Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Old cars come to the office for the Spring Adesa Classic

My wife and son were in town last weekend to visit during our transition from Kansas City to Nashville for my new job. Saturday morning, I asked them if they wanted to check out my office at the Adesa Nashville Auction on our way out to look at some houses. Of course, I had no idea that they were having a classic car auction at that very time. No idea at all. I hadn’t noticed all the old cars showing up during the week, or the signs and posters that were hanging all over. And I really don’t know where those three visitor passes came from that were in my pocket. It was a complete surprise. But while we were there, I figured I had better take a few pictures. Good thing I happened to have my camera.

One of my favorite cars at this event was this ’57 Chrysler Saratoga. I have actually drooled over this thing before. About three years ago, it was for sale at Wagner’s Classic Car Sales in Bonner Springs, Kan. At the time, it was one of the only ones I had ever seen. And my opinion hasn’t changed any. It’s still a knockout. This is a stunning example of Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look” design. These cars were a little tinny. They were prone to rust. They had some quality control issues. But just look at it. That style more than made up for it.

Staying with 1957 for a minute, here’s one that everyone is familiar with. There were actually two Matador Red ’57 Chevy Bel Air convertibles sitting nose-to-nose, but this one was the star. Has there ever been a car more famous, more iconic, and more desirable than this one? Add the fact that it had factory fuel injection and a Continental Kit, and you’re looking at the quintessential 1950s car. I love that it had a three-speed manual transmission in it, too—that’s good stuff right there.

My wife’s favorite car was this ’63 Rambler American convertible. I think it should be obvious why she liked it—because it’s cute. Here’s another one that you aren’t going to see very often. But the beauty of this one is that it’s also cheap. This little guy sold for only $6,900. You sure aren’t going to get a ’57 Chevy convertible for that kind of money, and my wife never even gave those a second glance. This Rambler even had an aftermarket hang-on air conditioner in it, so you can experience its cuteness in comfort, even on a hot day.

My ten-year-old son’s favorite car, on the other hand, was this 2010 Camaro SS that had been converted into a Firebird Trans Am. I’ve been to the SEMA show a few times, so I’m pretty familiar with these types of cars. I forgot to look at the information on the car, but I think this looks like a Projx Auto conversion. I actually think it’s one of the best ones of these I’ve seen. Some of them really get the grille and taillights wrong, but they knew what they were doing here. Like me, this car also came down from Missouri. It was offered for sale by Fast Lane Classic Cars in St. Charles.

The car most likely for Craig to own was this ’78 Caprice Landau coupe. My dad had so many of these when they were new, I felt like a kid again when I stuck my head through the window. This car wasn’t as showy as some of the things there, but I really liked it all the same. The red vinyl interior was original and nice. The old car only had 60,000 miles on the clock. And the Rally Wheels even looked pretty decent on there. Plus, it only sold for $4,250, which I consider to be a bargain. We’re in the middle of buying a house right now, so old cars that we don’t need are not a priority. But this old Caprice really spoke to me.

The sun was kind of hitting this at a bad angle to take a picture, but this ’60 Impala coupe caught my eye. The auction bill called it “teal”, but this was really called Tasco Turquoise. I like the color, and I like it even better because the top wasn’t painted white. This car even had a 348 with three carburetors. It would have had a little better curb appeal with the correct-sized wide whitewalls on it, but it probably drives better like this. The car sold for $24,500. And speaking of selling cars, see those GM Sponsored Auctions banners in the background? That’s actually the auction lane I’m responsible for during our GM dealer sales. I’ve already sold several Impalas at that very spot, although they were more than 50-years newer than this one.

I went ahead and snapped 133 pictures of this “surprise” auction before we went real estate shopping, and you can see them in the slideshow below. Or click this link for a nicer version.



  1. Looks COOL Craig! So nice to see an ADESA auction that doesn't look like a parking lot pole joke!!! Thats a great sale and a super city! BEST OF LUCK!!

  2. Craig, I love 57 Chevys as much as you and everyone. Are you aware of the fact that Chevrolet was the leading care maker from 1935 until, can you believe it, 1957? That was the first time in 22 years that Ford out sold Chevy. Kind of ironic that Chevrolets most famous and popular model was out sold in 1957. Roger Grotewold Grotewold Chevrolet Co. Larchwood, Iowa

  3. Looks like some great stuff there!

  4. I've been to a few ADESA car shows down here in Florida , and this looks pretty good compared to the local ones here. Hope its Okay if we Pin some of the Cars onto our Pinterest account!