Arizona Car Week 2021 Update

January is a sacred time of year for classic and sports car enthusiasts in Arizona. It’s a time when multiple collector car auctions converge on the desert for a week of excitement and events known as Arizona Car Week. But with the current restrictions in place regarding public health and safety, things are going to be very different for 2021. Here’s a quick update on what you need to know.

Three auction houses including RM Sotheby’s, Gooding & Co., and Bonhams will hold collector car auctions in January. Two of them are hybrid events (live stream plus limited in-person attendance) and one is online-only. There are no auction events open to the general public in January.

The two larger collector car auctions, Barrett-Jackson and Russo and Steele, have been moved back to March 2021. Barrett is planning on an in-person event, though general admission ticket holders will not be allowed to enter the Auction Arena. Russo and Steele will only be open to registered bidders, and not to spectators or the general public.

Please see below for detailed information about each auction event.


Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2021 Rescheduled for March

The largest event during Arizona Car Week is Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale collector car auction. This event usually draws more than 300,000 attendees from across the country. Originally scheduled for January 16-23, the auction house announced on December 10, 2020 that their Scottsdale event would be rescheduled for March 20-27, 2021. Another important change is that only registered bidders will be allowed access to the Auction Arena. Only single-day tickets and VIP packages are available; I did not see any weekly passes for sale at the time of publication.

Preview Dates: Mar 20-23, 2021 (ticket required)
Auction Dates:
Mar 24-27, 2021
Location: Westworld of Scottsdale
Address: 16601 N. Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Catalog: 146+ vehicles for sale
Admission: $25-$70 advance online (varies by day)
Website: barrett-jackson.com


Russo and Steele Scottsdale 2021 Rescheduled for March

Russo and Steele will be hosting an exclusive private auction event at their headquarters in the Scottsdale Airpark. This invitation-only event is not open to the public. It will be a one-day event on March 27th instead of a multi-day event as in the past.

Preview Dates: Private Event, registered bidders only
Auction Dates:
Mar 27, 2021, 5:00 PM
Location: Russo and Steele Scottsdale Office
Address: 7722 E Gray Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Catalog: Not Available
Admission: Exclusive Private Event – By Invitation Only. Not open to the public.
Website: russoandsteele.com


RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale 2021

RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale 2021 collector car auction will primarily be a live-stream event, with limited in-person attendance. Attendance is limited to registered bidders only, and is not open to the public.

Preview Dates: Jan 18-21, 2021 by appointment only
Auction Dates:
January 22, 2021 at 1:00 PM
Location: OTTO Car Club, Scottsdale
Address: 15550 N 78th St, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Catalog: 80 vehicles
Admission: Open to registered bidders only. Not open to the public.
Website: rmsothebys.com


Gooding & Company Scottsdale 2021

Gooding & Co.’s Scottsdale 2021 auction will be an online-only event via the company’s Geared Online platform. There will be no in-person event for Scottsdale 2021.

Preview Dates: Online starting January 11
Auction Dates: Jan 18-22, 2021
Location: Online-only event
Address: Online
Catalog: 36+ vehicles
Admission: Online
Website: goodingco.com


Bonhams Scottsdale 2021

Bonhams will be offering a Live Stream with limited attendance auction event at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale. The event is open to registered bidders only, and previews are available by appointment only.

Preview Dates: Jan 19-21, 2021 by appointment only
Auction Dates:
Jan 21, 2021
Location: The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
Address: 6902 E. Greenway Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85254
Catalog: 37+ vehicles
Admission: Open to registered bidders only.
Website: bonhams.com

RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2019 Auction Highlights and Results

One of my destinations during Monterey Car Week 2019 was the RM Sotheby’s auction, which was held at the Monterey Conference Center. I paid $40 dollars admission to view the auction cars during the preview hours.

