When I’m standing in the staging lanes working for SPEED during the Barrett Jackson auctions, people often come up and ask what’s my favorite car. At that point I usually begin to mumble and stammer. That’s because I really don’t know the answer. My automotive tastes are all over the map, and they change from day to day.
I grew up admiring sports cars. In those days, that meant the European stuff. My first car was a 1959 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite. I bought that because it was the absolutely cheapest way to buy a British sports car. It cost me a whopping $250. Of course it didn’t actually run, at least not on it’s own power. It had a huge hole in one of the valves. I eventually got it back in running order and drove it to college. I later sold it for $750 and thought I’d made a killing. I wish I had it back.
My dream car from that era is the 1955 Mercedes Benze 300SL Gullwing. It is one of the most beautiful cars in the world, and a spectacular piece of engineering. Throw in some racing lineage, and it’s a great combo. How many times have those gullwing doors been copied on everything from expensive sports cars to modified Japanese tuners?
While I still love sports cars, I also like American muscle. After all, I grew up in the 60′s and 70′s. But trying to pick a favorite is nearly impossible. On one day it’ll be the 1968 Shelby GT500, the next it’s an AAR Cuda. Then I’ll see a 1970 Chevelle SS convertible go by and I’m hooked on the bowtie. I can also be easily blinded by late 50′s Detroit convertibles. Everything from the Packard Caribbean to just about anything from 1959 with big fins.
And then there’s the modern stuff. I have a 97 Corvette sitting in my garage. It’s the first year of the C5 and one of the most beautiful body styles of all time. I’d love to have a Viper GTS or a McLaren SLR (now I’m really dreaming). On the other hand, I’m content to drive my 06 Mustang convertible on a daily basis.
So if you see me at any of the Barrett Jackson Auctions and ask me the big question… be prepared for a big answer!
Bio: Rick DeBruhl is a gearhead since birth. Growing up he had car wallpaper in his room. In high school he spent way too much time in auto shop. After working his way through college at Sears Automotive, he turned to journalism, working as a reporter for more than three decades at KPNX-TV. Of course, he couldn't leave cars behind completely. In the mid-80s he started covering auto racing for ESPN. These days he covers IndyCar for ABC, NASCAR Nationwide for ESPN, and the Barrett Jackson collector car auctions for SPEED. His day job is working as the Chief Communications Officer for the State Bar of Arizona.