World’s Greatest Collector Car Auction
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.