Window Shopping: The Cars That Got Away… In Saudi Arabia 

Window Shopping: The Cars That Got Away… In Saudi Arabia 

One of my favorite things to do at a car auction is to pretend I have all the money in the world and “window shop,” selecting several cars I would buy if money was no option. As part of Riyadh Season, a series of festivals in Saudi Arabia, Worldwide Auctioneers put together an impressive docket composed of spectacular cars, offered during the Global Auto Salon

While just four of the 115 cars to cross the block, sold — totaling 13.9 million in sales — I am choosing to see this as a glass-half-full situation. That’s right, there is still an opportunity to pick up one of these sweet rides. 

Let’s take a closer look at some gloriously extravagant cars that didn’t sell when the auction gavel fell.

1968 Dodge “Maximus the Ultra Charger” Custom

Named “Maximus the Ultra Charger” this 1968 Dodge Charger retains its iconic vintage muscle car identity while showing the capabilities of some of today’s most excellent high-end builders, designers, and fabricators. 

Maximus earned the “Best Car at SEMA” award in 2013 and was seen in the tribute to Paul Walker that makes up the final scenes of Fast & Furious 7. It was shown on the covers of Hot Rod and MOPAR Muscle. Scale models of the car are currently produced by both Mattel and Jada Toys, and a digital version exists in the Forza Racing game series. 

As if that wasn’t enough provenance, the car is also the subject of a multi-million-dollar documentary film covering high-end automotive art, produced by Netflix. 

The car features a handbuilt, all-metal, wide-body that took over 16,000 hours to create. It is powered by a patented twin-turbocharged, 572 cubic-inch, all-aluminum-V8 engine estimated to produce 3,000 horsepower. It comes with twin intercoolers and a computer-controlled, dual-fuel-injection system, which makes it capable of automatically switching from 91-octane pump gas to 116-octane racing fuel as needed. 

1968 Dodge “Maximus” Charger seen during the Global Auto Salon – Riyadh | Photo: Nicole Ellan James

Performance achievements include 0-60 mph acceleration in 1.8 seconds, 0-160 mph in 8 seconds, and top speeds ranging from 250 mph to 300 mph, the latter achieved with an optional SSR-NRE aero kit. Maximus is also certified to run in NHRA-sanctioned racing events.

According to the docket listing, the Maximus Charger has a GPS-based traction control system composed of disc brakes with massive 14-inch rotors and six-piston calipers. The suspension features adjustable instant-centering, fully adjustable coilover shock absorbers at all four corners, and splined adjustable sway bars, suitable for a stated 1.0g of lateral acceleration. 

All computerized features are hidden from view and can be exposed by a bespoke “James Bond” robotic dashboard, which holds the original AM radio and custom tech, including an iOS-based touchscreen display. 

The mastermind behind this incredible build is Scott Spock Racing in Las Vegas. The build features a vast amount of the builder’s copyrighted technologies and unobtainable designs. 

1974 MGB GT Coupe

1974 MGB GT seen at Global Auto Salon – Riyadh | Photo: Nicole Ellan James

By far, one of my favorite cars at the auction was this 1974 MGB GT called “Double Agent,” built by Joe Holyfield and RM Motorsports in Wixom, Michigan. It’s powered by a 5.0-liter, Coyote-V8 crate engine built by Roush Performance rated with 500 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. 

The engine features a forged steel crank, H-beam steel rods, and forged aluminum pistons. It’s topped with Borla Eight Stack fuel injection and is solid mounted to the frame with the firewall acting like a mid-plate.

The transmission, an MT82 six-speed manual with a modified Barton shifter, bolts through the firewall and further back to the crossmember. 

Power is transferred to the ground with a Ford 8.8-inch rearend with 4.33 gears and Detroit locker. 

Front suspension is composed of Fast Cars Inc. with tubular control arms and QA1 coilovers, while the rear features four-link with a watts link. The car weighs 2,300 pounds and has a perfect 50/50 weight bias.

Other build highlights include a stainless fuel tank from Ricks Tanks and Jongbloed lightweight three-piece racing wheels. 

Additionally, the car features an aluminum lightweight monocoque-floor construction, and its body has been widened 6-inches with lightweight fiberglass fenders and quarters. It’s covered in BMW Phoenix gold paint and has a Functional roof scoop with a fresh-air helmet cooler. 

