Dave Pollonès 427 Tri-power Corvette
During the height of the cold/rainy winter the Barrett Jackson Auction in Phoenix comes like a little glimpse of paradise. One local car guy is lucky enough to be a part of the action and came home with an award winning 1955 T-Bird last year and a Monster 427/430horse Vette this year.
Dave Pollon has been into cars from the moment he could drive. Back in High School he drove a mildly custom 46 Monarch Coupe and then a 3 year old 58 Pontiac convertible. At one time he owned 3 Corvettes…a 1980 and 2 of the Coveted late 70’s models…the 78’ Silver Anniversary and the 78’ Pace car.
Dave built a large building on his farm to house his collection and even outfitted it with a Dinner and 1930’s era gas station. Rosie’s Dinner was finished for Dave and Rosemary Pollon’s 40th wedding anniversary and it can easily accommodate 100 guests. Many car clubs come to the Pollon for a “Garage Tour” and are blown away with the fantastic display. False store fronts and a huge mural adorn one wall and the “garage” has a working lift. The garage is so cool that the producers of “Driving TV’ filmed the opening credits there for a while.
The “Garage” needs car so this leads us to the Barrett Jackson Auction of January 2006. The Auction has evolved over the past 35 years and does not have the same mix of cars as when it started…or even 10 years ago. This auction symbolizes what is the hot ticket of the day…and Hot Rods and Muscle are it Baby!!! To participate in this auction one has to plan ahead. There are over 1000 cars to be bought over the 6 days that the gavel drops. Without a reserve on the prices, you have to make sure you are present to take advantage of the deals.
To be present send a letter from your Bank Manager stating that you are able to pay for what you bid. Once the Auction people deem you “bid worthy”, you will be sent a Bidders entry form to fill out. Complete that and send a $300 cheque along with it and you receive a bidder paddle and a guest pass, allowing you and your guest admission every day. Two invites to the Opening Night Gala and a parking pass. Along with the Showcase catalogue featuring all the cars to be auctioned you get the first issue of the “Barrett-Jackson Experience” Magazine. Pollon was exempt from paying the $350 entry fee because he bought a car last year.
The cars are on display to anyone that pays for admission, seating in the good seats near the auction block and entry to the bidder’s circle is only for those with Bidder’s paddles and their guest. The Bidding paddles are just small picture id cards to be worn around your neck so the bidding assistants can verify your ID.
The grounds are massive and it takes a while to look at all the cars and assess if they have been restored to your standards. Four large tents have to be poured through and each car is available for you to kick the tires. The cars are all numbered sequentially as to when they are crossing the auction block. This year the Barrett-Jackson people have tried to offer a good array of cars on each day to capture bidder interest in the early days and on the Sunday.
Traditionally Saturday is the big event with the biggest prices paid on the Saturday. Other days can vary and some great deals are had when the right buyers are not available for a certain car and it’s price can be humbling for the seller as none of the cars have a reserve price….meaning the highest bidder present gets the car.
Last year he had his Eye on a rodded 34 Ford and was bidding, but after reaching his limit he stopped bidding on it. Rosemary watched from home on the live Speed TV coverage as Pollon stopped bidding. Rosemary got ready to go out for dinner with friends and before shutting off the TV saw a trio of Baby birds making their way to the auction block.
Since Pollon had a sweet 57 T-Bird she never imagined that the next phone call from Pollon would be to request that she call the Bank Manger to transfer over the funds to pay for Lot #724 and the 8% purchaser fee, to the Auction. This is what the owner had to say about the car on the Info sheet: 1955 Thunderbird: rare color of Golden Rod Yellow with new correct Yellow and Black interior. Professional restoration by Minter’s Thunderbirds of Dallas, Texas. Test miles only. Both original tops. Matching numbers concours correct 292 Thunderbird V/8 – 4BBL. Ford-o-Matic transmission. Power steering and 4 way power seat. 12 volt upgrade. Rebuilt original radio. Engine dress up option, real Thunderbird wire wheels with Firestone Deluxe Champions wide white walls. Restored original Black canvas convertible top plus original hardtop, underside body is correctly refinished in original Yellow without undercoating. Look under me – I’m new. Definitely investment quality.
