Alex Van Halen’s rhythmic solo at the beginning of “Hot for Teacher” is absolutely one of the best drum intros in rock history, and I will not be accepting any dissent at this time. His brother Eddie wasn’t too shabby on the guitar, either; my entire teenage years were punctuated with his mind-blowing skills on display in “Eruption” and every song on the 1984 album. As it turns out, Eddie was an enthusiast too, filling his garage with a number of vehicles fit for a rock legend.
Once upon a time, Eddie owned and drove a custom 1934 Ford sedan hot rod, and that very car is up for auction with a starting bid of $100,000. The guitarist sold the car somewhere along the way, because it later showed up on (of all places) Craigslist for $70,000 in 2015, and then popped up again in 2017 at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale.
Van Halen was quite the collector for many years, and the centerpiece was a 1972 Lamborghini Miura Valerie Bertinelli gave him as a wedding gift. During the song “Panama” the deep, growling notes when David Lee Roth starts crooning about easing the seat back is the sound of the Miura's V12 revving up.
But let’s get back to the 1934 Ford, which is much more attainable than the custom Lambo. First of all, it was stuffed with a Chevy 350 cubic-inch V8 engine and topped off with a B&M mini-blower. It’s sitting on a set of smoking-hot Real Wheels and a full Jaguar rear conversion, and the whole thing is draped in what you might call “Arrest-Me Red”. I feel pretty confident, however, that if Eddie had ever been pulled over in this bright red hot rod, it was more likely he’d get a request for an autograph than a ticket.
Take a peek under the hood and you’ll see a mass of braided stainless hoses and a custom stainless exhaust system along with an impossibly clean undercarriage. Inside, the hot rod is swathed in suede and leather in a rich caramel color, all created by designer-to-the-stars Ron Mangus. You might remember Magnus as the genius mind behind the interior of the Aquarius, Metallica frontman James Hetfield’s Art Deco hot rod.
If the chopped-top car isn’t enough, the auction house is including a Fender guitar signed by the Van Halen brothers along with singer David Lee Roth and bass slinger Michael Anthony. And you’ll get the original deed signed with Eddie’s own hand. The price seems to be trending upward with every sale, so if you're a Van Halen fan, this is one of the coolest pieces of memorabilia out there.
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