January is traditionally a cool month when automotive happenings
are in hibernation, that is all except for some hot car auctions
such as the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction held in
the desert town of West World, just outside of Scottsdale
Lasting an entire week with live coverage
on Speed Channel during most of this time, it has become what
B/J CEO Craig Jackson calls "The worlds greatest collector
car event". This all 'No Reserve' auction attracts many
of the finest vehicles on earth as well as cars that could
be termed down-right affordable so you wouldn't necessarily
need cavernous pockets to be a player. But if you did happen
to have a favorable financial standing and had a soft spot
for fine cars you were likely to be in attendance. Many of
the hobbies high rollers were spotted such as the Lewenthals,
the Pratts, the Joneses and the Witworths. Another high profile
collector, Reggie Jackson let his original '69 Z-L1 Camaro
go for a whopping $800,000. A high price but relatively low
compared with some of the other sales of the week. Taking
the cake for the highest price ever paid for a vehicle at
this auction was a 'one-of-a kind' '66 Shelby Cobra Super
Snake built specifically for Carrol Shelby. Producing 800
horsepower this Paxton supercharged treasure fetched over
But like a mirage in the desert the incredibly
high prices previously seen at this event seem to have evaporated.
Many hot rods in particular that were once garnering the highest
bids were uncharacteristically going for much less than what
it would cost to build them. Factory concept cars that were
once the bidders favorites were going for lower than expected
prices. It seems as though the 'flavor of the month' exists
in the collector car auction world as well.
I happen to catch CNN's coverage of the
B/J auction, naturally focusing on their own 'Warrier One'
Hummer being sold at the auction.
As expected Saturday was the 'main event'
for this auction with cars typically exhibiting low production
numbers, possessing very low miles, being an unrestored original
or having some other special notoriety. Corvettes made up
a large percentage of this event. Two '63 corvettes were sold
as a pair for a total of $525,000. Hemi cars were also popular
with the crowd. Every variation from a '71 Hemi Cuda with
less that 100 original miles on it to a '67 Hemi Coronet 4
door sedan went under the gavel. Each went for $500,000. In
comparison a '70 Hemi Cuda clone was a steal at $72,000.
By the time the last vehicle was purchased
Sunday evening 1271 vehicles had been sold generating over
$100,000,000. in sales. If this event is a barometer on the
condition of our hobby we can feel safe in the fact interest
remains high for our dream machines.
The 1512 Registry gets a banner start
for the new year as our promotions director Matt wilson
and friend Wade Linger, owner of Wade's Garage and also
a member of our registry were fortunate enough to attend
this event and had several observations to relay to
our amazingmusclecars.com viewers.
Having never flown before, Matt was
thrilled to have traveled by air from his home in Pennsylvania
to the auction in Arizona, attending basically as a
consultant regarding the auctioning of a '69 Rambler
SC/Rambler B car. During
his 4 day stay from Monday to Thursday he had the opportunity
to meet with Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson who autographed
one of the '1512' AMC.com official posters. What an honor.
He was then interviewed by Speed Channel's Mike Joy who
used the info Matt supplied to elaborate on the SC/Rambler
when it rolled across the auction block Tuesday afternoon.
If you viewed this car being auctioned on TV you would
have seen a close -up of the '1512' AMC.com poster. (The
SC/Rambler sold for $49,500. incidentally).
also there to take in the experience for future reference
as he plans to do a complete documented restoration on his
A scheme Scrambler at his state of the art facility that was
recently featured in The
Charleston Gazette in WV. Wade plans to prepare his A
scheme Scrambler for the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction
with in the next year, seeing this B car here was an ideal
opportunity for the preparation of his car when the time comes.
Other observations both Matt and Wade picked
up on were that even though this is primarily an auction for
high-end collector cars, vehicles that the average person
could afford were also on the block. Like wise you'd expect
to find the people attending this function would be of the
snobbish variety but this was not the case as the general
buyer/seller was made up of nice, friendly folk. Food and
drinks were reasonably priced as well. More than just an auction
it is also a car show where all the vehicles there are kept
on site all week long, even if it sold on Tuesday.
Matt didn't purchase any of these cars he did spot a particularly
stunning '62 Super Duty 421 Pontiac. Trucks also had a big
following. The going prices were not too high considering
what some of these cars have traditionally sold for. All in
all Matt agreed this event and the beautiful clear Arizona
landscape was definitely one worth taking in.