Having seen an Amphicar in action, I can vouch that what looks like an ungainly and stumpy ride on dry land transforms into the coolest craft upon the waves. The first truly submersible car/boat requires massive upkeep to stay in driving/floating condition, and with only 3,878 built, the surviving examples have become sought-after collector cars.
"They aren’t horrible to drive, but the truth is, they weren’t a very good car and they weren’t a very good boat," says Joy. "However, they could be used as either and they have a small, somewhat twisted, yet very avid following.”
How avid? Last March, a similar Amphicar drew $63,000 at auction, from someone who clearly saw the price as buying two kinds of classics in one.
Once made famous as Steve Urkel's ride of choice, BMW's diminutive four-wheeler ranks among the more hotly contested classic minicars around, with mint-condition examples running close to $50,000.
"The taxi theme is kind of interesting because these are only two-seaters to begin with, and the only door is in the front," Joy said, adding "this car will probably sell for more than it would cost to buy a brand new New York City taxi today."
It's too bad Ricardo Montalbán isn't still around to introduce the 1981 Zimmer, the rich Corinthian leather of motoring, inasmuch as it's a made-up thing (from fiberglass panels bolted to the body of a Ford Granada) that sounds super classy. Zimmer calls its cars "neo-classics," not kits, and will build a new one from a modern Ford Mustang for $133,000. Copies such as this one typically run anywhere from $16,000 to $25,000.
I wish the builder of this toy chopper from a kid's fairground ride had shared the same amount of imagination as the Yellow Submarine crew and done this as a proper tribute to Airwolf.
When Peter Fonda rode a Harley in "Easy Rider," he never imagined that one day someone would pay homage to the spirit of freedom he embodied by buying a 100th Anniversary Edition Harley and immediately putting it back in its shipping container. The target market for this will be the same guy who drove his Dodge Shelby Shadow a mile a year.
For the past decade, self-employed logger Dale Ison has commissioned artist Mickey Harris to create airbrushed tribute vehicles; if you've been to a regional car show, you've probably seen the "Heroes" Cadillac Escalade in its chromed, history-blending glory. Ison has put that Escalade up for sale at Barrett-Jackson this year, along with what ranks as the most over-the-top semi-tractor and trailer ever conceived. Dubbed "Dragon Master," the hand-painted murals took about 3,800 man-hours of work, and Ison has estimated the value of time and materials at $130,000. If there's anyone in the world who shares Ison's fervor for Kenworth-powered dragon fighting Norsemen on horseback, they'll probably have a bidding card at Barrett-Jackson