16 May 2011

Power with a passion

Wally Lewis collected cars they way one should – with a passion.

It’s reflected in his choices. Among the 92 cars he bought, the majority are GM and Ford convertibles and muscle cars from 1955 to 1970.

They are dazzling, in the brightest colors you could buy – orange, red, yellow, pink, turquoise, gold and electric-blue metallic – two-tone if it was available. Lewis loved performance, so if big blocks were available and he could find 4-speeds, that’s what he bought.

Even if all these cars weren’t born with the high-power options they now have, they are the way you’d want them, and the restorations are uniformly excellent.

Included in the sale are Tri-Five Chevys and Fords, coupes, convertibles and Nomad wagons. Fuel-injected cars include a 1957 Corvette and a 1959 Impala 4-speed convertible in Frost Blue.

Fords include Tri-Five convertibles and coupes, with a glass-top Crown Victoria, an immaculate 1955 Thunderbird, a superb 1959 Ford retractable hardtop and two ‘66 T-birds – a coupe and convertible.

If you like big-block Chevy muscle, how about ’58, ‘59,‘60, ‘61, ‘62, ‘63, ’64, ’65 and ’66  Impala Super Sports coupes and convertibles – including a ‘64 Impala Super Sport Coupe with 409/425 dual-fours, 4-speed and air-conditioning from Nevada?

Or how about a 1967 427/385 horsepower Impala Super Sport coupe, with its original window sticker from the Oklahoma dealer who sold it new? Performance options added 30 percent to the car’s original $3,000 price. Later sports cars include three Corvette ZR-1s, a 1990, 1993 and 1995.

Lewis liked 1936 Fords and there’s a rumble-seat roadster, convertible cabriolet, three-window coupe, convertible sedan, phaeton and hotrod pickup. He also bought a first-year 1939 Mercury Convertible coupe and 1940 Ford pickup and coupe.

Pickups range from a 1930 Model A truck to a 2005 Dodge SRT-10 with only 762 miles from new, through a complete range of mid-‘50s Chevys, including a Cameo, and the up-and-coming 1967-72 classic Chevy trucks.

A 3,000-mile 1991 GMC Syclone pickup is accompanied by a 1993 GMC Typhoon SUV, a rare chance to buy both at the same time. And if you’re disappointed that you missed the last 1996 Chevy Impala SS sedan, there’s one with only 19,000 miles.

The sales takes place in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, June 11, with previews on the 9th and 10th. Check out http://www.bonhams.com/eur/auction/19515/ for details.

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