Barrett-Jackson Reno: Real cars for real people

This silver and black Volvo P1800 sports car, Lot 44, will be one of many cars auctioned off tonight (Thursday, July 31) at the Barrett-Jackson Reno auction, starting at 7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

When you get right down to it, that’s exactly what the opening night of the Second Annual Hot August Nights Auction presented by Barrett-Jackson in Reno is all about: Real cars for real people.

The opening night of Barrett-Jackson, which will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 from 7 -€“ 11 p.m. ET and streamed live on www.foxfantasybid during the same hours, is a chance for the hobbyist or entry-level collector to find a car or light truck they can drive, enjoy and have fun with.

The cars that will roll across the block tonight are not the seven-figure collectibles you see at Barrett-Jackson’s flagship auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., and that’s by design: The Reno auction, run in conjunction with the traditional Hot August Nights gathering of auto enthusiasts, serves people looking for excellent driver-quality cars and trucks, not museum pieces.

Lot 102: 1974 Volkswagen Thing Type 181 Acapulco Edition.

As a result, the Friday docket at Barrett-Jackson has a little bit of everything: Lots of American iron from the 1960s and 70s, a smattering of later-year performance cars from Europe, and a lot of very nice pickup trucks, both those that are dead stock, and some that are resto-modded. Fun vehicles that can be enjoyed for years to come.

And some oddities, too.

Remember the sexy Volvo P1800 sports car that Roger Moore drove while portraying Simon Templar in the television show "The Saint?"

Well, they’ve got one here, Lot 44, and it’s resplendent in two-tone silver and black.

Lot 56: 1952 Willys military jeep

For open-air motoring, there are some fun and offbeat choices. One of the nicest is a rare 1974 Volkswagen Thing Type 181 Acapulco Edition, Lot 102. White with blue trim and a surrey top, it would be just the thing for that beach house at Malibu or in the Hamptons or maybe even Key West.

Prefer the desert? Well, check out Lot 56, a 1952 Willys military jeep that has been completely and meticulously restored. Just remember, it’s pronounced "Willis," not "Willie’s."

And for the family guy or gal, Lot 12 looks like great fun. It’s a 1963 Ford Falcon Deluxe station wagon bought new in Reno, where it’s spent its entire life. Fold down the rear seat and it will haul a 7-foot surfboard. See, there really was life before the family minivan.

These cars and more will sell today at Barrett-Jackson, all at no reserve. Tune into FOX Sports 1 at 7 p.m. ET for all the action from Reno.

Lot 12: 1963 Ford Falcon Deluxe station wagon.