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Wilson's Auto Restoration Blog

Resto-Mods and Other Classics Heading to Barrett Jackson 2018 in Vegas.

The final stop of the Barrett Jackson 2018 tour is headed to Mandalay Bay in Vegas Sept. 27-29.  It is bound to be 3 days of excitement and entertainment as hundreds of classics, exotics and custom resto-mods cross the stage.

The chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson Auction Company, Craig Jackson, was recently in Detroit on business.  While there he learned that the automotive aftermarket industry that produces crate engines and components will likely see annual sales cross the $1 billion-dollar mark.

These expected sales figures show how strong the resto-mod community really is.  Resto-mods refer to classic cars, usually from the 1950s thru early 1970s, that have been customized and modified to include better performance and more creature comforts.  These cars are packed with modern technology while still maintaining the classic lines we all fell in love with decades ago.

“When you walk up to a modified vehicle, you can tell when it was done by the components that were put into it and the technology of the time,” says Jackson. “It’s amazing how fast some stuff is changing from one year to the next. When you go to SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) nowadays, you see just how much stuff is being produced for that market. It’s not fringe anymore; it’s mainstream.”

The auction happening in Vegas this month will play host to more than 200 resto-mod classics.  Most of these vehicles will cross the block at no reserve.  We have our eyes on a few that are expected to deliver some serious bidding competition on the auction floor.  Here are the resto-mods to watch…

Lot #755  1955 CHEVROLET BEL AIR NOMAD CUSTOM WAGON.

This custom Nomad is a ground-up restoration with a ‘60s hot-rod theme. There are tons of high-end modifications done to this ride!  All of these modifications rest under one sick paint job.  It is called Corvette Atomic Orange and pictures just cannot do this car justice.  It really needs to be seen in person to truly appreciate it.

This resto-mod Nomad has won multiple awards and has been featured as a centerfold in Chevy Classics magazine.  This Nomad has kept the original muscle wagon look that people are looking for, all while housing top level performance parts.  It’s a perfect blend of modern performance and classic style.

Lot #736  1966 CHEVROLET NOVA CUSTOM COUPE.

It has taken more than $325,000 to get this custom Nova to where it is today.  It is up for sale with no reserve, so there are no guarantees that the winning bid will recoup the costs.  Painted PPG Torch red with a tri-tone racing stripe, this Nova looks fairly original at first glance, but a closer look reveals the customizations from bumper to bumper.

Lot #771  1971 DODGE CHALLENGER MR. NORM’S CUSTOM CONVERTIBLE.

This 707-horsepower monster has the new Hellcat 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine in it.  It is an outstanding example of using the latest in Mopar technology, yet still looks like the coveted 1971 Dodge Challenger that collectors all yearn to have in their collection.

This Challenger is also serial #001 in the new series of Mr. Norm’s continuation vehicles. This resto-mod convertible took over 2,500-man hours to complete and no detail has been left undone in its design and construction.

1972 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Convertible ‘Speedvette’.

It took 4 years to create this masterpiece known as “Speedvette”.  There was no expense spared when creating this 1972 Corvette resto-mod.  Every inch of this vehicle has been molded and tweaked into a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Modifying one to have a 525 hp, 6.2-liter engine sounds like it is warranted considering an original stock 1972 Vette would typically only have 180hp.   “This is why GM is selling crate engines left and right,” Jackson says. “It’s breathing new life into these cars.”

Lot #737  1971 PLYMOUTH HEMI ‘CUDA CUSTOM HARDTOP.

Our final favorite that we will be watching is this 1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda, nicknamed “Orangasm”. This vehicle is a complete custom resto-mod.  It has a 6.1-liter HEMI engine from Chrysler’s SRT cars with a MagnaCharger kicking out over 600hp under the hood.

The hood itself was customized to be see through yet keep the original shaker hood scoop styling.  This HEMI Cuda was awarded with Builder’s Choice at Goodguys Lone Star Nationals in Texas 2016.  It should pull in a pretty penny on auction day.

Resto-Mods will only make up a portion of the vehicles that will be auctioned of later this month.  There are lots of other interesting vehicles on the docket.  For instance a 1971 Mercedes Benz that was once owned by Elvis will be sold at the show with no reserve.

Exotics like the 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder and the 2018 McLaren 720s will certainly be catching the attention of petrol heads that weekend.  Other notable collections will be auctioned off as well like the John Staluppi Jr. Collection, the Martin Seelos Collection, and the Bryan Frank Collection.

We will be watching all of the exhilaration from our living room as Velocity TV covers all the action, but secretly wish we were at Mandalay Bay to absorb some of that auction air of excitement.

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