Barrett-Jackson’s third annual Reno Tahoe sale will take place Aug. 6-8 at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nev. Because the event is held in conjunction with Reno’s Hot August Nights event, the sale has typically brought out plenty of hot rods, resto-mods and other customs. Indeed, many of last year’s top sales were customs. It will likely be much the same this year, but here are five unmolested cars that we’ll be keeping an eye on:
1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 427/435 hp
Hagerty Price Guide: $247,000 - $422,000
With the 427/435-hp Tripower L89 motor, 3.36 Positraction and tinted glass, this ’67 convertible is already way up there in terms of desirability among Corvettes, but it is also one of only a handful of early cars bodied by A.O. Smith in Michigan before management quickly restricted big block cars to St. Louis bodies. It’s a relatively minor quirk, but such quirks do make a difference in the Corvette world. The car was reported sold at Leake Tulsa only last month for $88,000, so this might be a case of someone trying to flip it at Barrett-Jackson, where the larger crowd might bring more Corvette seekers.
1981 American Motors CJ7 Laredo
Hagerty Price Guide: $4,000 - $19,300
The CJ7 was the last of the long-running CJ series Jeeps, which were replaced by the Wrangler in 1987. It was available in several trim packages, and one of the most gussied up versions was the Laredo, which dressed the Jeep with chrome wheels, grille, bumpers, mirrors and hood latches. Barrett-Jackson’s example is a fairly honest one, with a new 258-cubic-inch six equipped with an upgraded carburetor, a sports steering wheel and roof rack. It looks like it’s been spared the hard life that many Jeeps have endured, but it’s not overly restored to the point of being too clean to use. The overall truck market is growing quickly, but these old CJs can still be relatively attainable.
1964 Austin Mini Cooper S
Hagerty Price Guide: $17,000 - $44,500
A genuine Mini Cooper S has become valuable enough that it can no longer be classified as a “cheap thrill.” The thing is, though, Cooper didn’t have to do all that much mechanically in period to make a Cooper S, and because parts are plentiful, it’s easy to build a car with Cooper equipment and enjoy the performance of a 1275-cc dual carb A-Series engine and disc brakes relatively cheaply. For a collector, a real Cooper S is the one to have, but for someone who wants a Mini to have fun with, it’s much more economical to buy a clone like this one. And because neither Reno nor Barrett-Jackson really attracts the Mini crowd, this one could be a steal.
1969 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 Hurst
Hagerty Price Guide: $34,000 - $106,000
The 1969 Hurst/Olds is distinguished by its Firefrost Gold-on-Cameo White paint in contrast to the Peruvian Silver and black of the year before. Horsepower was also down by 10, to 380 hp. Barrett-Jackson’s example is number 211 of 914 built that year, and has a non-original (but correct) HO 455, power steering and power brakes in addition to all of the other visual and mechanical tweaks unique to the Hurst/Olds. This one was bid to $47,500 at Mecum’s Anaheim sale two years ago, and although the market for these cars has moved up since then, it hasn’t moved much.
1971 Ford Ranchero
GT Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
The 1970 model year brought the fifth generation of the Ranchero, and it remained available with the same options as the Torino that it was based on. This included the GT with its 351 Cleveland V-8 and Magnum GT Rally wheels. Barrett-Jackson’s example is a Southern California car with factory air conditioning and a repaint in dark green metallic. It looks to have been treated better than most and it’s a tempting buy, although you might get tired of explaining to people that it’s not an El Camino.