When you pull up Ken Salamone’s driveway in Diamond Point on Lake George, the closed garage doors at the end of it look pretty unassuming. In fact, from the outside, it appears to be your ordinary two-car garage, the type that might be connected to a reasonably sized house. On the other side of those nondescript doors, however, is something that can only be described as having been stripped from a Bruce Springsteen song. There’s a vintage Hemi up on a car lift; various Ducatis and an Aprilia kickstanded and waiting for a rev-up; two wall-mounted electric guitars, a full drum kit, keyboard and amplifiers in the back corner; and the star of the show, a Grabber Blue 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429, with a black interior, which Salamone is putting on the block at this year’s Saratoga Motorcar Auction that is set for September 18-19 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). (By the way, that’s only the top floor of the garage, which can house up to five cars total; a bottom level reveals a number of other high-end metallic treasures stacked snugly into a four-door garage, which holds up to 13 additional cars.)
A lifelong car enthusiast and amateur mechanic, Salamone is a trustee at the Saratoga Automobile Museum and will be offering up his Mustang as one of the key lots in the September auction. It could realize as much as $300,000-$350,000 when the hammer falls, per the Auto Museum’s Auction Director, Bill Windham. Salamone is only its fourth owner; he was preceded by NASCAR driver Bill Elliott, construction mogul Eddie Vannoy and finally, Dana Mecum, the famed car auction founder, whom he bought it from in 2011. “The latest on the registry is that there are 11 Grabber Blues known to exist with a black interior,” he says. “That was one of the buying points for me.” Salamone even has the car’s original, non-functioning battery in the trunk—something that collectors have offered him $10,000 for alone.
With all that pricey metal and horsepower in his garage—and a sprawling, multi-house lakefront compound-in-the-making on the other side of it—you’d half expect Salamone to be a flesh-and-blood horse guy, too. Not so. “I do not own any horses,” he says. “I fell off a horse once when I was young, and they scare me.” But local horse fanatics can get off their, um, high horse: Salamone’s a big fan of Saratoga Springs and its historic racetrack. “We go to the Travers—we love Saratoga,” he says. He won’t be going to any races this year, obviously. He’s got his own dandy to place at SPAC, show to the masses and hopefully, get a winning bid for.