Perhaps you’ve seen a Transformers movie, or two, or six, in the past 11 years. (Google says there are six now.) Perhaps you’ve liked them, even, to the point that you’ve dreamed of one day owning the sporty, automatic stunt cars that turn into robots on the big screen. Now’s your chance to own four.
There’s one big catch, though: All four of the vehicles will come with a scrap title and none of them will be street legal. There go your carpool plans for the next Transformers movie premiere. Darn.
Barrett-Jackson is auctioning off four Transformers movie cars as a package deal in Scottsdale, Arizona later this month—all four of them black-and-yellow Chevrolet Camaros representing the robot character Bumblebee, who (which?) recently starred in an unnecessarily sexy movie of his (its?) namesake. Money from the Camaros’ auction will go to charity, and the person who wins will get a 2010 model from the first and second movies, a 2010 model from the third movie, a 2013 model from the fourth movie and a 2016 one from the fifth movie.
There’s no reserve, or minimum bid, on the auction, and all four cars come with V8s and automatic transmissions. Together, the listing says, they form “an impressive portfolio of exclusive collector cars that cannot be duplicated.” They also can’t be driven legally on the street, thanks to their scrap titles.
“Scrap title” isn’t a very common term legally, but Barrett-Jackson defines it as a title on a vehicle “that has been modified and therefore is not compliant with motor vehicle laws.” A vehicle with a scrap title, according to Barrett-Jackson, “may not be driven on public roads and can be used as a static display only.”
The definition doesn’t say whether a scrap car can be made street legal, and it also isn’t clear in legislative or legal sources. But a 2009 New York Times story said a 1996 Buick Blackhawk auctioned by Barrett-Jackson on a scrap title was made to be road legal at the time:
Nearly all the cars in the G.M. offering were sold on either a bill of sale or a scrap title, according to Barrett-Jackson. The former, Mr. Jackson said, can never be legally registered for road use. Fortunately, the Blackhawk was sold on a scrap title so it can be registered and driven on public roads. It would be a shame for it to spend its life behind a velvet rope.
There are no interior photos on the Barrett-Jackson listing that might show any modifications or removals made to these particular vehicles, and the listings don’t state why the cars are being sold on a scrap title. We’ve asked Barrett-Jackson representatives why exactly these movie show cars aren’t legal, and will update this story if we hear back.
But surely fighting alien robots aren’t street legal, either, so this is probably all just a big show of authenticity. Yeah, that’s it.