A 1962 Chevrolet Impala took home the top prize in the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Cup for best-in-show. The car is owned by Randy and Lisa Wilcox of Minneapolis and was built by Andy Leach of CAL Automotive Creations in Omaha, Neb.
(Photo: Seth A. Richardson/RGJ)
For the second year in a row, a Chevy reigned supreme as the king of Hot August Nights by winning one of the nation’s largest show-and-shine events.
The Third Annual Barrett-Jackson Cup awarded to the best-in-show of the annual automotive auction held at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center went to a 1962 Chevrolet Impala owned by Randy and Lisa Wilcox of Minneapolis and built by Andy Leach of CAL Automotive Creations in Omaha, Neb.
Leach said the victory was the culmination of hard work with a desire to build an enduring classic car.
“We had a drawing to go with from the start, kind of a rough sketch of what it would look like, and then all the details worked themselves out as we went through it,” he said. “It was just our goal to build a timeless ’62 Bubbletop and refine it as much as we can and make it stand the test of time.”
The Impala is an iconic car often featured in films and television. The Beach Boys released a hit single in 1962 – “409” – referring to the vehicle.
Steve Chryssos, specialist program manager for Barrett-Jackson, said the Barrett-Jackson Cup is the largest best-in-show competition in the country with $100,000 in cash and prizes available to the finalists.
The winners received $30,000 cash, a General Motors Crate engine and transmission worth $15,000 and further prizes worth more than $12,000.
Second place went to a 1957 Chevy pickup. The owners received $18,000 cash and a prize package worth more than $2,000.
Chryssos said the vehicle show is not so much about restoration as it is about creating a one-of-a-kind piece.
“Each of these cars is a work of art,” he said. “That’s what you’re trying to convey.”
He added that restorations like the Impala used to essentially be showroom pieces. However, in recent years that has changed.
“It used to be they were never driven, but there’s so much functionality now,” he said.
Leach also considered the Impala to be a work of art, but said the owner planned to drive the car – and its 632 horsepower LS9 Crate engine – around, but stressed the vehicle is a work of art.
“It takes a great team to put a car like this together. I can’t take all the credit because there were a bunch of people involved,” he said.
The cup caps off the Hot August Nights week. Leach said he is looking forward to restoring another 1962 Impala for next year’s show.
“The quality cars that were here are unlike anything else,” he said. “We go to a lot of shows nationwide and the quality of cars here, it just doesn’t compare.”
Seth A. Richardson covers breaking news for the RGJ. Contact him at email@example.com, 775-788-6301 or on Twitter at @SethARichardson.
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