Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #183 – Memorable Events

Scottsdale, Arizona.

This week Ann-Christine provides us with the opportunity to share memorable events, as she notes in her post, “…new ones or delightful memories.” Her visit to the Sahara Desert includes some stunning photography and is truly an interesting story. You can see her entire challenge post here.

As it happens, this week’s challenge coincides with an annual memorable event for me. Starting with our retirement in 2012 and spending winters in the Phoenix area, I was invited by some friends to attend the annual Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction in Scottsdale. Having never before attended a “big-time” auto auction and being a fan of classic automobiles, I was mesmerized by the sheer number of classic cars of virtually all genres. Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale has become an annual visit in January of each year. For my challenge-response, I will share some of my memories of visits to the auction over the years. I am featuring a few of the memorable vehicles that I’ve seen at the auction.

Probably the most interesting vehicle that I saw in my first visit to Barrett-Jackson is in the opening photo. The 1964 Miller-Meteor hearse above is inextricably tied to certainly one of the most memorable events in my lifetime. This hearse happened to be on display at the National Funeral Directors Association Convention in Dallas Texas in November 1963. After the convention, it was delivered to its new owner, the O’Neal Funeral Home in Dallas. A short time later, this vehicle earned its place in history when it was called into service to transport the body of President John F. Kennedy and the first lady from Parkland Memorial Hospital to the airport at Love Field.

On that fateful day, this vehicle represented the loss of the hopes and dreams of a Camelot that would never come to pass. I did not publish this photo before as I was not particularly proud of its composition. I share it now because of its place as part of my own memory of a tragic event.

Beverly Hillbillies-1

This custom-built “jalopy” was designed by the renowned George Barris for the 1960s era television sitcom, The Beverly Hillbillies. The car was built on the chassis of a 1924 Reo. Barris Kustom designed many cars over the years, another well-known vehicle from their shop is the Munster Koach dragster, Drag-U-La among many others. That Beverly Hillbillies truck now resides in the Ralph Foster Museum in Branson, Missouri.

1929 Cadillac Town Cabriolet

This vehicle was the Presidential limousine used by Herbert Hoover during his presidency. The 1929 Cadillac Fleetwood Imperial Transformable Limousine was a special build and overseen by the President of Cadillac Motor Cars, Lawrence P. Fisher.

Austin Princess

The phonetic spelling on the license plate of this 1956 Austin Princess should give you a hint as to the celebrity who once owned this classic automobile. Though Austin is known for its sports cars, the company also made limousines. This limo was custom modified by its rock star owner by installing two rows of airline seats complete with ashtray armrests. The car, once owned by John Lennon, was featured in the 1972 documentary film, “Imagine.”

1400 HP Mustang E

For my final memorable event, excuse me while I “geek out” on what is becoming a transformational technology in automotive history. The photo above is the “under-the-hood” view of a one-of-a-kind prototype electric vehicle. The Mustang Mach-E 1400 contains seven electric motors and a high-performance battery that allows the vehicle to generate 1,400 peak horsepower at high speeds. By high speed, I mean, like 160 mph (257 kph), how’s that for a road rocket?

Thanks to Ann-Christine for allowing me to share my love of classic (and in this case, memorable) vehicles. We will be at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale on Thursday, the day this is published. Rest assured, there will be plenty of images of vehicles captured there this year, some no doubt memorable in history, automotive or otherwise.

To view an enlarged image of any of these vehicles, click on the image to see it on my Flickr page and to scroll through the gallery. Or you can click here to visit my Flickr album.

John Steiner

20 comments

  1. Stunning cars and stories, John! What a treat for car lovers – and for us all. Memorable machines excellently displayed! Love the Imajin front, and I am totally amazed by the road rocket – I thought electric cars could not reach that speed… Enjoy your new trip!

  2. Hello, if you ever visit the Basque Country, northern Spain, I recommend you to visit the Loizaga tower museum in Galdames.
    The only Rolls-Royce Collection in Europe with all the models manufactured between 1910-1990.
    It is open to the public and is not expensive.
    I leave you a post where I talk about it:

    https://ciudadanadelmundo.blog/2021/02/20/castillos-casa-torre-de-loizaga-loizaga-bizkaia-loizaga-rolls-royce-casa-torre-spain-basque-country/

    I hope you like it.

    • Thanks! I have Europe on my list of places to visit, Spain included, once the pandemic subsides.
      We had planned a stop in Basque Country on our trip that got canceled in 2020.

  3. It is a fantastic event. I’m glad you finally got there. I love John Lennons car, and the history you shared with us. You did a great job photographing and shared the history. I find it hard to capture photos there because of the lighting . This is the first year we haven’t gone. Well done, John Next year. Donna

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