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The 2013 Barrett Jackson Scottsdale auction hit a new high after organizers announced that the car auction generated almost $109 million in sales, a figure that represents a 17-percent increase from their 2012 numbers.

All in all, 1,343 cars were sold, generating a sum total of $108,766,069. Of those numbers, 21 charity cars were sold for $5,005,000.

The closest the auction came to this number was back in 2007. In addition to that staggering total, the event also attracted a record attendance that was made even more impressive by the unusually cold temperatures during the weekend. In total, over 300,000 people attended the event, proving that when it comes to auctioning off classic vehicles, there’s no such thing as an economic recession.

The 2013 Scottsdale auction also set two world records, including posting the largest number of “No Reserve” vehicles offered at one auction and the largest-ever Barrett-Jackson auction measured by the number of cars sold.

Suffice to say, the auction was a resounding success for Barrett-Jackson. You don’t stumble into $109 million over one weekend. You have to be good at what you do to hit that number. It sure helped that a lot of the cars auctioned off generated varying levels of bidding wars, but in the end, give credit to Barrett-Jackson for putting the whole thing together.

It’s not a trailer for a new space-cadet movie, nor is it an ad for diapers. What it is, though, is a teaser of what Korean automaker Kia is planning for the Super Bowl.

We’re not quite sure what the direction Kia is taking with this one, but we do know that when it comes to the Super Bowl, all conventional thinking when it comes to commercials flies right out the window.

Kia’s theme this year is all about "Space Babies,” a concept that we still can’t wrap our heads around. That’s probably what the Korean automaker was hoping for in the first place, so we keep talking about the ad before its scheduled launch during the Super Bowl.

If that is indeed what they were going for, consider it a job well done. The sight of a baby boy in a space suit accompanied by baby animals in similar space suits in a sort of intergalactic version of Noah’s Ark has left us very perplexed. And the most confusing part; the commercial is set to promote the 2014 Kia Sorento.

Not sure how the SUV can be tied into this, but then again, the beauty of it all lies in the suspense.

Two years ago, Volkswagen released arguably the greatest Super Bowl commercial ever with "The Force" spot for the Volkswagen Passat featuring "Li’l Darth Vader" spot for the Volkswagen Passat.

This year, the German automaker is taking a different yet similarly creative approach with their new Super Bowl ads. Instead of continuing with the Star Wars reference, Volkswagen decided to tap reggae legend Jimm Cliff to sing a cover of "C’mon Get Happy" from the 70’s TV show "The Partridge Family.”

What’s the significance of the song to the commercial, which is dubbed "Sunny Side?”

Mixed in with shots of Jimmy Cliff singing the song are YouTube clips from some of the most memorable viral Internet blowups and breakdowns seen on YouTube. The central theme of these clips revolves around men, women, and even llamas that have had their temper tantrums captured on video and posted on YouTube.

That’s where "C’mon Get Happy" comes into the picture. The whole concept is pretty cool and the appearance of the protagonists of those videos adds a level of authenticity to the ad. But the real star of the commercial is Jimmy Cliff. That man is a true legend.

We’ll bring you all of VW’s ads following the game.

Only during the Super Bowl will you see commercials - yes, commercials - have their own teasers. But that’s how lucrative that precious airtime is during the big game; the idea of teasing your million-dollar commercials with separate and cheaper spots leading up to the Super Bowl has kind of become an industry norm.

This year, Toyota is taking that route with the release of a teaser for their Super Bowl commercial(s). We already know that Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco will be the face of the commercials, but what we don’t know is the direction the campaign is going. In the teaser, Cuoco is strutting her stuff to “I Wish” by Skee-Lo – a song that hit No. 13 on the charts in 1995 – where he sings about wishing to be taller and wishing to be a baller. As these wishes are laid out, the passersby get these wishes – a short man grows taller, a delivery-truck driver dunks a basketball and a normal guy gets a good looking woman to call.

The part of the song that is the strangest is when Skee-Lo says “I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat in a ‘64 Impala.” We get the ’64 Impala, but the “rabbit in a hat with a bat?” What the??? Well, your wish is Toyota’s command, obviously, as waiting in Cuoco’s car is just that.

Stay tuned for the rest of Toyota’s Super Bowl commercials; they are bound to be sweet. We’ll have them all here following the game!

Click past the jump to see the original Skee-Lo video to see where this all stems from.

Unlike Subaru , Scion is still a relative newbie to the Rally America scene, having only raced in the series for one year before this season. But now that it’s got its maiden experience out of the way, Scion is preparing to be more of a factor in the series’ two-wheel-drive class.

Championing their cause is the new 2013 Scion xD Rally Car, an innocuous model that has been turned into a full-fledged rally car with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that has likewise been force-fed with a GReddy turbocharger. Add some rally-spec components, redesign the interior for rally purposes, slap on the obligatory sponsor logos, and you have a race car that’s primed and ready to get down and dirty.

The make the xD Rally Car more competitive this year, scion bumped up its horsepower – the amount remains undisclosed, of course – added in an all-new suspension system and better balanced the awkward-looking xD’s weight distribution.

