World’s Great­est Col­lec­tor Car Auc­tion

DINE and Destinations - - ARIZONA - By Sara Wax­man

Over the course of six days, ap­prox­i­mately 1,400 ve­hi­cles are sold at The World’s Great­est Col­lec­tor Car Auc­tions. “This was a huge year for Bar­rett-jack­son in Scotts­dale,” said Craig Jack­son, chair­man and CEO of Bar­rett-jack­son, as the clas­sic car auc­tion chris­tened the new West­world fa­cil­ity. “We had the high­est sales in the his­tory of our com­pany— ex­ceed­ing $113 mil­lion.”

This is where the rub­ber hits the road. More than 300,000 peo­ple come to see, ad­mire, bid, covet, stroke and pho­to­graph the mir­ror-like pol­ished chrome, the gleam­ing fend­ers, the white­wall tires, the curve of the head­lights, the cus­tom leather in­te­ri­ors—the dreams and pas­sions of their car-love. Men and women alike are mes­mer­ized, mov­ing from one tent to an­other at Russo and Steele, through the rows and rows of cars: Lam­borgh­i­nis, the Dodge Hemi Chal­lengers of the ’60s, the Porsches, the Mercedes, the Jaguars and the Pon­ti­acs. Dreams dance in their eyes, but pas­sions are held in check. A more po­lite crowd of thou­sands would be hard to find. They give the right-of-way.

World records are bro­ken. A 1967 Corvette L88 two-door coupe sells for $3.85 mil­lion, and a 1957 Thun­der­bird E Con­vert­ible fetches $330,000. The vin­tage mod­els also change own­ers: A 1929 Due­sen­berg SJ Lebaron Dual Cowl Phaeton goes for $1,430,000; a 1939 Alfa Romeo 6c 2500 Sport Tour­ing gets $997,500. There are cars I have never heard of: a 1932 Auburn with a Lalique crys­tal sculp­ture as a hood or­na­ment; a 1938 Packard con­vert­ible; a 1916 Stutz four-pas­sen­ger Bull­dog Spe­cial; a 1936 De­lage. There are also cars I know per­son­ally: a 1957 Nash Metropoli­tan (my first car), and a 1954 Buick Sky­lark (dad’s favourite); mem­o­ries through a life­time of cars.

Along the mid­way, there are burg­ers, wings, fish ta­cos, any car ac­ces­sories you can imag­ine, model cars, cloth­ing, live bands—it’s ex­haust­ing. And then it’s time to take a seat in the packed ball­room of the Ari­zona Bilt­more, and watch the stage and screens as the cars are rolled onto the podium, a floor video cam­era cap­tur­ing their un­der­side. We lis­ten to the opera that is per­formed by the ros­ter of auc­tion­eers. Each auc­tion­eer has his own style, pat­ter, rhythm and ca­dence.

Stars also love their cars. At RM, Gre­gory Peck’s 1961 Bent­ley S2 Con­ti­nen­tal “Fly­ing Spur” goes for $297,000. Sir Stir­ling Moss rides across the block in the third high­est-sell­ing car, the 1955 Mercedes-benz 300SL Gull­wing Coupé. At Bar­rett-jack­son, Si­mon Cow­ell’s Bugatti Vey­ron, driven only 1,300 miles, in­cludes a trip to France to visit Bugatti head­quar­ters, and ben­e­fits the

Over five days in Scotts­dale, Bar­rett-jack­son re­ports their high­est sales in the his­tory of the com­pany, ex­ceed­ing $113 mil­lion.

Make-a-wish Foun­da­tion. The com­pany con­signs a cus­tom Ford truck ben­e­fit­ing The Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal of Saskatchewan Foun­da­tion. A car is auc­tioned to ben­e­fit the NASCAR Foun­da­tion, as is a 1959 Cessna L-19E air­plane to sup­port the Armed Forces Foun­da­tion. These unique cars, and others of­fered for char­ity, raise more than $4.4 mil­lion. There is enough money to profit all.

I come away with a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the au­to­mo­bile and its place in our so­cial and eco­nomic life. “The car has be­come the cara­pace, the pro­tec­tive and ag­gres­sive shell, of ur­ban and sub­ur­ban man,” said Mar­shall Mcluhan. He could have added that a hot car is a great way to get a hot date.

SOLD!!! For $8,800,000

A steal at the price, this 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Cal­i­for­nia Spi­der goes to the high­est bid­der at the RM Auc­tions at the Ari­zona Bilt­more. It sets a new record at the 2014 auc­tion week, which took place from Jan­uary 12 to 19. Many mil­lions change hands, but Fer­raris seem to be the dar­lings of the sale. At the Good­ing & Co. auc­tion, a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Se­ries 1 Cabri­o­let sells for $6.16 mil­lion. At Bon­ham’s, a 1951 Ferrari 212 Ex­port Coupe goes for $3.19 mil­lion.

www.ex­pe­ri­encescotts­dale.com, www.rmauc­tions.com, www.rus­soand­steele.com, www.good­ingco.com, www.bon­hams.com, www.sil­ver­auc­tions.com, www.bar­rett-jack­son.com

Top, left to right: Jaguar 3.8 Sedan from the 1960s; 1930s Rolls Royce; 1932 Auburn; 1957 Nash Metropoli­tan.

Be­low, left to right: A va­ri­ety of vin­tage Ferrari’s; 1967 Chev­elle engine.

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