The Great Texas Mopar® Auction: Part II

1957 Plymouth Belvedere

*****COURTESY OF*******

By Steve “Scat Pack” Magnante 6/11/2021 7:15 AM EventsVideo 7 min read auctionsDodge ClassicsPlymouth Classics

Over 250 Mopar® Project Cars to be Sold Online at NO RESERVE!


Gather ‘round, Mopar fanatics! It’s time for another of our weekly auction preview stories focused on the 250-plus vehicle online estate auction scheduled for early October of this year (2021). In each of these weekly previews, we’ll focus on another handful of vintage Dodge, Plymouth, Chrysler, DeSoto and Imperial project vehicles that are all going to be sold online this fall with no reserve.

In case you’re new to the auction scene, the term “no reserve” means every item is going to sell … even if the highest bid is far less than the actual value of the item. No reserve auctions are a great way to get the vintage Mopar project car of your dreams for a very affordable price.

The auctioneer behind this history-making event is Spanky Assiter, founder of Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions of Texas and former Barrett-Jackson lead auctioneer. Spanky got the call to liquidate this massive outdoor hoard of vintage Mopar vehicles from the executors of the John Haynie estate in early 2021.

John Haynie, the Texas gentleman who amassed this huge collection of prime vintage tin, was sadly taken by a terminal illness at age 52. But we celebrate his foresight and good taste here while putting these great cars back into circulation after slumbering for as many as 30 years in the dry Texas prairie.

So read closely and be sure to click on the video link to learn more about the cars and light trucks that will all find new homes in early October as the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event plays out!

1964 Chrysler Newport: Lot #18

1964 Chrysler Newport

Though the body style seen on this nifty 1964 Chrysler Newport four-door sedan was only seen for two model years (1963 and 1964), folks over the age of 40 probably recall a time when these large vehicles, with their assertive trapezoidal grilles and horizontally aligned headlamps, were a common sight on the road. Things have changed and what was once common has become scarce – and desirable.

This one is a sedan – with a fixed-B-pillar and full door frames – and is by far the most popular body style offered in the 1964 Chrysler line. Of the 85,183 Newports built that year, a whopping 55,957 were four-door sedans like this. Pillar-less hardtops, wagons, convertibles and two-doors made up the rest of the mix. America loved these cars!

And while this one wears “Turner County Sheriff’s Patrol” door and trunk graphics and a big blue emergency light on the roof, a check of the VIN reveals a starting sequence that reads “814”, which tells us it’s a Chrysler (8), Newport (1) from the 1964 model run (4). If the second digit was a “9”, we’d know it was originally built as a Police model. It’s not clear if this car was given a “police” makeover by a fan – or if it really saw duty in law enforcement. Either way, the body is solid and shows no signs of rust or rust repair work.

Under the hood are 361 2-barrel big block, push-button-activated 727 Torqueflite® automatic transmission, power-assisted drum brakes and power steering. Inside, the original bench seat upholstery, floor carpeting, head liner and door panels are all in excellent condition, making this a solid candidate for a mechanical once-over to get it back on the road – where it belongs! Be sure to watch the walk-around video for more details.

1957 Plymouth Belvedere: Lot #19

1957 Plymouth Belvedere Hardtop

Suddenly it’s 1960! That’s what the world said when the 1957 Mopar vehicles were unveiled for the first time. With the industry’s lowest beltline, cleanest lines, most glass and highest tail fins, the rest of Detroit looked “three years older” by comparison. Many say it was stylist Virgil Exner’s finest work.

This 1957 Plymouth Belvedere four-door hardtop is one of 37,446 made. Without the sedan’s fixed B-pillar and full door frames, the hardtop delivers a breezy, open air experience with all windows rolled down on a sunny day. The interior is all there with all gauges and the factory AM radio still in place. And of course, the torsion bar front suspension (making its debut in ’57) is all there.

Under the sleek “pancake” hood, the original 301-cubic-inch polyspherical V8 remains, complete with the optional “Power Pack” four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust boosting the 301 two-barrel’s 215-horsepower up to 235 horses. The only thing better was the optional Dual Fury 318 V8’s 290 horsepower – thanks to dual quads.

