Ahrens Fox, Diamond T & Volkswagen: Saturday's Barrett-Jackson Top Sellers
A fire truck, a pickup, a microbus, and some military and racing history
Saturday at Barrett-Jackson is commonly known as “Shatterday” as it’s typified by record-breaking sales. On our radar for today was the Snake and Mongoose pair of yellow and red 1967 Dodge D-700 ramp trucks and the two Plymouth drag cars that they carried. This friendly funny car rivalry heightened as Mattel Hot Wheels sponsored the pair in the early 70s, becoming one of the first non-automotive corporate sponsors of the NHRA. Little Hot Wheels toys brought the legendary cars to life for many young fans. Driver Don “The Snake” Prudhomme found his original yellow Dodge D-700 transporter truck a few years ago and restored it to go along with his restored original Barracuda Snake funny car from that time, the only surviving car. Luckily it was still locally owned by the same guy he sold it to in 1973. The reaction the restored duo received was so overwhelming that Prudhomme sought to find the matching red hauler of Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen. A long hunt brought him back to a relatively local field, where it was just wasting away in the weeds. The Mongoose truck was restored and now houses a display Duster Mongoose funny car that at least looks like the one from the 70s. The restored transporters were both fittingly used in the recent Snake & Mongoo$e movie, which debuted in October 2013. Anyway, the Hot Wheels package set, consisting of the two haulers and the funny cars, sold to NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner (Hendrick Motorsports) Rick Hendrick. Hendrick and Prodhomme negotiated a private sale after an initial no-sale on the block, as the $1 million bid apparently did not meet the reserve. Pretty cool piece of racing history!
A piece of military history – a 1959 Cessna L-19E airplane and 1958 Dodge M37 military truck - was sold for charity benefitting the Armed Forces Foundation. They sold for a decent amount, with the truck alone going for 350K.
Actually topping the Saturday charts were three unsuspecting vehicles, two of which you’ve probably never heard. A 1936 Ahrens Fox BT fire engine truck sold for 196K, followed by a 1948 Diamond T 201 pickup for 165K, then a 1961 Volkswagen Deluxe Microbus 23 Window for 148K. Wow! Ahrens Fox is kind of like the Rolls-Royce of fire engines, and this BT was one of six existing today. The Diamond T’s Barrett-Jackson description says that it is “probably one of the rarest collector trucks there is.” It has 18,502 original miles. In addition to bigger trucks, there were two models of Diamond T pickups – Model 80 and Model 201 (1938-1949). White Motor Corporation bought Diamond T in 1958. If you’re looking for a way to stand out, build yourself a Diamond T. Plus, Diamond T was known as “The Cadillac of Trucks.” As for the VW microbus, it has some rare factory options and has only 53 miles since its pristine restoration.
We could go on and on about each and every one of these vehicles, as each one tells its own story and holds its own place in history. Enjoy today’s collection!