Barrett-Jackson 2017: Setting Records, Making Memories

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This 1960 Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle sold for $1.3 million at Barrett-Jackson’s 2017 Scottsdale auction.

For 46 years, the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale has been the cornerstone event of what has grown into “Arizona Car Week.” I have been attending the Scottsdale auction for over 10 years now, and have covered the event on this site for 5 of those years. Usually, I recap the auction by writing about a couple of unique cars that caught my eye, or industry trends like Micro Cars, hot rods, and celebrity car sales. This year, I want to do something different and share some thoughts about the January 2017 auction.

Setting Records
barrett-jackson-sold-stickerThe Scottsdale 2017 auction was a record-breaker for Barrett-Jackson and for the collector car community. Consignments were way up this year, indicating that confidence in the market is on the rise.

The auction normally features 1,400-1,500 collector cars, and 2017 saw a jump to 1,719 vehicles on the docket! In fact, they actually started the auction a day early on Monday, January 16th, just to get through them all!

Here are a couple of highlights from the Scottsdale auction:

  • Over 320,000 people attended the 8-day event
  • Total auction sales (including memorabilia) were approximately $102 million
  • Cars in the auction had a 99.5% sell-through rate
  • The Charlie Thomas Collection featured 146 vehicles and yielded more than $1.7 million in sales
  • There were 8 Charity Auction cars, which raised a total of $2.28 million dollars for charities ranging from Military Veterans to Children’s Hospitals
  • The top charity car was Steven Tyler’s 2012 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder supercar which sold for $800,000, of which 100% of the proceeds went to Janie’s Fund, a program that provides support for abused and neglected girls
  • More than 36 hours of live auction coverage aired on Velocity TV and Discovery

You might think that after 46 years, the car auction business would be a humdrum event, but that’s not the case at all. Compared to other car auctions, Barrett-Jackson has the largest catalog of cars, the largest audience, and nearly half a century of experience, and they know how to generate excitement unlike anyone else. I think that is reflected by the record-breaking numbers in this year’s auction.

Making Memories
One of the hallmarks of the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction is that there’s so much to do. While the cars are the main focus, there were vendor exhibits, Dodge Thrill Rides, celebrity appearances, a Polo match, a BMX exhibition, and plenty of food options to create a full day’s entertainment each day of the event.

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While all of these are great, my favorite part of the auction is walking around under the tents outside and looking at the different cars that have been consigned for sale. While I am out there, I see lots of other people doing the same thing. The love of cars is an interest that brings people together, regardless of age, income, or other factors.

Barrett-Jackson is not in the business of selling cars – they are selling dreams.

There are groups of friends both young and old walking around checking out the cars. I see best friends reminiscing about the cars they had in high school and the mischief they got into. Barrett-Jackson is not in the business of selling cars – they are selling dreams. Dreams of the car they always wanted, or the one they used to have that got away.

I see young kids whose eyes light up when they see a Plymouth Prowler or a gigantic supercharger sticking up out of the hood of a muscle car. This is the event to see all things weird and wonderful of the automotive world, from the Amphicar to a Ferrari Testarossa. You don’t need to know a single thing about cars to see something that stirs your soul, and Barrett-Jackson is the place where that happens. These kids are the collector car owners of the future. What they see at these events may start them down a path that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Whether you want to see record-breaking auctions or create lasting memories with friends and family, Barrett-Jackson is the place to be. It is the excitement and the memories that keep me coming back, year after year. You can find out more about upcoming auction events by visiting www.barrett-jackson.com.

Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2017 Auction Preview

barrett-jackson-scottsdale-2013The Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction will be returning to Scottsdale in January of 2017 for its 46th year. I have attended the Scottsdale auction for over 10 years, and I am impressed with Barrett-Jackson’s ability to keep the event fresh and interesting time after time. Here are some highlights of recent auctions to illustrate my point:

2005 – Barrett-Jackson sells a one-off Oldsmobile F-88 Concept Car for $3.24 million.

2006 – Barrett-Jackson makes headlines by selling a 1950 GM Futurliner bus for $4.1 million.

2007 – Barrett-Jackson sets an all-time record when they sold Carroll Shelby’s personal 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 “Super Snake” for a staggering $5.5 million dollars.

2008 – Barrett-Jackson auctions off cars from the hit TV show Monster Garage.

2009 – Barrett-Jackson auctions off hundreds of concept and prototype cars from the GM Heritage Collection, and sells a rare Ford Tri-Motor Airplane for $1.21 million.

2010 – The top seller is a Hamilton H-47 Metalplane, which sells for $671,000. Other big sales included a 2011 Mustang Glass Roof Coupe for $330,000 and a 1966 Shelby GT350 Fastback for $247,500.

2011 – This was a rough year for the collector market, with the economic recession putting a damper on things. The top seller was a 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca edition for $450,000 – followed by a 1950 Mercury Custom Coupe and a 2005 Ferrari 575 Superamerica selling for $330,000 each.

2012 – Barrett-Jackson debuts “The Salon Collection” featuring highly desirable collectible automobiles from Duesenberg, Isotta-Fraschini, Pierce-Arrow, Packard, Delahaye, and other prestigious marques. Highlights include a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe selling for $2.2 million, a Ghia-designed DeSoto Adventurer Coupe concept car for $1.43 million, and a 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow that sold for $2.2 million.

2013 – Barrett-Jackson celebrates the memory of Carroll Shelby with over 50 Shelby vehicles up for auction. They also sold the Original #1 Batmobile for $4.6 million.