As the accompanying video demonstrates, this lucky survivor is mostly free from the terminal rust that consumed many 1957 Mopar vehicles within their first decade. And while this four-door is loaded with many rust-free panels that could be very helpful in the restoration of a more desirable two-door Fury model, this four-door hardtop is so solid it’d be a shame not to get it running again for all the world to enjoy. Learn more by watching the accompanying video.

1961 Plymouth Savoy Suburban Wagon: Lot #21

There was a time, long before the rise of the Chrysler minivan (and its many imitators), when American families moved around in large station wagons like this 1961 Plymouth Savoy. There was also a time when it was possible to purchase what was known as a “stripper” – a car assembled with minimal extra cost options and the smallest engine offered.

Those two realms merge with Lot 21, a 1961 Plymouth Savoy Suburban station wagon. At the time, Plymouth offered just two model lines, the compact A-Body Valiant and the full sized C-Body, which could be had as the Savoy, Belvedere and Fury with cost and complexity rising on each successive nameplate.

With its manual drum brakes, manual steering, column-shifted three-speed manual transmission and 225 Slant Six engine, the only extra cost options found on this austere people mover are a heater ($74) and AM radio ($35). With its base price of $2,670, the total cost with options came to $2,779.

Still wearing its original two-tone blue colors and, most likely, much of its factory-applied exterior paint, only the slightest bubbles of rust are beginning to form down low on the rear quarter panels. The under hood area is pristine though the Slant Six is missing its one-barrel carburetor and starter motor.

Records show that just 12,980 of these entry-level, four-door wagons were built in 1961. How many remain today? More importantly, how many remain today in nearly 100-percent original condition? Though the bizarre styling triggered a 21.77-percent sales slump versus 1960, that’s all irrelevant today as collectors and enthusiasts alike clamor for surviving examples of Virgil Exner’s swansong designs. See the walk-around video for more details.

1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Custom Pickup: Lot #22

Have you ever wondered what Plymouth’s answer to the Chevy El Camino and Ford Ranchero might have looked like? Though neither Plymouth nor Dodge ever went after the “Ute” market here in America, Chrysler of Australia’s April 1965 launch of the Valiant Wayfarer Utility used the compact A-Body platform to deliver a pint-sized pickup truck down under.

None of it answers the question stateside, which is where Lot Number 22 comes in. Based on a 1966 Plymouth RH45E6 Belvedere II station wagon, some enterprising Texan sliced and diced it into a very appealing El Camino act-alike. Maybe we call it Bel-Camino?

Powered by a swapped-in LA series 318 two-barrel (not the original Polyspherical 318) with a column-shifted Torqueflite automatic, aftermarket air conditioning and cruise control add convenience and comfort. The four-wheel drum brakes are non-assisted though power steering takes a load off up front.

Out back, the original station wagon load floor does duty as the cargo bed while the rear doors have been permanently molded closed with very nice body work hiding all surgery scars. Rolling stock consists of original equipment 14×5.5 inch Magnum 500 rims of 1967-’68 (all-chrome) vintage and white wall radial tires.

The compulsory magnet check (for rust) indicates solid bones throughout for this what-if Ranchero contender. See more in the walk-around video.

1965 Chrysler 300L: Lot #25

1965 Chrysler 300L

The Beautiful Brute for 1965 was the last of the line for Chrysler’s fabled 300 “Letter Cars” and wore the “L” suffix. While lesser 300 Sport (non-letter) models were offered since the 1962 model run, only the Letter Cars delivered top-tier power and performance. They were indeed full-size muscle cars, complete with heavy-duty suspension and huge 11-inch drum brakes.

For 1965, the 300L shared all-new bodywork with more pedestrian Newports and New Yorkers, but was quickly identified at night by its centrally mounted running lamp situated in the grille. Behind that distinctive grille was a standard issue 413-cubic-inch wedge with a full 360 horsepower. The standard issue 8-3/4 rear axle packs 300L-specific 3.23:1 gearing. It is unknown if the optional Sure Grip limited-slip differential is present.

