Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2018 Auction By the Numbers

Every year, I cover the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale. This usually means checking out the auction catalog and writing about some of the more exciting or interesting cars for sale. The 2018 auction featured plenty of interesting vehicles, but I wanted to do something a bit different this time around.

This post is about looking at the Scottsdale auction from a data-driven perspective. If you want to see a bunch of photos of the cool cars at the auction, check our Instagram or follow our blog for more in the future.

Now in its 47th year, Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale 2018 auction had a total of 1,752 vehicles consigned to sell, which was a new record for the company. The oldest car was a 1914 Rolls Royce, and the newest was a 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.

Here is a chart showing the distribution of vehicles in the 2018 catalog by year of manufacture. You can see that 1,095 out of 1,752 vehicles (62.5%) were manufactured between 1950 and 1979. The mean (average) year is 1970, while the median (middle) age of all cars for sale is 1968.

This chart shows the vehicles for sale by Make or Manufacturer. It should come as no surprise that American cars are the most popular, with 1,258 out of 1,752 vehicles (71.8%) for sale produced by Ford, GM, and Chrysler. Chevrolet was the top marque with 588 vehicles, followed by Ford with 314. While you can buy a Porsche or Ferrari at a Barrett-Jackson auction, it’s pretty clear that the bulk of the catalog is centered around American cars from the 1950s through 1970s.

Here we have a similar chart showing the most popular models of vehicle by name. The Corvette was the most popular model of car at the auction with 158 of them for sale (9% of the entire catalog!). The Mustang and Camaro tied for second place, with exactly 103 of them for sale for each car. The Chevrolet Chevelle came in third, with 49 examples for sale at this year’s event. The Ford Thunderbird came in fourth, with 39 cars for sale.

Here is the same chart but without the “Other” vehicles shown. I think it gives a pretty clear picture of what cars people are most interested in buying and selling.

According to the listing titles, just 405 out of 1,752 (23%) of vehicles at the auction were convertibles.

Pickup trucks were even less popular, comprising just 241 out of 1,752 (14%) of vehicles for sale.

Many sellers try to distinguish their vehicle from the others for sale by doing customizations. Analyzing the titles of auction listings, 458 vehicles or 26% of the entire catalog contained the word “custom.”

So what have we learned? Barrett-Jackson will sell whatever someone consigns to them, but we can see that the majority of sellers and buyers are interested in American cars from 1950 to 1979 and more specifically, Corvettes. If you’re in the market for one of these vehicles, Barrett-Jackson is where you need to be!

I hope you enjoyed this look at the numbers behind the auction. Stay tuned for more coverage of Arizona Car Week 2018!

Have You Driven A Mazda Lately? (Craigslist)

Sometime in the mid 80’s Ford chose to improvise rather than adapt or overcome. Instead of predicting the market shift or adapting while it was Ford sat around and watched the Japanese gobble up their cash. They decided that to beat the Japanese at their own game they would be the Japanese at their own game. Continue reading

1986 Mustang SVO | Barrett-Jackson 2018

Time will always fondly remember the brash 5.0l H.O. Mustang GT. It’s fraternal twin: The refined SVO happens to be a more interesting vehicle.

Not just for its unique front fascia, or it’s pedals designed specifically for heel-toe shifts. Not even for its 3.73:1 axle ratio, it’s KONI suspension or it’s Lincoln Mark VII-sourced, five-lug four-wheel disc brakes.

The most important aspect of this vehicle is the turbocharged 200hp 2.3L overhead cam I-4. Coincidentally, the horsepower on the SVO never exceeded the GT year-for-year even though it was the faster of the two cars.

Due to its better weight balance, an overall lighter curb weight and a higher revving engine, this car was more of a match around a track with the BMW M3, the Porsche 944 and the Mazda RX-7 than it was deserving of slugging it out at the stoplights with a lowly tuned port Camaro.

Despite that, the SVO still wouldn’t struggle to show any f-body in 1986 it’s ass as it sped away to the tune of turbo whoosh over its glorified pinto engine howling.

Although most casual Mustang fans have forgotten this car along with some of the other odd things Ford was throwing at the fox body, that didn’t stop this beautiful SVO from reaching $33,000 at auction.

1981 Camaro Z28 | Barrett-Jackson 2018

This is the very last of the second generation of Chevrolet’s Mustang-fighter: the Camaro. Compared to its Ford competition the Camaro looks less like an unfortunate product of an economic crisis and instead more like time capsule for an era of a simpler time for the automotive enthusiast.

This car is well kept with a paint scheme that hasn’t aged poorly by comparison to its peers. Equipped with a four-speed manual transmission this car finds itself only held back by the 165hp LG4 5.0l V8; an engine with potential given its ancestry, but hampered by it’s notoriously problematic computer-controlled carburetor and distributor.

