A Day at the Collector Car Show

Mary toured Europe in a VW bus in 1965.

Mary and I went to the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction this week. The show is so good that people from all over the country flew in to attend. One of the first booths displayed a 1966 VW bus that brought back memories to Mary of her trip to Europe when she was 12 years old in 1965. Her parents bought a VW bus in the USA, flew themselves and Mary, Chet, Susan, and Carol to Glasgow, picked up the bus, spent a month visiting relatives in Scotland, saw the white cliffs of Dover, shipped the bus by hovercraft to Cherbourg in Normandy, drove around the Black Forest and Munich in Germany and Austria, and saw Venice, Rome, Zurich and the Matterhorn. They returned with the bus on the Queen Mary, and used the bus on weekends to visit the lakes in northern Minnesota.

The collector car show sells anything, as long as it's expensive.

Only about half of the booths at the show sold cars. For example, we went inside an RV that weighs 44,000 lbs. and costs $630,000. One exhibitor guides hunters on fair chase hunting, a style where the prey, bear and moose, has a chance of escaping death. His lodge is located 450 miles north of Vancouver. Other exhibitors were selling fishing trips in Alaska and British Columbia. Many artists exhibited their paintings and sculptures not only of cars, but of rock stars, clocks, and 100 other things. C. Hess Originals boasts that they produce the finest sculptures of their kind, and they’re not exaggerating even a little bit!

Several bike manufacturers strutted their stuff at the show. Driftwood Cruisers makes beach cruisers where the frame is made of wood, and they published a great gallery of their products. Rhoades Car makes 4 wheel drive bikes suitable for roads where car traffic is light. I spoke with the owner of Phantom Bikes, a company that retrofits a Felt Bicycles beach cruiser with a motor. Unfortunately, the model is being discontinued, so Phantom found a Chinese manufacturer to make it for them. The owner told me that he wouldn’t add a motor to my Felt Bicycles limited edition Red Baron because that would deface it, like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa. I own a collectable!

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