Six Absolutely Insane Cars You Didn't Know You Needed
A lifted Fiero, a wooden Jeep, and a Dumb and Dumber van? They're all at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale.
Barrett-Jackson is an excellent venue to buy a true collector-grade car, from vintage American iron to the latest high-horsepower supercars. Still, some of the cars we love most at each Barrett-Jackson sale are the wild, wacky, and just plain weird custom vehicles that inevitably show up at auction after auction. This year's 2020 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction in the company's home state of Arizona is no exception. Here are six crazy cars with emotional value that far exceeds their actual worth in dollars.
Lifted 1984 Pontiac Fiero
We all remember the Pontiac Fiero, the sports car that was designed to take on an affordable mid-engine market segment that included the Fiat X1/9 and Toyota MR2. This one is a mashup of Ferrari styling cues including faux side strakes and plenty of F-car badging, all set atop a lifted Chevy Blazer 4x4 chassis to keep it all in the GM family. The original 2.5-liter inline-four engine and four-speed manual gearbox has been ditched for a 5.7-liter V-8 and a three-speed TH350 automatic. It's difficult to say where this one might end up, though no reserve price means a sure sale at whatever the high bid may be. We're guessing bids will wind up a bit ahead of what a stock Fiero might bring, but significantly behind what a clean Blazer would sell for, older SUVs being popular auction commodities these days.
1972 Cadillac Custom Wagon "Pirate Surf Mobile"
Looking for a sweet ride to get you and your mateys down to the beach this summer? Custom-car builder Richard Fletcher was inspired to create this 28-foot-long beast, loaded with a modified 8.2-liter V-8, a four-speed automatic gearbox and a strange quad-front-wheel setup that we'd guess is mainly for aesthetics rather than any sort of dynamic improvement. A pirate-themed mural on the rear cargo door really says it all, although you'll have to get creative to actually use this neo pirate mover, as it's not currently street-legal.
2003 Ford Econoline Custom Van "Mutt Cutts" Replica from Dumb and Dumber
Dumb just got a whole lot dumber with this "Shaggin Wagon," a replica of the "Mutt Cutts" van from 1994 film Dumb and Dumber, featuring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. This re-creation started life as a 2003 Ford Econoline before being given a carpeted exterior and plenty of movie-themed props including a briefcase, helmet, goggles, captain's chairs, and a television setup that plays the movie. Perhaps appropriately, the van was once recorded as a total loss according a Missouri damage report. A replica of the flick's minibike is also included.
1985 Ford LTD Custom Station Wagon "Family Truckster"
As one of the most iconic road-trip machines going, the "Family Truckster" as used by the Griswold family in the famous National Lampoon Vacation movie has quite a fan base. That inspired Bandit Movie Cars, a firm most noted for its Smokey and the Bandit movie-car replicas, to try their hand at a Family Truckster tribute car. It's based on a 1985 Ford LTD wagon and packs a 4.9-liter V-8 and automatic transmission. The details look pretty good, from the copious amounts of faux wood paneling to the quad headlights and rear fender vents. Who's up for a trip to Wally World this summer?
1960 Willys Jeep Custom
It's the answer to a question nobody had: what if Willys had made Jeep bodies out of wood? We'll, we'd guess you'd have pretty much what you see here, a 1960 Willys Jeep with bodywork handmade from 1-inch-thick maple and cherry wood. The panels are held together with wood screws inserted every four inches and some 10 coats of varnish were used to finish the project. All that wood may be a fair amount of weight for the four-cylinder engine to handle, but at least a four-speed manual transmission will help the new owner make the best of what power is on tap. We love the attention to detail this Jeep boasts, right down to the hand-built wooden seats. We wouldn't want to subject this one to the rigors of off-roading, but as a parade car or local cruiser, it's tough to beat.
2000 Mercedes-Benz E320 Custom Truck
Long before there was the Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup truck, there was this: a 2000 Mercedes E320 wagon that was lovingly converted to a luxury air-hauler. The conversion was said to have commissioned by its first owner, an Atlanta, Georgia Mercedes dealer who managed to put some 21,000 miles on the odometer before its sale at Barrett-Jackson. To facilitate the conversion, the chassis was lengthened by 29 inches, the rear wagon body panels were removed and a diamond-plate-lined cargo bed was fabricated. Individual rear bucket seats and 18-inch AMG Monoblock wheels are both custom touches, while the stock 3.2-liter V-6 engine remains untouched.