2014 – The Scottsdale Auction was held in the all-new permanent auction building this year. Simon Cowell’s Bugatti Veyron fetched a $1.375 million price, while a Ferrari F40 from Gas Monkey Garage sold for $643,500.

2015 – Barrett-Jackson auctioned off an amazing collection of 140 American classics and customs from the Ron Pratte Collection. Sales from the Pratte Collection topped $40.4 million.

2016 – The 45th Anniversary of Barrett-Jackson was highlighted with the sale of a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Supercar, which sold for $1.76 million dollars.

So what can we look forward to in 2017? The January 2017 auction will feature the Charlie Thomas Collection. 141 collector and classic vehicles will cross the block. Charlie Thomas made his fortune through car dealerships in Texas. At one point, he owned 50 dealerships in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. He sold many of them to AutoNation and is now down to 14 dealerships in the Galveston, TX area.

Charlie’s car collection covers a broad range of American history, from a 1929 Studebaker President to a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12. The bulk of the collection consists of original and restored 1950s and 1960s Ford and Chevrolet cars – which is the era of vehicles that Barrett-Jackson is best known for.

Here are some of the standout lots to look forward to at next month’s auction event:

Lot #1016 – A 1970 Dodge Challenger coupe that has been updated with an 8.0L V10 engine from a Dodge Viper.

Lot #1022 – A 1949 Mercury Coupe that has been chopped into a “lead sled.”

Lot #2016 – A Chevrolet Yenko Chevelle 2 door hardtop with a column shifter – the only one known to exist and one of just 22 ever built.

Lot #2049 – An extremely rare all-original 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Fastback that was originally ordered by a retired Ford employee.

We are eagerly looking forward to the Charlie Thomas Collection and to the other cars that will cross the block from January 14-22, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona! Be sure to follow Generation: High Output on our website, Facebook page, and Instagram for auction updates and highlights.

2014 Lamborghini Aventador LP 720-4 50 Anniversario

2014 is a very special year because it is the 50th Anniversary of Lamborghini. To celebrate the occasion, the company has produced a limited run of “50th Anniversary” Aventador models. Just 200 cars are to be produced – 100 coupes and 100 roadsters. This particular car is #47 of 100.

The Aventador LP 720-4 50 Anniversario edition has the same 6.5L V12 engine as the standard Aventador, though power has been bumped up from 690 to 710 HP thanks to a new engine calibration.

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2014 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Coupe

For the past 8 years, the Gallardo has been Lamborghini’s volume seller. With a starting price of around $181,000, it was Lamborghini’s “entry-level” car, if you could call it that. Earlier this year, Lamborghini announced the Gallardo would be replaced by a new model called the Huracan.

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1966 Lotus Cortina MkI

Bentley. Aston Martin. Jaguar. Lotus.

They’re all British car companies, but more importanly, they all have factory-sponsored racing teams. For decades, these companies have battled it out on the racetrack in everything from Formula 1 racing to grand touring to group racing.

What these companies would typically do is take one of their production cars and modify it to compete in a specific class of racing. There is one catch, though. Auto manufacturers are required to build a minimum number of vehicles and sell them to the public in order to classify as a production car. This practice, known as homologation, means that a small number of factory-built race cars will make it out into the real world – completely road legal. This is exactly what happened in the 1960s with the Lotus Cortina.

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2012 Mastretta MXT Prototype Coupe

I was definitely surprised to see this prototype at the Russo and Steele auction.  It’s the Mastretta MXT, the first Mexican made sports car. To me that is the cars only claim to fame, but who knows, maybe we will see more of them jetting around Scottsdale road one day. Originally, I knew nothing about this car other than a bit about the Top Gear controversy. Continue reading

Micro Cars Fetch Big Bucks at Barrett-Jackson 2014

When it comes to collectible car auctions, everyone expects muscle cars such as Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, Chevelles, and Challengers  to go for top dollar. These are the cars that most people think of when they think “Barrett-Jackson.”

But besides American Muscle cars, there seems to be a growing market for oddball cars as well. As I walked around Barrett-Jackson’s 2014 Scottsdale auction, I couldn’t help but notice how many micro cars were up for sale. Some of them genuinely surprised me with how much they sold for!

#675 – 1969 Goggomobil TS-250 Coupe
Sold for: $33,000

The Goggomobil is a micro car from Germany that seats 2 occupants. It has a 2-cylinder engine that makes 14 HP and a 4-speed manual gearbox. Top speed of 60 mph with a 0-60 time of 26 seconds. It’s an interesting little car that you definitely don’t see every day, but even given the car’s rarity, I was shocked that it went for $33 grand!

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9 Celebrity Cars Sold at Barrett-Jackson 2014

I have noticed that several of the cars for sale at this year’s Scottsdale auction belong to celebrities. Here are some of the ones I’ve spotted so far:

Lot #1319.2 – Simon Cowell’s 2008 Bugatti Veyron
Sold for: $1,375,000

This black-on-black Bugatti Veyron is the first used car to be certified by the factory. It belongs to Mr. Simon Cowell, who is best known as the outspoken asshole judge on TV’s American Idol (Seasons 1-9). Comes with a 1 year factory warranty!

#1355.1 – Alice Cooper’s 1969 Chevrolet Camaro
Sold for: $82,500

The shock rocker behind “School’s Out for the Summer” is also a famed car collector. This ’69 Camaro has been beautifully restored to look showroom new. Comes with a signed picture from the man himself. Features a 396 V8 with an automatic transmission and a new interior.

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