Cars As Art
Think of another industry where an “old” product—yet a product that is still in production—sells for millions of dollars.
Although automotive auctions aren’t something that we ordinarily write about here, looking at the results of the 44th Barrett-Jackson automotive auction made us realize that the designers and engineers in the auto industry are truly artists and artisans because some of the works that they’ve created—paint-on-metal—rival the paint-on-canvas works we read about when there’s an auction at Sotheby’s.
The scene at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale
That is, according to Barrett-Jackson, there were more than $130-million in vehicle sales during the 10-day event. “We smashed records at every level,” said Craig Jackson, the outfit’s chairman and CEO.
The sale of the Ron Pratte Collection accounted for some $40.44-million.
One car in the collection, the 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake, sold for $5.1-million.
Rounding out the top-10 in the Pratte collection:
• 1950 GM Futurliner Parade of Progress Tour Bus– $4 million
• 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept Car– $3.3 million
• 1949 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sport Franay – $1.65 million
• 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster– $1.595 million
• 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing – $1.1 million
• 1937 Mercedes-Benz 320B Cabriolet– $1.045 million
• 1936 Delahaye “Whatthehaye” Street-Rod– $671,000
• 1991 Ferrari F40 – $643,500
• 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S Cabriolet– $643,500
And contemporary cars didn’t do too badly, either.
For example, several OEMs donated cars for charities. Like BMW, which brought in a 2015 M5, which sold for $800,000. That was the amount also raised by the GM-donated “first-retail” 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible.
And in what is almost a closed loop in some senses, Ford donated VIN number 001, the first production unit, of the just-introduced Shelby GT350R Mustang. It raised $1-million for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Yes, cars aren’t just cars. They are treasured art. Well, at least in some cases, such as those here.
Systems engineering in increasingly being recognized as a valuable approach to vehicle development - both in design and production. Siemens posits that PLM is the right software system for systems engineering.
Automotive manufacturers are meeting CAFE fuel-efficiency standards through lightweighting, which requires simulation software for design engineers.
The high-end automotive CAD/CAM systems do a whole lot more than their name implies. In addition to design and manufacturing, they have the ability to support analysis, product data management, and more.