Though a handful of the 2,845 1965 300Ls built (440 convertibles and 2,405 hardtops) came with a factory-installed four-speed manual transmission, this one is equipped with a console-shifted 727 Torqueflite automatic transmission. The leather-covered front bucket seats and special “300L” console button are still present along with the L-only 150 mph speedometer.

Beyond all that is the fantastic rust-free condition of the body, which still wears most of its factory-applied Regal Gold surface paint and stainless steel full wheel covers. Oh, and did we mention it’s got Chrysler’s excellent Air Temp air conditioning system? That’s the story of Lot Number 25. See the walk-around video to learn more!



By Steve “Scat Pack” Magnante 6/4/2021 4:00 PM EventsVideo5 min readAUCTIONSDODGE CLASSICSPLYMOUTH CLASSICS

There’s something BIG brewing in the Texas prairie! It’s the Great Texas Mopar® Hoard auction event, an online-only collector car auction featuring over 200 choice Mopar vehicles from the estate of a lifelong Mopar collector. And best of all, the auction will be a “no reserve” event, meaning that each and every lot number will sell to the highest bidder.

Scheduled to take place in October of 2021, these great project cars and trucks will all find new homes thanks to the services of Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions. If the name Spanky sounds familiar, then you will remember him – Spanky Assiter – as Barrett-Jackson’s lead auctioneer for several successful years.

And if you remember that, then you probably also remember Spanky’s wife Amy Assiter, one of the Bidder’s Assistants, her long brown hair flying on the TV screen as she shouted bids to the auction block. Today, Spanky and Amy operate Assiter Auctioneers, the parent company of Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions.

With the meet-and-greet out of the way, let’s preview some of the 200-plus vintage and special interest Dodge, Plymouth, DeSoto, Chrysler and Imperial vehicles that will all find new homes in October. To see more, go to or to the Steve Magnante YouTube channel where live-action walk-around videos exist to add even more information on each lot number.

1974 DODGE D200 CLUB CAB: LOT # 1

1974 Dodge D200 Club Cab

In its third year on the market, Dodge’s fully redesigned D-series pickup truck line was far more refined than the 1961-71 Sweptline D-series that came before. The primitive leaf spring, live front axle was replaced by independent coil springs and the interior was far more luxurious with padded surfaces in place of cold, hard steel.

This Club Cab model, new for 1973, offered an extra 18 inches of wheelbase to make room for the longer cab floor and convenient behind-the-seat storage area. Also new for 1974 was the mighty 440 big block engine, which replaced the 400 that was used in 1973. This original paint D200 Club Cab packs the top dog 440, heavy-duty 727 TorqueFlite® automatic transmission, Dana 60 rear axle, factory optional chromed trailer towing mirrors, bucket seats, air conditioning, power brakes, power steering and cruise control. As a Texas truck, it’s solid and rust-free except for a couple of small patches seen in the walk-around video.


1973 Plymouth Fury III

Packing the P-code High Performance 400-cubic-inch big block with dual exhaust, a dual snorkel air cleaner and 140-mph certified speedometer, this 1973 Plymouth Fury probably has a law enforcement background. Rolling on 15×6.5-inch body-colored “steelies” with “poverty caps”, it’s essentially a muscle car in disguise. Though the data tag is missing, a second tag reading “special order” sets this one apart from the crowd.

The “fuselage body”, making its final appearance for 1973, still wears its original Honey Gold paint and is free from structural rust, while the interior is complete down to the front and rear bench seats. While the light-duty Salisbury-type 8-1/4 inch rear axle was standard issue under most Furys, this one packs the same heavy-duty Hotchkis-type 8-3/4 rear axle used under most Mopar muscle cars of the day. A heavy-duty 727 TorqueFlite automatic transmission takes commands from a column-mounted shift lever. If you appreciate a “sleeper” muscle car, this one is for you!


