Market and auctions

Barrett-Jackson goes on line. America in a click

Cliff Goodall’s view

Photo credit: Barrett-Jackson

Since the dreaded virus has forced the company to cancel its annual June auction in Connecticut, and also put back its Palm Beach (Florida) event from April to mid-October, Barrett-Jackson is staging its first-ever online auction! This sale looks set to be a fascinating event. It kicks off today, May 8, and bids can be placed any time up until May 15 or 16 (depending on the lot number).

The event combines two worlds into one: over 450 automobilia lots and 84 cars, some really fascinating, will be crossing the block. Remarkably, for Barrett-Jackson, many of these will be offered with reserve prices.

I really recommend you take a look at the automobilia catalog, as it includes some delightful lots: click here to discover.

Before tempting you with a brief preview of the cars, here is how to take part:

  1. Go to the relevant Proxibid page — Proxibid is a platform that hosts remote auctions on behalf of other auction houses — by clicking on this link: click here.
  2. Make sure you register a few days before the final deadline (insider tip!), as it can take 2-3 days for the registration to be processed and confirmed;
  3. Once you have registered, you can bid, by one of two methods. Either you can choose to place your bids directly as the sale unfolds (with the risk of getting carried away by the excitement), or you can adopt a more cautious approach, deciding the maximum you are prepared to spend and informing the auctioneer beforehand (with the risk of losing your dream car by a single bid!)

Both strategies are valid, and neither is better than the other. And, of course, the principle is always the same: the highest bidder wins!

No pre-sale estimates have been published, but just to give you an idea, the top lot will probably be one of the two Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastbacks. In my view, the most interesting of these is Lot 245. Produced in 1970, it is one of the 52 specimens originally finished in Grabber Green. Other facts worth noting are that it has had three owners and many of its parts have never been touched. It has a low mileage, although this cannot be officially confirmed — all we know is that the clock says 4893 miles —, and it boasts perfect conditions. It has in fact won numerous awards over the years. Most recently it was chosen to be the first car on the track at the model’s 50th birthday celebrations at the 2019 Muscle Car National in Chicago. This Arizona-based auction house specializes in the sale of muscle cars and knows where to find the best ones around. This car is certainly one of those.

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429

In the 1960s, as indeed today, one of the Ford Mustang’s direct competitors was the Chevrolet Corvette and if you are on the lookout for a modern car that is already a collectible, Lot 112 might be just what you are after. The 2007 Corvette Z06 being offered at the auction has covered barely 1650 miles from new. I am sure you can well imagine what pleasure you can get from a car with 505 HP under the hood (especially when it also comes with a six-speed manual transmission), and so I will focus on a somewhat different aspect here. The car, both inside and out, is finished in black, an elegant choice that complements its sporty but discreet wheels. It was equipped with the very latest technology available at the time, from the head-up display to the enhanced acoustic package. Wouldn’t it be great to jump in it and set off on a coast-to-coast road trip, confident of reaching our destination as fresh as a rose?!

2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Since we are on the subject of American legends here, let’s talk about a third: singer Hank Williams Jr, a cornerstone of blues and country music in the United States. In the course of his long career, which began in 1957, when he was just 8 years old, he has enjoyed incredible success: 34 albums, 10 singles (all national chart toppers), and dozens of critics’ awards. That’s fantastic, you might say, but what’s it got to do with us? Well, at a certain point the lives of Hank and the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Seville coming up for sale at the Barrett-Jackson auction (Lot 234) became intertwined. With the sole exception of the air suspensions, which I would dismantle given half a chance, this specimen has not undergone particular modifications and therefore differs little from a standard version. That said, its links to a flesh and blood American legend could push the bids sky high.

It that it? No, far from it. There are another 81 besides these! Enjoy!

Hank Williams JR.’s 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Seville