WANT FRIES WITH THAT?

The Weekend Australian - Life - - MOTORING - JOHN CON­NOLLY jc@jcp.com.au

I know many of you think what you read here ev­ery Satur­day is a work of fic­tion fu­elled by il­licit sub­stances with a few added drops of nitro­meth­ane, dini­tro­propane, ace­tone, propy­lene ox­ide and ni­troben­zene.

It’s easy to come to that view given Phil King loves Land Rovers and Mark South­cott drives a Moke. But no. Ear­lier this year, reg­u­lar reader and petrol (and diesel but not hy­brid) head Howard S (we’ll call him Howard S be­cause I have for­got­ten his last name) took a road trip across the US to check out some of the must-see sights in soon-to-be Trump land.

Nat­u­rally th­ese in­cluded the home of the world’s best burger, Re­hab Burger Ther­apy on 2nd Street in Scotts­dale, Ari­zona, not far from Scotts­dale Fashion Square where Dave Good­ing has his an­nual car auc­tion.

As you re­mem­ber I rec­om­mended the PBJ & Ba­con Burger ($16), say­ing that it “freaks your mouth out with a ridicu­lously de­li­cious Amer­i­can flavour com­bi­na­tion of peanut but­ter, grape jam, ba­con and sriracha hot sauce (so hot it ranks in the 1000-2500 heat units range). Lucky I was there for happy hour (11am to close ev­ery day) so the frozen mar­gar­i­tas, cool­ing to the burnt-out tongue and for speech ther­apy, were only $13.”

Howie writes: “We had to check it out — and it was great! God bless Amer­ica and the PBJ burger.”

Howie and his mate backed up for a Hang­over Burger ($18), “a sure cure for ev­ery tummy tainted from the night be­fore. Fried egg, ba­con, Colby jack cheese and hatch green chilli”. Re­hab Burger Ther­apy guar­an­tees you “reach a re­ha­bil­i­tated state with ev­ery bite”.

Last month’s Bar­rett-Jack­son Palm Beach auc­tion flooded the South Florida fair­grounds with 65,000 would-be bid­ders. If you are a mus­cle-car lover and you weren’t there, you missed out on an experience nearly as good as the PBJ burger.

Af­ter sell­ing $30 mil­lion worth of metal, Bar­ret­tJack­son boss Craig Jack­son told me that “one of the big­gest stories was the strong de­mand for orig­i­nal Amer­i­can iron this year. Cus­toms, es­pe­cially trucks were pop­u­lar, too. But the pris­tine, match­ing-num­bers Amer­i­can mus­cle and sports cars were par­tic­u­larly cov­eted.”

One of those pristines was a heart-achingly beau­ti­ful 1969 Ford Mus­tang Boss ($750,000), pic­tured. Corvettes were strong with a 1967 Corvette road­ster bring­ing $230,500 while an­other Bloom­ing­ton Gold cer­ti­fied 427 con­vert­ible topped $200,000.

I lost out on both Her­itage Edi­tion Ford GTs with fran­tic bid­ding see­ing one go for $600,000 and the other bring­ing $550,500. There were lots of fa­mous peo­ple there, par­tic­u­larly from the coun­try and west­ern caper. I had never heard of most of them but I did recog­nise Bill Shat­ner au­to­graph­ing his 2002 As­ton Martin DB7 and 2004 Volk­swa­gen Phaeton af­ter they had sold.

OK, talk­ing about en­ter­tain­ment prod­ucts, on to our new food and drink sec­tion. Just un­der 1km from the auc­tion is, wait for it, Con­nolly’s Sports Bar & Grill, “sham­rockin in the USA”. No, the owner is not re­lated, but when I went on a Mon­day night there was free pool, 40c wings and $7 pitch­ers of beer. Who said Amer­i­can restau­rants were ex­pen­sive?

Any­way, the wings are prob­a­bly the best in the world. Made fresh to or­der with blue-cheese cel­ery and car­rots, you can have them Ir­ish rubbed or Con­nolly rubbed (nup, I’m not go­ing there.) Fol­low the Jumbo wings (extra blue cheese 75c) with Con­nolly’s Burger (500g, $11) and a side of Con­nolly’s Fries ($6.50).

Talk­ing of qual­ity en­ter­tain­ment, if you’re around Mackay next Satur­day join The Weekend Aus­tralian mo­tor­ing team down at the wa­ter­front for the start of the 2016 Shit Box Rally.

The ex­ec­u­tive team here at News Corp Aus­tralia has gone wild. We’ll have a polo shirt, a polo cap, two pens and a bag to give away to the first lucky read­ers to come up to what’s left of the car. Be still your beat­ing heart.

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