Later this month, Barrett-Jackson will hold a Collector Car "event" in Orange County. If you have only ever seen their auctions on TV, you can be forgiven for assuming that the cars presented are only for retired Texas oil patch people and transplanted Hollywood production dudes.





Photos: Barrett-Jackson



We went snooping in the Orange County catalog and found a number of notable cars that won't go for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ordinary people like you and I could easily participate in one of these auctions and might even come home with a bargain.



For example, Lot 45.6 is a 1966 Mustang convertible, with a 289 and 4-speed transmission. The car has a new top, top boot, center console and tires on GT rims. According to the owner, the chrome and trim are in outstanding condition and the car has had one high quality repaint in 2005. That paint, however, is Sahara Beige and the interior is Tan, which makes for a quite soft-spoken appearance.



This is very likely an excellent "runner" - a car that you can buy and enjoy driving to shows, events and perhaps even on vacation. You're not going to worry about a stone chip here or there and it will never see the inside of a show trailer. Unless the Orange County location has an undue impact on general pricing, expect this car to go out somewhere in the $14K to $18K range.







Another find is Lot 105, a 1965 Ford Ranchero pickup. These were Falcons that had the rear sheet metal changed over into a pickup bed, leaving only two seats up front. With a 200-cid, inline 6-cylinder engine, this particular example isn't going to be pulling out any stumps. However, the driveline has been rebuilt and the car sports a number of custom touches, including a leather interior and 14" Centerline wheels.



Were this example more original, it might have potential as a representative example of the early Rancheros. The understated paint will fail to excite a casual buyer, while the inline-6 engine will keep the performance enthusiasts moving on by. I'll go out on a bit of a limb here and suggest that a five-figure final bid for this one is possible... barely. For the right person with a sense of adventure, this Ranchero could be a dream car and a bargain, all together in one set of wheels.







Another classic that will go home with a new owner, is a 1965 Mustang convertible with a 225-hp, A-code 289 V8 engine and 4-speed manual transmission. Lot 34 is a classic red on black convertible that draws eyes from a mile away. While the paint was redone on 2009, the interior is said to be original. While the sheet metal is original, the chrome, trim, moldings and tires were replaced after the painting was finished.



This would be a fun car as a driver and for regional shows. Sure to be well considered in any participant-voting exercise, this classic Mustang is likely to hold up well. Someone attending the Orange Country event is likely to pick up this Mustang in the low $20K range.



Sure, this show is also going to see its share of fifty and sixty and hundred thousand dollar plus cars, but there are some good deals and perhaps even a few bargains to be found. You won't know unless you try.




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