1958 Plymouth concept car to be sold by Red Baron's A one-of-a-kind concept car built in 1958 by Plymouth and featuring a sleek, futuristic design will be sold Nov. 11th by Red Baron's in Atlanta. The vehicle, the Plymouth Tornado, never saw production
buyers. That’s when the Hollywood director – a veteran of many films, including at least one Clint Eastwood “spaghetti western” -- came forward and bought it from the present-day landowner in Utah, for $50,000. That was in 2004.
Since acquiring the car last year, Brown has rebuilt the original engine (the dependable 8-cylinder 318 cu. in.); rebuilt the push-button automatic transmission (at a cost of $22,000); and indulged in a complete and extensive ground-up, frame-off restoration. Every nut and bolt is original equipment; no aftermarket parts were used.
Other features on the car include an aircraft-style steering wheel; tuck-and-roll upholstery on the dashboard; Plymouth red burgundy upholstery; custom-made windows (safety glass with chrome trim); an additional louvered hood; and a removable hardtop. “It’s basically a roadster with a pop-top,” Brown said. “They thought of everything.”
Vintage automobiles are a staple at most Red Baron sales, and this one is packed with marvelous examples. The Tornado promises to draw the most bidder interest, but also on the block will be another highly desirable prototype: a 1966 Jaguar XJ13, considered by many to be the Holy Grail of Jaguar collectibles. Only seven were made.
Of those, only two are known to exist. One is housed in the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Museum in Britain. The other one will be sold at Red Baron’s. The car was conceived by designer Malcomb Sayer as an attempt to rejuvenate Jaguar’s presence at LeMans. But it never saw production, and five of the seven were destroyed in crashes.
Other vehicles to be sold include a pale yellow 1948 Packard Super Eight convertible, completely restored, with wire wheels, brown interior and whisper-quiet ride; a black 1960 Ford Thunderbird convertible, also restored, with wire wheels and automatic transmission; and an exotic black 12-cylinder 1984 Lamborghini Countach.
Red Baron’s, in its fourth decade of business, is widely regarded as the premier auction house in the Southeast. The firm holds just three sales a year, all of them themed extravaganzas. Auctions in the past have featured ice sculptures, dwarves in costume and armed guards protecting some of the more valuable lots.
To learn more about the upcoming sale, you may visit Red Baron’s online at www.rbantiques.com. To reach them by phone, you may call (404) 252-3770. Their e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Red Baron’s is located at 6450 Roswell Road in Atlanta, Ga.