The 1981 has some visual queues that hint at what’s just around the corner for GM with the lighter, sporty and arguably superior third generation platform available in the next model year. That being said, when it comes to pure automotive machismo this Camaro can’t be denied. It’s no surprise it was able to bring in a final price of $28,000.

1979 Dodge Lil Red Express | Barrett-Jackson 2018

Available in 1978 and 1979 this truck has a reputation for being one of the fastest vehicles produced during those years. Although I’d like to be able correctly credit the reason why Dodge was able to squeeze a massive 225hp net rating out of the 360 under the hood, there’s a ton of conflicting reasons why.

Some say it was due to a loophole that allowed a lack of emissions equipment, specifically the catalytic converters. However another source claims the 1979 model has catalytic converters equipped on it, as well as a pointless 85mph speedometer.

What I can say is that Mopar was not able to match this number again until 1993 with the 230hp 5.9l Magnum V8. This truck has also fallen by the wayside along with the Warlock, Midnight Express and other Dodge trucks from this era that paved the way for trucks like the Dodge SRT-10, Ford Lightning, Silverado SS and many others.

This handsome piece of late 70’s lore sold for $20,000 in auction.

1988 Cadillac Eldorado | Barrett-Jackson 2018

This personal luxury coupe was an interesting choice for the discerning Cadillac connoisseur in 1988.

Equipped with the 155hp 4.5l V8 instead of the 165hp LN3 3.8l V6 available in it’s platform mates, the Oldsmobile Tornado and Buick Riviera. Cadillac’s penchant for “high tech” proprietary power plants in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s instead of the venerable 3800 V6 would continue to haunt them until they stopped designing their own engines altogether.

Notable for also being shortest Eldorado at 191.2″ in length which would make it 0.5″ shorter than a current 2017 Ford Fusion.

This particular car was purchased by the local bank in Clovis, NM and managed to accumulate 58,000 miles. This car sold at auction for $4700.

1994 Chevrolet S-10 Custom Truck

During the 1950s and 1960s, the Kustom Kar scene in Southern California was in its heyday. Guys like Sam Barris, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Von Dutch, and Gene Winfield were customizing and modifying cars in extreme new ways. With chopped roofs, shaved trim and smoothed sheet metal work, these customized cars came to be known as “lead sleds.” A favorite vehicle of choice in the scene was the 1949-1951 Mercury coupe.

What these builders would do is combine parts from different cars in order to make a truly unique creation. For example, a Kustom Kar might use a Ford grille and headlight trim rings, a Lincoln bumper, Cadillac taillights, and side mirrors from a Buick. Smooth chrome hubcaps and “lake pipe” side exhausts are other design elements common with these cars.

This is what a proper kustom build looks like. 1951 Kaiser

While the idea of building a “parts bin” hot rod has been around for decades, you don’t really see this happening with modern cars.

Perhaps there is just too much plastic or the labor involved is too intense, but people don’t really swap mirrors, door handles, taillights, and other parts on cars these days. That’s what makes this truck so interesting.

This truck appeared for sale on our local craigslist about two months ago. As you can tell, it looks very different from a conventional S-10 pickup. There has been a ton of body work done to this truck, with every panel modified in some way.

According to the listing, this truck has the HID headlights from a 2011 GMC Sierra with a custom front grille. The front bumper and hood are from a Ford Ranger Edge pickup. The side view mirrors are from a Suzuki Hayabusa sport bike!

Moving to the rear of the truck, the bed is also highly customized. A fleetside bed was turned into a dually-style bed, and taillights from a Chevrolet Colorado pickup were swapped over. The tailgate and rollpan have all been shaved and smoothed into one big seamless piece. The whole thing is riding on a set of 20-inch IROC style wheels, similar to what would have come on a third-gen Camaro but larger than the O.E. size.

Finally, we move to the interior which features the seats, dashboard, and center console from an Acura Integra. The listing states that the gauges are hooked up and that it has working air conditioning with a brand new compressor.

I’ve got to say that looking at the pictures of this truck confuses my brain. The headlights and bed make it look like a full-size truck, but it’s not. The cab and the taillights are both from a compact pickup, and the interior doesn’t look like it would be in a truck at all.

I’m really kind of wondering what kind of person would build this truck. It must be someone with access to a lot of late-model parts, who maybe works at an auto salvage or recycling center?

The idea of combining parts from Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, and Acura into one vehicle sounds like it just wouldn’t work at all, but somehow this person has pulled it off. In Phoenix, there is no shortage of lifted and Pre-runner/baja style trucks that never ever leave the pavement. This truck is truly original, and it doesn’t look like everything else out there.