Photo Credit: Tom Jensen

Photo Credit: Tom Jensen

Bringing the Collector Car Auction to in conjunction with the already huge Hot August Nights car show is a home run for both sides.

For the folks at Barrett-Jackson, Reno is a market filled with passionate automotive fans, and for show attendees, Reno is a new venue that allows many of them to attend a Barrett-Jackson auction for the very first time.

SPEED and the FOX family of channels will have 19 hours of live auction coverage, starting Thursday at 6 p.m. ET.

Without question, the crowds in Reno this week are into it.

Across the street from the Atlantis Resort Casino, the host hotel for the auction, the parking lot is filled with hot rods and classic , everything from a swarm of restomodded Volkswagen bugs to radical customs and well-restored stock .

One of the sharpest cars on display was a stunning 1961 Corvette owned by Dave and Karen Gibson of Reno. The beautiful candy apple red-over-white Corvette was 10 years in the making, according to its owner. The car has a modern Corvette engine and suspension, as well as an upgraded interior. Although Gibson did not do the bulk of the work himself, he made sure it was done to his standards.

“I was lucky enough to be retired, so I could be there every day and make sure that the vision that was completed was my vision and not someone else’s vision,” Gibson said.

Gibson’s Corvette has 21 coats of paint — seven colors of gold base, seven of candy apple red and seven of clear. “I took an awful lot of colors out into the sunlight, night time, all times of day,” Gibson said of choosing the paint scheme that ultimately went on his car. “The sun hits it and it just becomes an absolute sun car.”

One of the many fun elements about the week is that every car on display has a story that goes with it.

For instance, Ray Kaiser drove down from Oregon in his vintage 1967 Chevrolet Corvair convertible, one of about 25 or 30 Corvairs he has owned in his lifetime. “I’ve been a Corvair man for years,” said Kaiser. “My first one was a ’66 in 1966.”

Kaiser spent five and a half years on Oahu when he was in the Air Force, and Corvairs figured prominently in his time there. “I used to run a car-rental business with these (Corvairs) in the 1960s and ’70s, because you could buy ‘em cheap,” Kaiser said. “They’ve been good to me. A poor man’s Porsche.”

Art Miller of Reno brought his custom 1953 Ford pickup out among the other cars, trucks and motorcycles in the massive parking lot. Miller uses his truck as a driver, so he said he would not be entering any of the formal show-and-shine competitions, although his truck is very clean as is.

Miller said the truck was a Christmas gift from his wife eight years ago. “It was born here in Reno,” he said. “It was a forestry service truck. She thought I was just going to paint it and drive it until she saw it stripped down to the bare frame in the garage. And I took up her half of the garage.”

Miller said he’s excited about seeing his first Barrett-Jackson auction. “It’s Barrett-Jackson. It’s going to be a good show,” he said.

As for the truck, he’s truly bonded with it.

“She’s a good truck,” Miller said. “And when I die, it’s going to my son. And if he screws it up, I’m coming out of my grave after him.”

Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction
2013 Reno Tahoe Coverage Schedule
(Schedule Subject to Change)

Thursday, Aug. 8

6-11 p.m. ET SPEED Barrett-Jackson (Live)

Friday, Aug. 9

6-11 p.m. ET SPEED Barrett-Jackson (Live)

Saturday, Aug. 10

2-5 p.m. ET SPEED Barrett-Jackson (Live)
5-8 p.m. ET FUEL Barrett-Jackson (Live)
8-11 p.m. ET SPEED Barrett-Jackson (Live)

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