Buick Blackhawk fetches $475,000 as GM peddles historical cars
More than 250 cars from GM’s Heritage Fleet went on the block at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., in what GM called routine housekeeping. The Heritage Fleet is made up of 1,000 vehicles and is more expendable -- and three times larger -- than the Heritage Collection.
“The Heritage Collection is sacred, a critical part of the history of GM,” said Brian Baker, GM manager and design historian. GM spokespeople said the sale had nothing to do with the cash crunch that has pushed the automaker to seek $13.4 billion in federal loans to stay afloat.
“All companies are always looking for money,” said Sean Finegan, corporate event vehicle manager.
GM has a say
The Heritage Fleet is populated with vehicles from throughout GM’s history. For the past five years, it has been pruned at Barrett-Jackson. A committee representing GM departments from design and marketing to powertrain and engineering has a say in what gets sold. If anyone objects, the car stays with GM.
“This has been a natural part of our process since 2004,” GM’s Baker said.
“Prices thus far have exceeded the market and have exceeded our expectations,” he said. “We just sold a ’91 ZR-1 for $100,000.”
The ZR-1 Chevrolet Corvette is one of the quickest and fastest performance cars ever made by GM. A 1990 ZR-1 “Active” prototype sold for $150,700. An ’89 -- the first year of ZR-1 production -- went for $110,000 on the first day of the auction. A 1997 Monte Carlo “Intimidator” show car made to honor Dale Earnhardt Sr. sold for $148,500.
Less significant cars went for more pedestrian prices. A 2003 Pontiac Sunfire, even though it was listed as a “Custom Coupe X-Plorers Concept,” drew $7,700. Likewise, a Tony Stewart Signature Series ’04 Monte Carlo garnered $15,400.
A Pontiac Aztek raised only $13,750, despite its status as the “2001 Daytona Pace Car.”
Reggie Jackson Camaro
The $348,000 proceed from the sale of the first retail production 2010 Camaro benefited the American Heart Association. Proceeds from the majority of the rest went to GM. A 1969 Camaro formerly owned by baseball slugger Reggie Jackson sold from the fleet for $319,000.
There also were race cars, such as a pair of Pennzoil-liveried IRL cars, a 1998 Chevy S10 drag truck, an Olds Aurora Exxon GTS car and a Chevy S10 stadium race truck.
Ford Motor Co. also sold a few cars: a Mustang Cobra Jet drag car and the first production versions of the GT500 Mustang and Raptor F-150. Proceeds from those three went to charity.
Both Ford and GM again featured consumer displays of current production cars at Barrett-Jackson to woo buyers. GM had space adjacent to the main auction tent, while Ford commandeered the main entrance, through which virtually everyone who entered the auction walked.