2011 Dodge Challenger V10 Drag Pak

2011 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak at Global Auto Salon – Riyadh | Photo: Nicole Ellan James

What’s really interesting about this 2011 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak is that it comes with an 8.4-liter V10 engine, rated with 650 horsepower, which is based on the engine used in the second-gen Dodge Viper. However, this was designed to be a turn-key option for NHRA Stock and Super Stock race classes, and only 70 were built. When it made its debut, Dodge dealers required buyers to sign a document indicating they would not operate it on any public roadways.

According to the docket, the V10 features race headers, solid engine mounts, and a unique tune. The V10 is mated to a two-speed automatic with a one-piece driveshaft and a Mopar solid rear axle. 

The windshield wipers, air-conditioning and heating, rear seats, and power steering have all been deleted, and the window glass replaced with lightweight polycarbonate. Other modifications for racing include bucket seats, a trunk-mounted fuel cell, and rear slicks. The car weighs 3,250 pounds. 

This car features blue and gold graphics along with Le Mans-style stripes over its standard white body. On the side, graphics honor Mr. Norm’s Super GSS and his sponsor Grand Spaulding Dodge. 

1932 Ford “P-32” Highboy Foose Roadster

1932 Ford “P-32” Highboy Foose Roadster seen at Global Auto Salon – Riyadh | Photo: Nicole Ellan James

Chip Foose, the star of Overhaulin’, conceived and built this 1932 Ford Highboy Roadster, named “P-32,” at Foose Design in Huntington Beach, California, during the 2000s. It is a homage to Rat Rods and the iconic design elements of America’s WW II warplanes. 

According to the docket, Foose started with a ’32 Ford chassis from the Deuce Factory with a steel Brookville Roadster body and then performed extensive mods to achieve a distinctive look. He lengthened the doors by two inches and removed two inches from the quarter-panels. Foose also designed a custom aircraft-style nose cone made of aluminum at Marcel’s Custom Metal Shaping, where the P-32’s aluminum hood was also created. 

The grille was liberated from a 1935 Chevrolet, adapted to the Brookville body, and modified to give the appearance of a WW II P-40 radiator scoop. All of the stitch marks, hammer marks, and welds were left in place on the body to emulate the look of urgent repairs made to wartime aircraft. 

Power is delivered by a 1939 Lincoln flathead V-12 engine, with exhaust-manifold tips exposed to simulate the exhaust stacks of a P-40 fighter. Other ’39 Lincoln components include the side-shift manual transmission that sends the power to a Halibrand quick-change rearend with a ’36 Ford housing. 

Front and rear ’39 Ford hydraulic drum brakes were supplied by Andy Wallin and are operated via a ’32 Ford master cylinder. Suspension components, shock absorbers, and wheels are a mix of 1932 and 1936 items. 

Inside, both the driver and passenger sit in seats sourced from a real Boeing B-17 heavy bomber, trimmed for the build-in black Naugahyde, and fitted with wartime seatbelts. Meanwhile, the dashboard and gauges are from a 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr. 

Other interesting items include a custom shift lever with a Bakelite knob, a Moon gas tank with a Moal filler cap, and a cut-down wraparound windscreen. The wheels are ’32 Ford 18-inch wires, with narrow motorcycle-spec tires up front, while the rear wheels adorn wider Firestone-type Coker tires. 

Military-style Olive Drab paint and natural metal finishes continue the highly original WW II aviation-related theme.

1952 Hudson ‘Twin H-Power’ Hornet Six Coupe

1952 Hudson ‘Twin H-Power’ Hornet Six Coupe seen at Global Auto Salon – Riyadh | Photo: Nicole Ellan James

Based on a 1952 Hudson Hornet Six Coupe, this recreation of the National Association of Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) “Fabulous Hudson Hornet” features period-correct colors, painted-on race lettering, and details celebrating famed Hudson driver, Marshall Teague. 

The Hornet Six came as part of the updated 1951 “Step Down” Hudson models that were introduced in December 1950. Considered a highly competitive entry, Hudson ran the car at the 1951 Beach Race — 160-laps at Daytona Beach. At the time, Marshall Teague was a local driver who managed to qualify 6th at 96.48 mph and finished the race over a minute ahead of the next guy. 

