Today was the final day of Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2013. By the numbers, it was one of the most successful auctions ever. Over 3,400 bidders participated in the 7-day event, buying $100 million worth of vehicles – $58 million of which happened on Saturday alone.
As the cars are delivered to their new owners and the booths and tents are packed up, I would like to reflect on 10 things I loved about Barrett-Jackson 2013.
10. Attending Multiple Days
I’ve attended the auction as a spectator in previous years, but this time was there as a member of the press. Being able to attend more than a single day really allowed me to enjoy everything the show had to offer.
9. Hanging out in the Media Center
The staff in the Media Center were extremely helpful. I enjoyed reading the daily car lists as well as the previous day’s sales totals. Having a place to get out of the sun, grab a drink, and recharge your camera made the event much more pleasant.
8. Free Stuff
When it came to free promotional items, I made out like a bandit this year! Two t-shirts, a baseball hat, a full-size poster, and a bunch of literature made its way into my bag. Score!!
7. Bondurant Corvette Ride and Drive
I’d seen the Bondurant Corvettes whipping people around the test track at previous auctions, but had never gone for a spin until this year. I’m glad I did! The drivers really know how to demonstrate the acceleration and handling of their cars. It put a smile on my face!
6. The Variety of Vehicles for Sale
There was certainly an impressive catalog of vehicles for sale this year. The Carroll Shelby collection had over 40 special vehicles, and who could forget the #1 original Batmobile! There were some real rarities like silent film star Fatty Arbuckle’s custom Pierce-Arrow and Sammy Davis Jr.’s Stutz. I saw a 1910 Buick and a 2014 C7 Corvette, and almost everything in between. There were countless Camaros, Mustangs, GTOs, Chevelles, Bel Airs, and other classic American rides.
5. The Opening Gala
The opening night gala was a real class act. The official kickoff event was a big success with over 5,000 attendees. There was gourmet food, a fashion show, and a special dedication to Carroll Shelby. It was a lot of fun to attend this event.
4. Celebrity Appearances
You never know who you might run into at Barrett-Jackson! This year I saw notable gearhead Jay Leno helping to start an old Fiat, and NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon on stage auctioning one of his race cars for charity. Finally, George Barris himself was present to help auction off the #1 Batmobile.
3. Seeing the 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray
Unveiled just days before at the Detroit Auto Show, the first production model of the 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray crossed the block on Saturday the 19th. The car sold for $1.1 million dollars, all of which was donated to the Center for Creative Studies, a private arts college in Detroit. Barrett-Jackson does not take any fees on charity auction cars. The winning bidder was Rick Hendrick of Hendrick Motorsports.
2. Watching the Batmobile Auction
Although I was never a huge Batman fan, there is no denying that this is one of the most famous and recognizable custom cars ever built. When it came time to auction it on Saturday the 19th, it was complete madness! I was standing shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of other media people, listening to the roar of the crowd as the bids went to $2 million, then $3 million, then $4 million dollars. There was real excitement in the air as the gavel slammed down at $4,200,000. I felt like I finally experienced what Barrett-Jackson is all about!
I feel that this year’s Scottsdale auction was the best ever, and I can’t wait for the next one!