Classic cars are 'nostalgia, a piece of history'

A preview of next weekend's Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction rides from South Coast Plaza to O.C. Fairgrounds, revs up car enthusiasts.

Bill Morgan was all too happy to pop open the trunk to his daughter's candy red 1965 Ford Mustang convertible Saturday and pull out a photo album documenting the car's rehabilitation from junker to car show winner.

"We tore it all down and rebuilt it from the ground up," said Morgan, 84. "Everything in it is authentic down to the nuts and bolts."

Morgan bought the car in 1983 for his daughter, Beverly.

He was going to get her a brand new Chevy Camaro, but she wanted the Mustang instead, even though it was used, because it was more "stylish," he said.

It took $50,000 and six months of work every day by two men to rebuild it to the beauty it maintains today.

If you were anywhere between South Coast Plaza and the Orange County Fairgrounds on Saturday afternoon, you might have a seen a parade of such stylish cars. In a preview of what's to come next week, organizers of the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction invited members of Southern California classic car clubs to show off their wheels at the fairgrounds to create a buzz.

While cars like Morgan's Mustang on display Saturday won't be auctioned next week, there will be plenty like it, all with a history behind them.

"It definitely didn't sit like they when they brought it off the lot," joked Dave Devick of Costa Mesa, looking at a lowered merlot-colored 1948 Buick Super Eight. "It's nostalgia, a piece of history. A work of art."

This is Barrett-Jackson's first auction in Orange County.

"I watch it all the time. I was going to go to Arizona to check it out so its nice they're having it in my own backyard," said Mark Galoustian who does public relations for the Los Angeles Police Department and was standing next to the "Adam-12" police car from the 1960s and 1970s. "(Barrett-Jackson) has the pulse of the car market, so it'll be interesting to see how much some of these cars go for."

From Friday to June 27, hundreds of classics going as far back as the Ford Model-T will be up for the highest bidder with plenty of entertainment in between. There will be face painting, cars drifting, and "automobilia" auctions as well.

If You Go

What: Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction

Where: Orange County Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa

When: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 27

Cost: $13 Friday and June 27; $18 Saturday. Senior, student and military discounts are available. A three-day pass is available for $35.

More Information: Online at or call (480) 663-6255

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