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Ol' Yaller heads to Vegas auction

The 1961 Ol' Yaller VIII, a movie star car and celebrated racer, will be sold at no reserve
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1961 Ol' Yaller VIII [Barrett-Jackson photo]

The 1961 Ol' Yaller VIII, a movie star car and celebrated racer, will be sold at no reserve during the 2nd Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Las Vegas Oct. 7-10. The car is one of nine Ol' Yallers built by road racing icon Max Balchowsky from 1956-63. It appeared in the 1964 movie, "Viva Las Vegas," with Elvis Presley.

Assembled with spare components from fairly humble production automobiles, Balchowsky's Ol' Yallers became famous for their triumphs over road racing titans of the 1950s and early '60s. While the unusual design and bright yellow paint made them noticeable, it was Balchowsky's remarkable engineering that made the Ol' Yaller a force on the track. Famous drivers such as Dan Gurney and Carroll Shelby piloted Ol' Yallers during their careers and raved about their capabilities.

Ol' Yaller VIII is powered by a 327-cid/350-hp V-8 engine with a Holley four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission and independent front and rear coil suspension. While most of Balchowsky's earlier creations were based on a tube-frame chassis, it was constructed on a Jaguar E-Type shell, making it one of the most aesthetically pleasing Ol' Yallers ever built.

The 2009 Las Vegas event will take place at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and feature approximately 500 collector vehicles on sale, posh lifestyle events and live TV coverage from SPEED.

For more information about Barrett-Jackson, visit or call (480) 421-6694.

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