Written by independent automotive journalist David C. Neyens
Without doubt, the true joy of the collector car world lies in the many opportunities to meet so many interesting people with a shared passion – one rooted in great experiences and adventures shared with family and close friends. In the case of this very special offering, part of the Mile-High Collection, its depth and sheer diversity are the product of a true enthusiast’s heart and soul. For the owner of the Mile-High Collection, that first “special” car was the one that got away – a 1964 -1/2 Mustang owned by a reluctant seller. After plenty of hard work in the car-stereo and restaurant businesses, innovation and success in craft brewing eventually allowed the establishment of this collection about a decade ago, beginning with a succession of cars bearing strong personal connections.
While the car collection and the owner’s enthusiasm will surely continue, the time is right to make room for new additions, giving the Scottsdale 2022 bidders the opportunity to acquire many choice examples of classic American supercars, European sports and classic cars, and even a selection of interesting and influential cars that have only recently and deservedly begun to enjoy “collectible” status. Barrett-Jackson is thrilled to present this collection at the 2022 Scottsdale auction, and while there are dozens of cars in the collection, here is a representative cross-section for you to enjoy in advance.
Given the consignor’s love for the Mustang, it’s only natural that the Mile-High Collection would feature a strong representation of Ford’s influential pony car. Not one, but two, are special “ARI” Cobra Jet 1970 Mustangs ordered in late 1969 by American Raceways Inc. and intended for pace car duties at the company’s tracks. That deal soon fell through, with 96 cars bought by Ford’s Kansas City sales office and repurposed into the “Twister Special.” Just five ARI cars are known remaining. One of the ex-ARI “Twister Special” 1970 Mach 1 cars will also be offered, appropriately complemented by two 2008 Mustang Twister Specials – a Fastback with the rare optional glass roof section, and a Convertible.
A Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – the car that started the legend in 1969 – is yet another prime muscle car offering. Extremely rare today as one of 607 produced, it sits in even more exclusive company with Pontiac’s all-out Ram Air IV power plant and 4-speed. It headlines a pack of legendary GM F-Body performers at Scottsdale. The third-generation models are fast-rising collectibles today, and the Camaro Z/28-based IROC-Z of the 1980s enjoys a whole new fan base. Finished in white and sporting under 5,800 miles, this 1990 IROC-Z is a prime example and it will be one to watch on the Barrett-Jackson 2022 Scottsdale auction block.
No serious Ford performance collection can possibly be complete without a first generation Ford GT, and the Mile-High Collection will offer two great examples of these legends. Beginning with a silver 2005 Ford GT with approximately 6,000 miles and stripe delete, the collection also includes a virtually as-new, Gulf Oil-liveried 2006 Heritage Edition with under 40 miles.
While specifications, rarity, and performance grabs headlines, the collector-car lifestyle is all about having fun – and the Mile-High Collection will also feature a fun and festive 1956 Volkswagen 23-Window Transporter, also known as a Microbus in America or Samba through much of the world. Millions of movie fans coming of age in the early 1990s will instantly recognize a certain light blue 1976 AMC Pacer, the actual “Mirth Mobile” from the 1991 comedy hit “Wayne’s World.”
These are a few of nearly 70 outstanding collector cars in all to cross the block with No Reserve from the Mile-High Collection. They are offered from a true enthusiast and will provide a winning basis for your collection. Be sure to watch the online auction docket as more cars are posted daily while the countdown to our celebration of 50 years of The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions at 2022 Scottsdale continues!