After going without a full-sized model line since 1961, Plymouth reintroduced the full-size C-body for 1965 in the form of the Fury. Offered as the Fury I, Fury II, Fury III and Sport Fury, these extra-large models helped increase Plymouth’s overall sales by 31.5 percent over 1964 when only the compact A-body and mid-sized B-body platforms were offered.

This 1965 Plymouth Fury III four door sedan (Lot Number 5) is one of 50,725 built and packs the optional 383 2-barrel big block and 727 TorqueFlite automatic transmission, a $396 surcharge over the base Slant Six and “three-on-the-tree”. And speaking of this car’s TorqueFlite transmission, know that it is a one-year-only big block unit with the cable-operated valve body and new slip-yoke tail shaft configuration. These transmissions are in high demand among builders of 1962-65 Max Wedge and Race HEMI® clones who want the push-button transmission controls without the hassle of the ball-and-trunnion driveshaft. Not that you’d want to harvest this particular item. Just sayin…

Other goodies include manual drum brakes, power steering, a factory clock and RADIO DELETE. That’s right, if you didn’t want to pay $59 for the Transaudio AM radio, Plymouth graciously plugged the hole in the dash with an ornate plastic delete plate, as seen in this one. Re-sprayed in the original turquoise and white, this first-year full-size Fury would make a great family cruiser.


The A-series compact van of 1964-70 was Dodge’s answer to Ford’s 1962 Econoline van, which was Ford’s response to Volkswagen’s Microbus of the 1950s. This 1964 A100 van is very special for two reasons. First, it was ordered with the rare “walk through” door configuration, and secondly, the sequence number on the VIN tag (1962000604) tells us this was the 604th A100 van ever built! If that’s not cool, we don’t know what is.

Powered by the 225 Slant Six with a column-shifted three-speed manual transmission, this first-year A100 is exceptionally solid and nearly rust-free. Though some small areas of rust bubbles and perforation are visible on the lower body surfaces, the floors and foot wells are nice and clean. These A100 compact vans are becoming more and more popular every day and surviving examples are very hard to find. And being a walk-through makes this one all the more unique. Imagine stuffing a Mopar Performance 426 HEMI crate engine between the Bostrom Thin Line front bucket seats. With its double-side-door body configuration, you could showcase the engine from either side!


1959 Chrysler Windsor

1959 was the final year for body-on-frame construction for the Chrysler line. Unitized construction would replace it for 1960 (except on the top-tier Imperial line). This 1959 Chrysler Windsor wears Arizona license plates from the 1959 model year and passes the “magnet test” in all of the usual rust areas except for some small bubbles popping through on the lower quarter panel extensions. Inside, the original upholstery covers the seats and the factory AM radio is still present.

Under the hood, a 383 2-barrel big block wears factory air conditioning with an early version of the clutch-type fan that would later help Street HEMI vehicles stay cool while reducing parasitic drag. Factory power drum brakes and power steering help make this Windsor a breeze to drive. All of the hard-to-find chrome grille, bumpers and trim are present and in great condition. This would make a nice cruiser or – shun the notion – a solid parts car for the restoration of a less common two-door model or convertible.

Stay tuned to DodgeGarage for more interesting vehicles from the Great Texas Mopar Auction!


S2 Ep 14 – Mercury's Rising The Steve Mags Muscle Car Show

More Mercury muscle car facts including why the 1960 Comet almost became the entrylevel Edsel, the strange saga of spy craft-equipped Marauders on the Hot Rod magazine Power Tour and lots more!Support the show (
  1. S2 Ep 14 – Mercury's Rising
  2. S2 Ep 13- From Ford to Mercury
  3. S2 Ep 12 – From The Vault: Garlits Gossips
  4. S2 Ep 11 – From The Vault: Austin Coil Springs
  5. S2 Ep 10 – FORDS in Math and Media


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I’m not busy with one of the Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions on SPEED, I’m available to speak at YOUR car club meeting, car show or other automotive event. I am also available for work (selectively) as a paid spokesperson at industry trade shows like SEMA. In 2011 and 2012 I was hired by MSD Performance to give live hourly demonstrations of the new MSD Atomic EFI system.


