Ford Falcon once owned by Jimmy Buffett going up for auction in Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — For a little while on Saturday, Greensboro will be Margaritaville.

A lot of cars, around 800 to be exact, are heading to Greensboro for the annual GAA Classic Car Auction over on Norwalk Street.

All of those cars have stories, but one car might have the best story of all, because it’s connected to a musical icon who brought people a lot of joy.

It’s a tidy little 1963 Ford Falcon Convertible and it’s got everyone talking. Johnny Ranson, the guy who brings cars in from all over the country, first laid eyes on it while visiting a client in Florida.

“I didn’t even know he had it,” Ransom said. “He went over there, pulled it back and showed me… Then he showed me the title, whose name it was in. Oh wow, my teeth just about fell out! This is great!”

One of the largest classic car collections now up for auction in North Carolina

On the title: James William Buffett of Key West, Florida. Known to friends, family and a legion of fans as Jimmy Buffett, the beach music icon died who in September 2023. Parrotheads can imagine that maybe he dreamed up some of his song lyrics cruising down Highway 1 in this classic.

“They really connect with him, they follow him around…didn’t matter if you lived in Greensboro and he was in Charlotte, you were going to Charlotte to see him,” Ransom said. “I mean, they were just very loyal to him.”

Celebrity a big factor in car auctions

The Falcon is unique, too. It’s got a roll bar, more common in a sports car, added by Buffett so the car could hold his surfboard.

Celebrity is a big part of collecting cars. It can turn a nice ride into a major investment, especially when the former owner is a musician. Parrotheads are passionate about Buffett’s music and legacy. You can bet that a fan will be willing to pay for the privilege of owning this beach cruiser.

As an added bonus, it comes with one of Buffett’s surfboards and a signed guitar!

The Ford Falcon crosses the auction block on Saturday.

“We’ve sold some million-dollar cars, and that’s been great. But for me to be able to sell a Jimmy Buffett car, still titled in Jimmy Buffett’s name, his guitar and surfboard goes along with it all in one package deal with the authenticity saying this is his signature on the guitar… It’s great, it’s a great day.”

Bidders have signed up from all over and several are flying in, all determined to take home this piece of music history.

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Watching these kinds of heavy-duty bidding wars in real time is thrilling; a ten-person boxing match with only one person packing the knockout blow.

“It’s just an adrenaline rush,” Ransom said. “From the excitement and the presentation, it’s almost like an NFL Super Bowl is going to be going on right here in Greensboro.”

By the end of the weekend, Buffett’s car will head to new latitudes, with a new attitude and new owner who gets to celebrate the son of a son of a sailor.

This Falcon will truly be the star of the show when it crosses the auction block Saturday afternoon. Bidding is expected to be strong.

You can visit the auction, happening Friday and Saturday at 301 Norwalk Street, and get tickets at the door, or you can watch the festivities online on their website.

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