While I couldn’t document every car in the catalog, here are some highlights from the Monterey 2019 auction:

1994 McLaren F1 LM

The McLaren F1 is considered by many to be the “Greatest of All Time” of the supercar world. Just 106 of these amazing vehicles were built between 1992-1998. Of those, only 64 were road legal, and of those, only two were upgraded by the factory to “LeMans specifications.” This is one of those cars. As if the regular F1 weren’t special enough, the LeMans spec gets an unrestricted 680 hp engine (up from 618 hp in the standard F1), and a High Downforce Kit (HDK) with a revised nose with front fender vents and a huge rear wing.

For a car spotter like myself, seeing this car in person was the equivalent of finding the Holy Grail. It was an absolutely stunning example and perhaps the most outstanding vehicle of Monterey Car Week 2019. On the auction block, the car’s high bid was $18 million, slightly below the estimate of $20 to $25 million. With the buyer’s premium, the final sale price was $19,805,000. Congratulations to RM Sotheby’s and to the new owner!

2019 McLaren Senna (Serial No. 434/500)

McLaren’s latest hypercar, the Senna, is the latest and greatest in its lineage of “Ultimate Series” cars, which include the P1 and the F1. The Senna is limited to just 500 units worldwide. This one, car #434, is painted in Victory Grey with Papaya Spark accents. The car’s twin turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine produces 789 horsepower and was designed as a track-focused design with minimal comforts and amenities. The car did not meet its reserve price at the auction. Continue reading

RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale 2019 Auction Results

While collector car auctions like Barrett-Jackson and Russo and Steele capture much of the media spotlight during Arizona Car Week, there are other auctions like RM Sotheby’s that cater to the true enthusiast. Though their catalog is much smaller at around 200 vehicles, I find that RM Sotheby’s offers a wide variety of classic and contemporary cars, each one of which is truly outstanding.

The following are some personal highlights of cars I spotted at their 2019 Scottsdale Auction, held at the prestigious Arizona Biltmore Resort. While I would love to do a feature on every car in their catalog, time simply does not allow such a luxury. I have chosen some of the cars that I feel represent the quality and selection one would find at an RM Sotheby’s event.

Lot #273 – 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale by Pininfarina

Every Ferrari is special, but this one is really something to write home about! This 1957 250 GT Speciale is a one-off custom bodied car by Pininfarina that was built for Lilian, Princess of Réthy, the royal lady of Belgium. The car was appraised at $11 to $13,000,000 by experts, but it did not meet the reserve price, with the highest bid received of $7,500,000 according to Hagerty.

Lot #243 – 1948 Tucker 48

The Tucker 48 is today appreciated as an automobile that was far ahead of its time. Just 51 cars were ever built before production ended. RM Sotheby’s is no stranger to Tuckers. They sold chassis no. 44, the legendary Ohio barn find car, at the Scottsdale 2017 auction for $1,347,500. Chassis no. 29, Preston Tucker’s personal car, crossed RM’s auction block in 2018 for a handsome $1,792,500. Now in 2019, chassis no. 40, a beautifully restored blue car (shown above) sold for $1,600,000 (including buyer’s premium).

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Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2015 Review

barrett-jackson-2015As I was going to the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2015 auction, a thought occurred to me: I have been going to this event for over 10 years! During that time, I have seen the auction grow and change with the collector car market.

In case you are not familiar with Barrett-Jackson, their annual Scottsdale auction is THE collector car event of the year. It’s like the Super Bowl of cars – no other auction has more cars, more attendees, or more media attention than this one. For car guys, visiting is a sacred rite of passage to worship at the altar of speed. It’s hallowed ground, like the Bonneville Salt Flats or Daytona Beach or the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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10 Things I Loved About Barrett-Jackson 2013

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.

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Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2013 Preview

With less than a month to go until the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2013 auction, collectors are already murmuring about will be on this year’s list of vehicles. As always, you can count on there being dozens of survivor and frame-off restored, numbers-matching Chevelles, Impalas, Camaros, Mustangs, and other classics. I’m going to focus on some of the more interesting vehicles scheduled to cross the block in January:

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