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Friday, July 10, 2009

Fun at the Neverland Ranch

Car fun. Not the creepy kind. God, I hope not. Innocent until proven guilty. And so forth.

So the King of Pop is in, shall we say, tremendous financial trouble, and last fall Michael Jackson lost ownership of his vast Santa Barbara-area fantasyland, Neverland Ranch. With it, a giant hoard of mostly adolescent treasures of the Sega Strike Fighter (and Virtua Racing!) arcade console and Boba Fett-in-original-packaging variety. And more than a few cars and car-related toys. All of the contents of the estate, in fact, and all now going to auction to help settle the debt.

Who knew he could even drive? Who needs to when you can moonwalk?

1909 Detamble replica

There are only a handful of actual collector cars in the sale that I’ve found. Auctioneer Julien’s says this is a reproduction of a 1909 Autocar detamble Model B roadster. It’s full size, if you’re wondering, with some sort of internal combustion engine, but details are otherwise lacking.

1964 Cadillac Fleetwood'

This is the only bona fide collector car in the bunch, a Cadillac Fleetwood made rather famous as the Driving Miss Daisy movie car. I’d guess Jacko was more interested in the Jessica Tandy connection rather than Morgan Freeman. The auction catalog calls it a ‘54, but there were two cars used in the film, a ‘55 and a ‘56, and I can’t tell them apart from the front, so the whole thing is kind of sketchy.

GMC Jimmy

This is both not creepy and really cool, a Jimmy outfitted for on-ranch emergency duty. The catalog says it’s a six-cylinder. A 4.8 V-6 (non-Vortec?) was the base 3500 engine, but I’ll be damn surprised if you could get a High Sierra 3500 dually with a six. Carfax says the VIN is wrong, but the one they have printed shows a W-code engine, so I’m going to say its a 454. The 292 made a listed 115hp, so any fire would have been out long before the NFD arrived.

1988 GMC Jimmy

OK, now we are getting into creepy territory, but on the basis of absolutely no information at all, I’m going to say this was used by Neverland employees, not MJ. Carfax doesn’t like this VIN, either, but I think Julien’s wrote a “1″ as an “i.” I would drive this truck.

1993 Ford Econoline E150

I would not drive this truck. Mr. Jackson should not have owned a van. I do kind of wonder about the louvers and scoop, though.

E-Type kiddie car

There isn’t much information about this E-Type Junior, but it’s part of a huge fleet of go-karts. Shows a lot of use.

Julien’s only has five of the eight catalogs online right now, so more might turn up. Here’s their press release:

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