The paying did not stop there. Transporting the car home had to be dealt with and if you transport it out of State you are exempt from certain taxes…until you hit the US/Canada border and sales taxes. The car is registered in BC with an additional charge and because the car is outfitted with the premium Kelsey Heyes Wire wheels so popular with the early Birds, does not qualify for the collector plate program. So for Pollon to actually drive his new possession he has to find period correct wheels or buy blue and white plates. His other T-Bird has the same wire wheels but was approved a decade ago and is “Grandfathered” in the collector plate program.
The 55 T-Bird has shown well and won 1st place at the Hallmark Ford Show, was the Mayor’s choice at the Langley Cruise-In and 1st place at the Thunderbird CTCI Convention in Olympia Washington. All that with “Incorrect Wheels”!!!
Long before heading to Arizona, Pollon pours over the “bible” as Rosemary refers to the Barrett Jackson Showcase catalogue. After carefully considering the 1100 cars, Pollon has decided between a sweet 55 Belair Custom 2 dr hardtop (Lot #1558) and a 56 Chevrolet custom Corvette Nomad Wagon(Lot #1248). Pollon’s strategy is to go for the Nomad on the Saturday and have the Belair as a backup on the Sunday. Seeing them in the flesh may change his mind.
Lot #1558, a 1955 Belair Custom 2 door Hardtop. This modified 55 is described beautifully in the Barrett- Jackson Catalogue. It was restored over 4 years and it took 1st place in its first show and every other show it has entered.
Lot #1248 was a 1956 Chevrolet Custom Corvette Nomad Wagon. This is a one of a kind creation. As the catalogue states: The Corvette Nomad that GM should have built was the goal. In 1954 Chevrolet built a concept Corvette Nomad for display at the Motorama show. Its built the way I thought GM would build it with 283/250 Fuel Injected engine, 4-speed, power windows, power rear window, power antenna and Wonderbar The lower body is all custom fiberglass except the tailgate
A lofty goal that if achieved will be stellar…the proof is in actually seeing the car. At the auction Pollon with his guests, John Bevan and Les Heese inspected the cars. The Corvette Nomad was quickly discarded as a choice. Since Bevan is a Corvette aficionado, the next choice was a Vette.
But not just any Vette! The 1967 427/435 Roadster with side pipes is the “Mother of all Big Block Vettes” and this one had only been driven until 1973 and then put away until a full restoration in 2005. With only 23,022 miles on her, this is one sweet ride. Pollon was persistant at the Bidding Block and is now the new Proud owner of Lot# 1279. Again the auction gets it’s 8 % Bidder Premium and 8% sellers premium and the car is ready to be shipped home.
Pollon bought the car on the afternoon of one of the busiest days of the most publicized auto auctions in the world. Although this seems straight forward, there was 4,825 registered bidders for this auction, and only 1,100 cars. For a car guy, being able to be present at the Barrett Jackson Auctions and come away with an amazing car must be like winning the Indy 500, Daytona 500 and SuperBowl…all in one crazy Saturday afternoon!
Pollon’s Collection includes a 37 Ford 4 Door, 32 Ford 5 Window Coupe, 1955 Nomad (502 cid), 57 T-Bird, 97 Prowler, 05 Mustang GT and a 1950 Ford Pick-up Hot Rod that he has owned since 1978. Although Rosemary has stated that if Dave buys another car one of his has to go…but I am sure Dave can find space for another toy.
Dave Pollon Corvette
1967 Corvette Roadster
Numbers matching 427/435 hp 4 speed
Marina Blue with Black interior
Built Jan 25th 1967
This car was purchased at the Barrett Jackson Auction 2006
Last licensed in 1973 the car was parked for 30 years with 23,022 miles on odometer. Recent full restoration.
The engine, transmission and rear end appear to be original components.
What parts could not be rebuilt were replaced with NOS
L-71 427 / 432 hp
M-21close ratio transmission
G-81 posi trac with 4:11 gears
K-66 transistor ignition
A-02 tinted windshield
A-82 head rest seats with black vinyl interior
C-07 aux hard top
N-14 side exhaust
Q-b1 redline tires
U-69 am/fm radio
Owned by Dave and Rosemary Pollon