The start of the New Year seems to bring out the nostalgia in people because the Valley seems awash in car, truck, and historic RV shows. Running right now is the famous Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction Event in Scottsdale.
Now through January 20 th famous cars like Robosaurus, the fire-breathing, truck-eating monster seen in many truck-pull events throughout the country, perfectly restored muscle cars from the 1960’s and ‘70’s, as well as many highly prized collector automobiles from carmakers worldwide will be available for viewing and auctioning.
The Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction has already drawn more attendance than last year’s event on Family Day and seems to grow larger with each passing year. “Family and car enthusiasts from across the country came together to help kick off another stellar Barrett-Jackson Auction”, said Craig Jackson, Chairman/ CEO of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company. “In only its third year, Family Value Day has become one of the most anticipated and action-packed days of the auction week. Most importantly we welcomed hundreds of local service men and women, police officers and firefighters to Family Value Day at no charge as a special thanks for their hard work.”
Saturday’s events will show everything from a 1955 Pontiac Chieftain 2 door hardtop to a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T and every type of muscle and specialty car in between those years and beyond. Whether you’re looking to see a restored Cadillac Eldorado Coupe or a ’65 Cobra Series 4000, the Barrett-Jackson event has it all!
To find out more about Barrett-Jackson’s schedule of events you can go online at www.barrett-jackson.com and click “2008 Carlist” at the top of the website. There’s simply too much to see and you sure don’t have to be a high-roller car auctioneer to enjoy the event! Barrett-Jackson is held each year at Westworld in Scottsdale.
Another great event that is coming up in just two weeks offers car nostalgia of a different kind. The Arizona National Guard armory, located at 52nd St. and McDowell Road is holding The 16 th Annual Papago Military Show. This show features some of the most exciting and unusual military vehicles in perfectly restored condition dating back to World War II all the way up to vehicles used in Afghanistan and Iraq. This event has something for the entire family. Trucks, vintage jeeps, tanks, Humvees, mixed with trade shows, entertainment, food, army surplus items, and auctions under tents and structures that will hold interest to the whole family. To see the Papago Military Show you simply need to bring a can or two of non-perishable canned goods to the Arizona National Guard Armory the weekend of Saturday, January 26 th and Sunday, January, 27 th . This event was very popular last year and the Armory, set in the Papago Buttes, is a great setting for such a patriotic-inspired show. For more information you can call (480) 497-9722 after 5pm MST, or go online to www.armytrucks.org. See you there!
Speaking of nostalgic vehicles, thirty years ago The Mesa Tribune published the story of “The Housecar”. Some thirty years later this RV is still in the same family being hand down generation to generation for safe-keeping. In 1928 Mesa resident, George Earle purchase a 1926 Housecar. Having paid only $1,000 for the unique vehicle was considered a real bargain to the Earle family. Eighty years later the ’26 Housecar, built by the Weidman Body Company of Tonawanda, NY, is a classic RV. Only in those days the term “RV” was still decades away from being used as a common acronym for recreational vehicles. The vintage RV body is mounted on a Jordan chassis, has a straight eight cylinder continental engine and wooden spoke wheels that were both standard and the big rage of the late 1920’s.
As motor homes go, gas mileage usually falls by the wayside. But in it’s heyday the 1926 Housecar was filling up at the gas pumps for the phenomenal price of just 22 cents a gallon! Few Americans remember that the late 1920’s was a real camping era for families on vacation. Before the Great Depression of the 1930’s sidelined the recreation auto industry, most Americans of the day looked forward to a vacation camping “in the great outdoors.” Having a vehicle like the Housecar, with kitchen features and a roof over your head that you could drive wherever you go, was a real bonus! By the mid 1920’s built camping bodies on whatever car frame the customer had or wanted. Fast forward 80 years and today Rob Crist, Vice President and General Manager of Robert Crist & Company, the Mesa RV dealership, remarks that “collapsible canvass side of the Housecar, is one example of a special feature that may have evolved into today’s “sliders”. Sliders are whole walls that increase the interior space of ultra-modern motor homes.
Earle, today, is getting set to pass on the Housecar to his son. Unable to stand decades of desert sun and heat the the original 1926 Housecar has taking a pounding over the years. Wooden floorboards have rotted, and paint has faded. Earle has turned down numerous offers to sell the vehicle in hopes that his son will be able to restore this first generation RV and one day donate it to a museum.
Keep posted to On The Arizona Road for further updates and pictures of a lot of car and truck show events coming to the Valley. They’d all enjoy having you and your family there to showoff a bit of history and look to the future together!