Vroom Vroom

Yeah, baby: the 1966 Citroen 2CV from the latest Austin Powers flick

Ah, yes. We remember it like it was yesterday. Taking a mid-afternoon break from high school, tooling down a two-lane blacktop doing 96 mph in a classmate's jacked-up Chevy SS, smoking a fatty and listening to Skynyrd blaring on his cassette deck.

Of course, where we're from--the backwoods of the Midwest--it could very well have been yesterday, instead of 1979. Decades of environmental awareness and rising gasoline prices have not dimmed the lust for overpowered American muscle cars among our former homies, who no doubt would rush to attend this weekend's 30th Annual Dallas Collector Car Auction at the Dallas Market Center, if they hadn't blown their last dimes on new rims and the Foghat boxed CD set.

Billed as the oldest and largest collector car auction in Texas (like we checked), the event will feature 500 vehicles, including an orange 1966 Citroen 2CV featured in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. The Citroen is also notable for being one of the few foreign cars at the auction, which mainly features vintage American cars and hot rods--Mustangs, Challengers and the like.


The 30th Annual Dallas Collector Car Auction

Dallas Market Hall, 2100 N. Stemmons Freeway

November 22 to November 24. General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. The doors open for viewing at 9 a.m. each day. For more information, check out www.leakecarauction.com.

Now you might think that retro American cars have become passe at a time when muscle cars weigh in at something like 400 tons and have names like Expedition and Hummer. Yet the show attracts a diverse crowd--families and serious collectors--and the cars have become increasingly popular this year, thanks in part to the lousy performance of the stock market, a show spokeswoman says. Classic cars are gaining ground as investments, especially post-Enron.

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"We've seen such a turnaround...People are now putting their money in something they can see and touch," the spokeswoman says.

Right. So people have more faith in American automobile technology, pre-1970, than in today's stock market. The economy may be worse off than we think.

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