Of course, Scion has no illusions of being a straight-up contender to the mighty Subaru team. But considering that they’re just entering their second year of competition, we’d be very disappointed if Scion doesn’t build on the foundation they set last year and get some winning results in the two-wheel-drive class.

Click past the jump to read Scion’s full press release

Subaru Rally Team USA has been more than a fixture in the Rally America champion series; they’ve flat out dominated it in recent years. So it’s not surprising that the team is returning for the 2013 season with enormous expectations of repeating their 2012 title-winning season.

This season, the duo of David Higgins and Craig Drew are set to unleash on Rally America anew and they’ve prepared the perfect steed, the 2013 Subaru WRX STI Rally Car, to help them do the job.

It certainly goes without saying that the championship will run through this team and if there are any challengers out there, they better expect nothing short of a competitive throw down against a team that has made a habit of scooping up Rally America titles in recent years.

And with the 2013 WRX STI Rally Car in the fold, the path to the championship will be much more difficult for the rest of the teams. We’ve been fans of Rally America since its inception in 2005 - yeah, back in the days when Travis Pastrana was behind Subaru’s four-straight championships from 2006 through 2009 - and trust us, it’s hard to bet against a team that has walked away with the title in seven of the eight years the series has been alive.

It’s that time of the year again, fellas. The Super Bowl is less than two weeks away and, as is always the case around this time, a lot of automakers are gearing up for a blitzkrieg of commercials to be shown during the game, which features the 49ers and Ravens this time around.

One commercial that has made its way onto the Web is the one for the Mercedes CLA-Class . And wouldn’t you know it, Mercedes tapped the perfect celebrity to pique the interests of men everywhere: Kate Upton.

Everything Kate Upton does these days generates strong interest from all warm-blooded males. Heck, if she showed up in a commercial with a space suit on and covering her entire body, she’s going to find a way to make wearing a space suit sexy.

So, imagine how transfixed we all were when we watched this commercial featuring Upton shaking her thang while a bunch of dudes washed the CLA-Class. She’s too beautiful for words so we’ll just leave it all up to you to enjoy it as much as we did.

And remember, there is a car in the ad too, so pay attention!

Alfa Romeo 4C

It seems like we’ve been waiting for the Alfa Romeo 4C for over a decade now. We know it really hasn’t been that long, but the wait for this car has been real a patience-tester.

It now appears that the horizon is finally upon us; the 4C Coupe and Roadster appears to be within our sights.

At least that’s what Chrysler & Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said at the Detroit Auto Show when he declared that the 4C will go on sale in the U.S. before the end of the year. "We’re finalizing the car now, so it should be here by the end of the year," Marchionne was quoted by The Detroit News.

Yet even that latest proclamation was met with a little confusion after a statement earlier last week pretty much said that the 4C’s U.S. debut will be delayed in light of continuing talks regarding the return of the Italian automaker on U.S. soil.

At this point, it’s probably a more prudent approach to simply wait for the car to appear in dealerships. We’ve waited long enough for the 4C, anyway. What’s another year’s worth of keeping an eye out for its debut?

At the very least, we’re waiting for a pretty spicy sports car, one that comes with a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine that develops 230 horsepower with a 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) time of less than five seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.

Source: Detroit News
Batmobile

Car collector Rick Champagne has every right pop open a bottle of his last name after becoming only the second owner of one of Hollywood’s most iconic cars. He had to sweat out a feverish bidding war for the George Barris’ original 1966 Batmobile , the same one used in the Adam West Batman TV series. In the end, however, his checkbook did all the talking to the tune of $4.2 million at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The winning bid price might seem steep, but given the kind of car the ’66 Batmobile is, we presume that it was worth every last penny from Champagne’s bank account.

With the classic movie car now belonging to him, Champagne only becomes the second owner of the Batmobile after Barris, the same man who famously built the Batmobile in only 15 days in time for it to be used in the Batman TV series. On top of the car itself, Champagne also went home with number of memorabilia and documentation from Barris’ own personal collection.

Not a bad haul for Mr. Champagne!

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

With our sincerest apologies to the SRT Viper , you sir, have just been trumped big time. When the first production Viper sold for $300,000 at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Orange Country last June, we thought that the figure was pretty impressive.

Turns out, it didn’t even get to sniff a third of the winning bid price the first production Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray received over the weekend at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale.

$1.1 million was the winning bid for the Corvette C7 Stingray, proving without any hint of a doubt just how popular this American supercar has become since it made its debut a week ago at the Detroit Auto Show.

Not surprisingly, the winning bidder came from someone who knows a thing or two about Corvettes: NASCAR team owner and Corvette collector Richard Hendrick.

Proceeds from Hendrick’s...uhmm...generosity will go to a worthy cause, as the money will benefit the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, which is acclaimed in the U.S. for its outstanding automotive design program.

Big congratulations to Richard Hendrick for scooping up the first production Corvette C7 Stingray. Not only did he prove his worth as a serious Corvette collector, but more importantly, he’s sending his money to a school that will need the funds to develop the future of this industry.


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