380,000.

In addition to, and on the opposite end of the spectrum from, the Mopar muscle is this 2006 Ford GTX1 TT ‘Spyder’. The unique supercar is one of only 30 built by the Ford-authorized coachbuilder, Genaddi Design Group, before they ceased business. The striking car is powered by a 5.4-litre V8, producing an astonishing 1000hp, and is expected to go for between $300–350,000.

The Buick Regal GNX is another strange one; though the car design of the ’80s isn’t generally regarded as being the strongpoint of automotive history, it hasn’t failed to make the Buick GNX a highly desirable car. With blistering performance, thanks to its turbocharged six-cylinder engine, this genuine example, with only 119 miles on the odometer is expected to go for upwards of $100,000 — who’d have ever believed that 20 years ago?  

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.