According to the docket, the Hornet is powered by Hudson’s legendary 308 cubic-inch “flathead” inline six-cylinder engine, topped with a ‘Twin H-Power’ dual-carburetor intake system, hooked to a Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission. 

The consignor, a lifelong Hudson owner, had the Hornet finished in its current livery following its purchase. Since restoration, the Hornet has been driven a few thousand miles and adequately sorted, confirming it is a great classic car to drive and enjoy. 

1955 “Orange Krisp” Ford Tudor Ranch Wagon 

1955 Ford Tudor Ranch Wagon seen at Global Auto Salon – Riyadh | Photo: Nicole Ellan James

Completed in early 1998, this 1955 Ford Ranch Wagon known as “Orange Krisp” built by Ken “Posies” Fenica, was shown at countless shows and competitions across the country. 

The wagon borrows its roof from a 1958 Edsel Villager station wagon, giving it a more streamlined roofline than the original design. The panel was grafted to the lower body, which has had all it’s original badging removed, door handles shaved, and fitted with electric “poppers.” The license plate was mounted in a deep, custom enclosure on the tailgate with both of the trademark jet-inspired taillights with recessed lenses. 

The exterior is finished in PPG’s high-impact Orange Krisp color, which proved to be the perfect name for the unique build. Another defining feature is the side treatment, which features a “Fairlane dip” in a twin-rail pattern. The look is complete with a set of custom Cadillac Sombrero style billet wheels. 

Inside, hand-stitched tan leather seats are accented with a custom print fabric, which was also used for the headliner, sun visors, and door panel inserts. Additionally, the entire dashboard is a full assortment of gauges while the original 1955 Ford “Astra-View” speedometer cluster has been retained. 

Even though the debut was nearly 22 years ago, its recent upgrades make it feel up to date and timeless. The wagon recently received a reconfigured ventilated hood to cover its new Roush RSC Coyote Supercharged V8, rated at 600 hp. It also got upgraded brakes, and the installation of a Deltrans modified Ford AOD transmission. Most recently, the car toured the show car circuit as part of the Roush display and was recently presented with high awards at the Detroit Motor City Autorama exhibition.

Honorable mention: 1916 La Bestioni Batmobile

1916 La Bestioni Batmobile seen at Global Auto Salon – Riyadh | Photo: Nicole Ellan James

Known as the La Bestioni Batmobile, Gary Wales of Woodland Hills, California, created this machine from a 1916 American LaFrance chassis and a massive, 1,007 cubic-inch Seagrave engine. 

Seagrave and American LaFrance, the coachbuilders, were known for building high-quality, reliable, and extremely heavy-duty vehicles. These proved to be the ideal vehicle of choice for many Fire Departments in the United States with a large enough budget to afford the very best. 

With all its original fire apparatus missing and the drivetrain intact, Wales began creating “La Bestioni.” Each Wales creation has a theme, and this one is “The One Hundred-Year-Old Batmobile.” 

The 16-liter engine has separate blocks for each piston and utilizes 24 spark plugs (four per cylinder) to run. Power is shifted through a three-speed manual transmission to the rear axle, driven by a remarkable dual chain-drive system. 

The power, coupled with its reduced weight, makes it capable of 100 mph. While it may not be for the faint of heart, rest assured this La Bestioni also incorporates power disc brakes and power-assisted steering. The original design elements remain, but with modern safety features that blend and enhance the overall performance, allowing the driver and co-pilot to navigate in current driving conditions safely.

It is important to note that George Barris, the creator of dozens of famous cars used in television and movies including the original Batmobile in the 1960s, was a close friend and mentor to Wales. 

Wale’s vision was that if a Batmobile were built 100 years ago, this is what it might look like. Wales was able to present the Batmobile to Barris before he passed. Barris gave the build a special badge, displayed on the dashboard, and stated this creation was the only other authorized Batmobile other than his original. 

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About the author

Nicole Ellan James

As an automotive journalist and avid car enthusiast, Nicole Ellan James has a passion for automotive that is reflected in every aspect of her lifestyle. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @nicoleeellan
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