I am also available to host commercial and / or industrial videos. I have appeared in a national network and cable TV ad campaign for the 2007 Dodge Hemi Charger and have done numerous how-to and instructional videos for companies like MSD, Mothers, COMP Cams, Royal Purple, Redline and others. Let me bring my credibility and knowledgeable presentation to your commercial or instructional videos. Contact me at 508/637-1514 or for information about rates and terms.



Hanging with the Broadcast Team


Here’s a shot of our broadcast team doing a meet and greet function at – I think Scottsdale. From L to R we have Bob Varsha, Mike Joy, Matt Stone, me, Justin Bell and Rick DeBruhl. Only Matt and I come from the world of car magazines (I used to bump into Matt inside the elevator during my days at Petersen Publishing in L.A., never thinking some day we’d be on the same TV show). The rest of the guys are seasoned broadcast professionals (Bob, Mike and Rick). As for Justin, if you are even vaguely familiar with the world of European race drivers from the Sixties and Seventies, his Dad Derek Bell will be familiar. Justin is a chip off the same block. To me, his greatest achievement was being part of the Dodge Viper factory race team. I’d die to have that on my resume! Then again, I’m not so good at competition driving – other than on a drag strip. That’s my thing. Justin is a great addition to our team and I really enjoy his goofy nature and willingness to play along at some of the bird brained things I put him up to on camera. I don’t have a good picture of April Rose (another member of our broadcast team)…I’ll make up for that soon. April is a charmer! But you knew that…

Hanging with Linda Vaughn


I caught up with lovely Linda Vaughn backstage at the 2011 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale collector car auction. I’d met Linda before at various press functions and at the SEMA show, and – I don’t know how she does it – but she always remembers you and makes you feel like you are closer than you are. Love ya Linda!

Hanging Out With Dennis “Grave Digger” Anderson



A few years ago I got to hang out with Dennis “Grave Digger” Anderson during filming of a program for SPEED TV. Dennis and the whole crew are incredibly down to earth! I did have a problem though. For some reason I kept forgetting how to say Poplar Branch…the North Carolina home town of the Grave Digger and many other famous monster trucks. The show producer wanted to strangle me. I kept saying “Poplar BLUFF”. I don’t know why. It just happens. But Dennis was very cool about it …he even nick named me “rain man”. Not sure why…

Hanging with the HOT ROD team in 1998

This photo appeared in HOT ROD magazine in 1998 and depicts the staff at the time. I’m standing behind the car (fifth from the left) along with the rest of the crew. I spent 7 years as Tech Editor at HOT ROD and still regard it as the high point of my career. It was an honor to work with legends like Gray Baskerville (far left) and Ro McGonegal (seated on running board, far right). Also visible here are fellow staffers who would go on to great things of their own. To my left in the picture are JHeff Koch and Terry McGean. If you read Hemmings Muscle Machines you’ll recognize Terry as the Editor In Chief and Jeff as a Feature Editor (he also contributes regularly to Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports & Exotic). Gray Baskerville sadly passed away in February 2002, but his all-steel ’32 roadster lives on. I’ll never forget working with this dedicated and fun loving crew of car fanatics.

Hanging with Dennis Hopper

I wish I could say Dennis Hopper and I were good buddies. The fact is, when I snapped this picture of him in May of 2004, he wasn’t very happy with me. We were gathered at the premiere screening of a made for TV movie called The Last Ride. Hopper was in the movie which featured a number of then-new Pontiac GTO’s. I was sent to the premiere by High Performance Pontiac magazine to get the story. I was granted a few minutes with Hopper to interview him and have him pose with one of the movie cars (a single exhaust ’04 GTO with a fake dual exhaust outlet – to emulate the look of the 2005 treatment). Somehow I sensed he was tired and suggested “you don’t have to kneel with the car if your knees hurt”. I guess I was being presumptive about his health, he was offended and became silent. We skipped the interview.