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RK Motors will be holding an auction in Charlotte, NC from October 31 to November 3, that is sure to get fans of both historic production and racecars really excited.
The production metal on offer is wildly impressive, including a pair of Hemi 'Cudas (one of which is an ultra-rare convertible), one of just six Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR Roadsters, a Mercedes-powered Lotec, a 600-horsepower, NASCAR-engined 2010 Camry Coupe and a 1951 Crosley fire truck. Are we the only ones excited about there being a fire truck up for auction?
Old hook-and-ladder trucks aside, the racers that will cross the block are a lot more intriguing. RK Motors is calling it the "Legends of Motorsports" collection, and with cars driven by Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and James Hunt set to cross the block, who are we to argue?
The cars being auctioned lean heavily towards American championships, although there is one very, very special Formula One car included. Arguably the star of the show is the late Dale Earnhardt's 1977 Chevrolet Nova NASCAR, which the Intimidator used to great effect in a number of races. This multi-race winner is from the old school of NASCAR, with the lot description talking about how Earnhardt and his father-in-law, Robert Gee, Jr. took a hammer and hacksaw to the car to modify it for the 1986 season. This car has also ran Goodwood twice, is fully restored and should demand from $175,000 to $250,000.
Cars driven by Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and James Hunt are set to cross the block.
As for open-wheeled racers, there are two big highlights, in addition to a number of more modern offerings. First, is James Hunt's McLaren M26, the car the British playboy took his final Formula One victory with at the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix. This is its first time at auction, and it's expected to easily crest seven figures, with a projected price of $1.2 to $1.8 million. The other big-name car is Mario Andretti's Gurney Eagle, which the American ran at the 1974 Indianapolis 500, although he failed to finish, dropping out on the second lap. Andretti ran the Eagle through the rest of the season, though, with a best result of third at the USAC Championship, that year.
There are more than a few other racers, including AJ Foyt's race-winning, 1978 Camaro, which he drove to his final victories. Michael Waltrip's Pontiac Grand Prix from his rookie season is also going up for auction, and will be perfect for fans of Hawaiian Punch. Davey Allison's 1992 Ford Thunderbird NASCAR rounds out the NASCAR offerings, while a pair of Champ Cars from Scott Pruett and Cristiano Da Matta round out the racers. Even the off-road crowd is well represented, with Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's 1994 Toyota Baja racer set to cross the block.
Check out our gallery up top for some historical images of the assorted racers, and then head over to RK Motors's website to view the entire list of cars being auctioned. There are more than a few good ones to see.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Over the last decade or so, competition in NASCAR has led to some pretty funky looking racecars. And when the sport was still up and coming, the tight competition actually led to some interesting production cars. The Dodge Charger Daytona and Plymouth Superbird are perhaps the most well-known cars of the sport's "aero wars" era but the Ford Torino King Cobra might have been the most memorable of all, if not for some different homologation rules established in 1970. The Torino King Cobra never made it to production and never competed in NASCAR, but three examples exist including this one now for sale on eBay.
Designed as a successor for the aero-tuned Torino Talladega, the Torino King Cobra has a sleeker front end with hidden headlights and a sloped nose. As the story goes, NASCAR made a rule change in 1970 requiring 3,000 of the vehicles to be produced, which was substantially more than the 500 units required by the previous rule. One of the three prototypes ever built - and the only one built with the Boss 429 engine - is now for sale on eBay with a starting bid of $500,000. With a little more than three days left on the auction there are still no bids, but in the grand scheme of things this seems like a relatively fair price for a rare piece of automobile and racing history.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Legendary motorsports journalist and racing commentator, Chris Economaki, died late on Thursday evening at the age of 91.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1920, Economaki began working for National Speed Sport News at the tender age of 13, selling copies of the magazine. He worked for the publication in jobs as diverse as delivery boy, correspondent and publisher, and was named Editor in 1950. Economaki's column for the magazine, "The Editor's Notebook" was published for more than 50 years.
In later years the journalist began a career in broadcasting, serving as a commentator for ABC's Wide World of Sports and covering such racing highlights as the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, among many others. Economaki also appeared as a commentator for CBS Sports, ESPN's Speed Week, and Motorweek Illustrated on TBS. In total, his massive career covered every corner of motorsport, across the globe and spanned eight decades.
Brian France, CEO of NASCAR, said this of Economaki, "The passing of Chris Economaki is a tough loss for me on both a personal and professional level, having known Chris throughout my life. Many people consider Chris the greatest motorsports journalist of all time. He was, indeed, 'the Dean.'"
Scroll down to see a few videos of Economaki at home on the racetrack. In the first, Economaki talks with Dave Despain about the best driver he ever saw, and in the second, he adds insight to a special presentation about the 1965 12 Hours of Sebring. Good stuff, all.Permalink | Email this | Comments